The meal of Christmas past!
Mario Batali's Capon with Mushrooms and Polenta
- 8 lb whole capon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter (softened)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped thyme
- 2 large shallots (cut in half)
- 1 head of garlic (cut in half)
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 cups Marsala wine
- 1/4 pound mortadella
- Parmesan rind (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Remove neck and giblets from inside the capon. Rinse the body and cavity with cold water, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, combine the butter and chopped thyme. Rub the mixture all over the bird. Place the shallot, garlic, mortadella, parmesan rind, and thyme sprigs inside the cavity. Truss the capons legs to maintain the shape while cooking.
- Place the capon on a rack in a roasting pan. Fill the pan with marsala wine to prevent the drippings from burning.
- Roast the capon for 20 minutes then drop the temperature to 375F basting occasionally with the pan drippings. Continue roasting the capon until a thermometer inserted between the breast and thigh reads 165F, approximately 2-2 1/2 hours.
- Remove the capons from the roasting pan and place on a platter. Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting to allow the juices to redistribute.
- Serve with Portobello and Shiitake Mushrooms (recipe here) and Warm Polenta with Robiola (recipe here).