Les Halles
411 Park Ave. South
New York, NY 10016
(212) 679-4111

Roasted Capon Stuffed with Chestnuts
Chef Anthony Bourdain of Les Halles- New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 8 Servings


  • 1 (8 pound) capon, with giblets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 onions, 1 halved the other 2 cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 bouquet garni (a sprig each of thyme and parsley and a bay leaf, secured together with string)
  • 8 ounces butter, 4 ounces cut into very thin slices, the other 4 ounces melted
  • 2 whole sprigs sage
  • 2 whole sprigs parsley
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into ½ inch dice
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 pounds fresh chestnuts
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 4 sprigs sage, leaves picked and cut into julienne
  • 4 sprigs parsley, leaves picked and cut into julienne

For capon:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove giblets from cavity of bird and set aside. Rinse bird in cold water and pat dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place halved onion and garlic and bouquet garni in cavity of bird. Carefully place the butter slices, whole sage and parsley leaves between the skin and breast of bird. Rub outside with melted butter and season again with salt and pepper.

Place the chopped onion, carrot, celery, giblets and water in bottom of roasting pan. Place bird on the vegetables and roast for an hour, basting about every 20 minutes with pan liquids. After 1 hour, increase oven temperature to 400°F and cook for additional 45 minutes until skin is golden and juices run clear. Remove capon and let rest 30 minutes. Reserve liquids and solids in roasting pan.

For chestnuts:
Cut a small “x” on each chestnut and place in a large pot. Cover with cold water and 2 Tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle but still warm, peel the chestnuts, removing both the hard shell and the inner membrane.
In medium sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat until if foams and subsides. Add chestnuts. Toss over medium-high heat until the nuts are glazed and shiny. Set aside.

For sauce:
Skim excess fat from roasting pan and discard. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over high heat and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are nicely browned. Stir in white wine and chopped garlic and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add chicken stock and cook to reduce by half. Strain sauce into a small saucepan, season with salt and pepper and stir in any reserved juices from where the capon has rested. Bring to a boil, whisk in butter and stir in julienned herbs. Adjust seasoning. Keep hot.

To serve:
Reheat chestnuts briefly over high heat adding a little butter, if necessary. Place bird on large serving platter, place chestnuts around it and serve with sauce in a gravy boat.

   Published: March 2005