1 (8 lb) capons or 1 (8 lb)
garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
fresh cilantro, finely chopped
chili powder, like ancho
butter, unsalted, softened
medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into thirds crosswise
- Rinse capon and snip away any excess fat from cavity using kitchen shears.
- Pat capon dry and season with salt inside and out.
- Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- While capon is standing, mash garlic to a paste using a mortar and pestle.
- Add cilantro, chile powder, cumin, and butter and mash to a paste again.
- Arrange capon, breast side up, with neck toward you, and gently work your fingers between skin and flesh of the breast, working your way down to thighs.
- Rub 1/3 of the butter mixture under skin of breast and thighs and rub another 1/3 into the cavity of the bird, then tie the legs together with kitchen string.
- Put capon in a buttered roasting pan.
- Scatter carrots around bird and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour water over the carrots.
- Roast in middle of the oven 45 minutes.
- Remove pan from the oven and brush top and sides of the bird with the remaining 1/3 of the butter mixture.
- Continue to roast basting capon and carrots with pan juices every 20 minutes (tent capon with foil if it gets too brown), until a thermometer inserted 2" into fleshy part of a thigh registers 170 degrees, about 2 hours more.
- Transfer carrots with some of the pan juices to a heated serving dish and keep warm, covered.
- Let capon stand 20 minutes before carving.