If you cannot find a capon, any large chicken, even a roasting chicken, will do for this recipe. The main thing is not to use a little,
Put the chicken in a pot just large enough to hold it and the vegetables. Add the bacon, mirepoix, bouquet garni, and half the turnip peelings. Add water or stock to cover and add salt. Bring to a boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Turn down the heat and barely simmer for 1 hour or more, depending on the kind of chicken you are using. The way to test for doneness is to roll the chicken over on its side, pierce the thigh with a skewer, and check the color of the juices that come out. If they are rose-colored, cook some more until the juices from the thickest part of the thigh run clear.
When the chicken is almost done, add the vegetables. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the herb sprigs and marrow bones; cook another 8 minutes. Lift the chicken onto a warm platter and put all the vegetables and marrow bones around it. Pour some of the boiling broth over the chicken and carve. Serve 2 cups of the remaining broth and the mint béarnaise separately. Save the additional broth for another use.
© 1986 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.