This is the Best Way to Roast a Capon

Have you ever roasted a capon? With its large sizer, ample breast meat, tenderness, and full flavor, this 8-lb chicken makes the ultimate Sunday roast. Read on for our fool-proof recipe with a simple citrus and garlic brine that adds bright flavor and guarantees juicy results.

Shop capon at Capon is usually only stocked for the holidays.

Citrus-Brined Roast Capon Recipe

The secret is in the brine. Capon is already tender and juicy, but our citrus brine adds nuanced flavor. This recipe will serve 8 and makes for wonderful leftovers if your group is smaller.


8 cups cold water
¾ cup kosher salt
¾ cup sugar
6 cloves garlic, smashed, divided use
1 onion, cut into wedges, divided use
1 navel orange, sliced
3 lemons, quartered, divided use
8 sprigs fresh thyme, divided use
3 bay leaves
3 cups ice
1 Capon, Whole (about 8 lbs), thawed in the refrigerator, giblets removed
3 tablespoons Duck Fat, softened
Citrus and herbs, for garnish, optional

Adobe Stock Capon with Lemon.jpeg


1. In a stockpot combine water, salt, sugar, ½ of the garlic, ½ of the onion, orange, ½ of the lemons, 4 sprigs of the thyme, and bay leaves. Heat over high flame, stirring, until salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the ice. Once the mixture is completely cooled to room temperature, add the capon to the brine, cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

2. Drain and discard brine. Rinse the capon under cold water and pat dry. Place the remaining garlic, onion, lemon, and thyme inside the cavity then truss the legs with butcher’s string and tuck the wings under. Place the capon on a rack set in a shallow roasting pan and pat outside dry again, if needed. Brush the bird all over with duck fat.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

3. Roast until capon is golden brown and thigh juices run clear, about 1½ hours. Finished temp: an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast and thigh should register 165 degrees F. (Account for about 10 degrees of carry-over cooking after you remove the bird from the oven.)

4. Rest the capon, tented with foil, for 20 minutes before removing the string and aromatics, and carving.

Recipe tips: Pan-drippings from brined birds are often too salty for making gravy, however, they’re so moist and juicy they usually do not need sauce. If you must have gravy, you can pan-sear a few chicken wings or backs for a quick pan gravy.


About D’Artagnan Capons

Our capons are humanely raised in free-range conditions with full access to open fields, and allowed to grow at a natural rate, with no growth stimulants ever used. The specialized farms that raise our capons focus on the best animal welfare practices and geld the roosters with traditional surgical methods at a young age. Bigger than a hen, with a broad breast, the capon makes the perfect special occasion bird. It’s quite common to find roasted capon at the Christmas table in both France and Italy.

Explore more capon recipes at and order a capon today.

Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 30 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.

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