Capon with chile/cilantro rub and roasted carrots; potatoes gratin with poblanos; cavolo nero; Chile Colorado – 22 November 2018

TG dinner was a repeat of Christmas 2017 and several holidays previous – and for a reason. What an outstanding meal! Despite the fact that the oven was failing… This is from Gourmet (R.I.P.) December 2000, which is likely when R, D & I first cooked it. We’ve had it many times since. We could leave out bits or substitute others, but it never seems that a change would improve it. Here’s the menu, followed by comments from this one.

I got a 7 lb capon. $55. Yikes!! Defrosted from Monday to Thursday morning in the bottom drawer of the fridge, and still had some ice crystals when E opened it. I had put it into the island sink in cold water for at least 1/2 hour, likely more like an hour, before she opened it. R long ago suggested doubling the carrots, so we do.

Going to try this sometime with whole milk instead of cream to see if it is still to-die-for. The poblanos were of the “that ate Chicago” kind – never seen them this large before! I weighed them out at the Bowl and 3/4 lb was two, rather than 6. We roaster them “low & slow” so the (clearly) thick flesh would have a chance to cook thoroughly. I erred on the upside of the weight of russets (4 too low, 5 too high, buy 5), b/c there is NEVER enough of this dish!

Half recipe was enough, though the leftovers were only two moderate servings, so R said we should just keep the rest.

The Chile Colorado is a pain in the butt to make, but wow, it’s sure good.

I defrosted the capon, and D helped rinse and dry it in the large (but not gigantic) stainless steel bowl, but E did the main part – rubbing 1/3 of the the chili rub under the skin, and another 1/3 inside. I had washed and let dry the cilantro, and made the rub. D peeled and cut up the carrots. I made the Chile Colorado up to the point of cooking the onion and cilantro, and D took it from there. I washed the kale and chopped it into small pieces, and D did the rest of the cavolo nero. I set the table. R made dessert, But the big event was…

The failure of the oven! I mean, yikes, it a f*g Viking range, right? {sigh} So, D figured out later that one of the torchy things that heat the oven was not lighting, but the symptoms were no “whoosh” of gas lighting up, and it seemed as though the igniter flame/bulbs were all that was heating the oven. But it got to 350 (set for 500, after an hour or hour and a half of waiting for it to creep up) and possibly to 375 later. Luckily – R&E’s oven next door was available, so: After about an hour in our oven, I put the last 1/3 of the rub onto the top and sides of the capon and moved the capon to R&E’s oven, and they babysat it, doing the basting and checking the temperature, till it was done. Then realized that I needed to make the potatoes gratin (fortunately, D had thought of roasting the poblanos in the morning) and then also remembered the cavolo nero just in time. Stress!! But – it was a great meal, after all that!

We had bought 8 bottles of Kermit Lynch’s 2018 Beaujolais Nouveau ($16.99 – 10%) at the Bowl, and also a BN at The Wine Mine ($10.50) last Saturday, and D suggested we have them together and compare. The Kermit wine was definitely the better wine, but R said he thought the WM one was a better match to the meal (slightly). Anyway, good choice – fun to compare these two, both of which were enjoyable.


R made a wonderful pie/cake/dessert, though wondering how to juggle between ovens; he ended up cooking the crust, then rest of pie, in our oven, b/c it was managing to hold a 350 temperature ok. I cooked the potatoes and poblanos there, too, b/c I thought that 350 would work, since they needed only 375, officially. The dessert had some sort of crumbly-pressed crust, which was baked, and then a chocolate filling, which was also baked, and when R served it, he provided a cranberry/raspberry jammy thing plus fresh raspberries. It was superb! R chose this recipe b/c of finding really good, cheap ($1.69) raspberries, most unexpectedly (it’s November, after all) at the Bowl.

Later on, R brought over the first eggnog of the season, which we all massively enjoy. It’s the standard NYT recipe, and starts with spiced rum, so not a trivial thing to make, but it sure is worth it (especially when someone else makes it!) 🙂


D and I sat down for a very quick lunch. He cooked it, my suggestion IIRC (adding Lunch 6 Dec!). Leftover potatoes heated, and then eggs (1? 2?) scrambled in. Good, easy comfort food.

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