Kapaun mit Champignons und Spek

A delicious recipe from Germany, Kapaun mit Champignons und Spek (ka-pown mitt sham-peen-yon oont schpeck) may be served with Croquettes de Pommes de Terre and French beans. A well-chilled dry white wine such as Zeltinger would accompany this dish well.

1 x

6 lb. capon

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon dried thyme

8 bacon slices

8 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced

2 onions, coarsely chopped

4 fl. oz. dry white wine

4 fl. oz. chicken stock

1 teaspoon cornflour dissolved in

1 tablespoon wine

Preheat the oven to hot 425 °F (Gas Mark 7, 220°C).

Rub the outside and the cavity of the capon with the salt, pepper and butter. Sprinkle with the thyme and place it in a roasting tin. Place the tin in the oven and roast the capon for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

With a sharp knife, cut half the bacon into squares. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and add the mushrooms, bacon squares, apples and onions. Place the remaining slices of bacon over the breast of the capon. Return the roasting tin to the oven and roast for a further 45 minutes.

Pour the wine and chicken stock over the capon and continue roasting, basting occasionally, for a further 1 hour, or until the capon juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a sharp knife.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven and, with large spoons, transfer the capon to a warmed serving dish. Remove the bacon slices from the breast and arrange them on either side of the capon. Set aside and keep warm.

With a metal spoon, skim the fat from the surface of the juices in the roasting tin. Pour the juices, with the bacon, apples and mushrooms, .into a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in the dissolved cornflour . Set the pan over moderate heat and cook the sauce, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes or until it is thick and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sauce into a warmed sauceboat and serve immediately, with the capon.