Hed Chef

Spicy centrepiece for your festive dinner

Tandoori-style Capon.
Tandoori-style Capon.PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Among the interesting flavours of turkey this season is the tandoori turkey and it inspired me to come up with capon, cooked tandoori-style, for my festive dinner this year.

As much as I love turkey, I have turned to using capon instead as it is easier to handle and cook and suitable for a small intimate meal.

The breast meat of a capon can be juicy, tender and flavourful if you marinate and roast it properly.

You do not have to be a wine lover to enjoy good wine with your food.

One of my personal favourites to go with spicy dishes like this one is the Boschendal Le Bouquet.

It is not easy to find wines that pair beautifully with spicy food.

At its price, this South African white wine delivers great value for money.

It is fresh-tasting and medium-sweet, an excellent match for this recipe. Usually priced at $50, the wine is available at a promotional price of $43 on STwine.sg

Tandoori-style Capon


1.8kg capon
3 tsp salt
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
150g yogurt
40g garlic, pounded into a paste
40g garam masala
⅓ tsp mace
3 Tbs of ghee or clarified butter


1. Rinse and dry the chicken. Place it in a deep dish.

2. Take 2 teaspoons of salt and rub it all over the chicken, including the cavity.

3. Add the lemon juice and rub the chilli powder and turmeric powder all over the chicken, including the cavity.

4. Place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, then add the yogurt, garlic, garam masala and mace.

5. Cover the dish in cling wrap and leave in fridge to marinate overnight.

6. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before roasting.

7. Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 200 deg C.

8. Place the chicken on a wire rack, in an oven tray.

9. Put the ghee or clarified butter over the chicken, and place it in the oven to cook at 180 deg C for 1 hour 40 minutes. Baste the chicken every 20 minutes.

10. Once it is cooked, remove it from the oven. Check for doneness by inserting a themometer into the thickest part of the chicken - the chicken should have an internal temperature of 75 deg C. The juices should also run clear.