Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Tahiri's Way with a Capon

by SuSu, Csillag, Wraith6, Iella

These recipes are inspired by Iella's story At the Oasis: Paddy and the Capon, an "alternative universe" story where Anakin Solo never died, Han Solo became a grandfather, and the "Paddy" in the story is a very young girl named Padmé Solo. The dish was described in that story -- a speciality of Tahiri's, served with an unusual green herb sauce. It sounds like it should be either innocuous or dirty, but it's actually very innocent and very funny!

In addition, at a Hut Gathering, we did cooking sessions and came up with a recipe that we can imagine is a natural extension of Tahiri's original roast. It's really good!

Menu: Tahiri's Roasted Capon | Tahiri's Tusken-style Green Herb Sauce | Tahiri's Dumplings and Chicken in Gravy

Tahiri's Roasted Capon
A capon is a castrated chicken (or nuna), which gets very big and plump -- almost like a small turkey in size. You can use a small turkey or a large chicken instead, of course. Removing the organs shifts the bird's energy into generating meat and fat for a more delicious result -- important when you are feeding the ever-hungry extended Solo clan, plus Wes and Hobbie.
  • 1 whole capon, about 8 lbs / 3.5 kg
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 lemons, washed, juiced, then cut in half (save both the fruit and the juices)
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped or 1 to 2 tablespoons dried herbs (a single herb or a mixture, like tarragon, thyme or parsley)
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
Heat oven to 450°F. Season with salt and pepper, inside and out.

In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter, lemon juice and herbs, and rub this all over the outside of the bird. Put the lemon halves, onion, and garlic inside the cavity of the bird. Truss if you'd like.

Place the chicken breast side down (upside down!), on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan. To prevent the drippings from burning and smoking, put some water in the roasting pan. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes, ther remove from the oven and close the oven door. Turn the oven down to 375°F. On the counter, carefully turn the roast so it's breast side up. Baste with pan drippings, and put the capon back into the oven. Continue to roast for about 2 hours more, or till the temperature of the thigh meat is 160°F / 65°C. Remove from the oven and let the roast stand for 15 minutes before carving.

(Save the pan drippings for a sauce or stock! Put them in the freezer till you've accumulated enough bones and dripping for that.)

Serves 8 or so.

Back to the Menu: Tahiri's Way with a Capon

Tahiri's Tusken-style Green Herb Sauce
Han Solo loves this sauce. As devoted as he is to Leia, no one could fault him for preferring the dining tables of other women when only the bill of fare is to be considered. The "other woman" in this case is Anakin's wife, Tahiri Veila. Raised by Tuskan Raiders, she absorbed their traditions, as well as those of more mainstream human cultures. Because there was so little water on Tatooine, they tended not to make sauces to enjoy with food. One exception was this thick, pungent, salty, tangy sauce, which was made with a bunch of parsley, and lots of other "condiment" style ingredients, all mashed together. It's multi-faceted and strong -- you only need a bit. The blander your meat, the more you'd appreciate this green sauce; but of course it's good with Tahiri's capon, too, but be sparing in how much you take. In the story, Tahiri poured the sauce over the top of the bird as a sort of "glaze" which is a great way to serve it, too.
  • 1 bunch parsley, trim off stems
  • 2 to 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, roughly chopped
  • 4 small gherkin pickles, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
Using a food processor or large mortar and pestle, pulse or mash together all the ingredients till you make a rough paste.

Makes about a cup, enough to serve 8 to 12.

Back to the Menu: Tahiri's Way with a Capon

Tahiri's Dumplings and Chicken in Gravy
All the Solo children remembered their Uncle Luke's experiments when he learned to make brown stock just before he married their Aunt Mara. To always have it on hand, Luke made it a habit to freeze any bones, fat, and drippings from roasts to make into other dishes when he had enough accumulated.

Though Anakin was raised in a life of privilege and responsibility, as a Jedi he came to understand the need to conserve as many resources as possible. Part of that conservation is not wasting anything edible, like his Uncle Luke practiced when saving bones and vegetable bits to make stock. Of course, there are other ways to use leftovers too, and this is one of Anakin's favorites. He was wise enough not to say it out loud, but he looked forward to his wife's capon, just so they could have dumplings and chicken in gravy the next day! It's a great "comfort food" dish, and men love it!

The main feature of this dish is the creamy gravy made from the stock, and the fluffy dumplings made with other basic ingredients. That's just as well, because Tahiri's roast is so good that there was often very little leftover for future meals. If you'd like some more meat in this dish, you can buy a store-roasted bird to use in this dish instead of, or in addition to, any leftovers you have. (But save those bones for stock, too! And if you don't make your own broth or stock, you can use store-bought, but try to get the low-salt varieties. Otherwise, as the broth boils and reduces, the saltiness will increase.)

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ tablespoons shortening (chicken fat is good)
  • about ½ cup milk
In a large, shallow pot, boil the stock, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt. Rub the shortening into the flour mixture -- you might prefer to use two knives if you are using the chicken fat. Stir in milk quickly till just blended enough to form a dough.

Drop the batter using two spoons into the simmering broth (they will expand, don't make them too big). Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Do not peek or you'll get warts on your face as punishment. Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon. Repeat if you have more batter.

  • 2 to 3 lbs / 1 to 1.5 kg cooked chicken
  • stock left from making Dumplings
Heat the stock so it's at a simmer. Cut or shred the cooked chicken and drop into the stock to heat up. If you are making the Gravy, you can set aside the chicken with a bit of the broth to keep it warm while making and assembling this dish.

    Chicken Milk Gravy
  • 4 tablespoons chicken fat or butter or oil
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • about 2 or so cups of stock (use what's left from the Dumplings preparation
  • milk, to thin the gravy, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the fat and sprinkle over with flour. Cook over low heat with stirring until the mixture starts to brown. For the next step, use a sauce whisk. Using a ladle, put a bit of the stock into the flour-fat mixture (called a roux) and whisk together quickly to work out the lumps. When smooth, ladle in more stock. Allow each addition to be whisked and incorporated into the roux and to come to a boil so you can see how thick the sauce is. Stop adding stock when it's almost as thick as you like it -- it's good whether you like it more pasty or more soupy. Stir in the milk, to desired consistency -- do not boil the sauce again after adding milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    To Serve
In a large, flat bowl, plate one or two dumplings per serving, a large spoonful or two of chicken meat, then cover it with the sauce/gravy. No need for bread; you might want to serve a salad, maybe?

Serves 4 to 6.

Back to the Menu: Tahiri's Way with a Capon

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