Roast capon with hay, chestnut pulp, Guinness and oyster sauce

servings4
8 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Capon

  • 1 capon, weighing 1.5kg
  • 130g of hay
  • 2l water
  • 10g of sea salt
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Chestnut pulp

  • 500g of cooked chestnuts, peeled
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves picked

Guinness and oyster sauce

  • 12 oysters
  • 1 can of Guinness
  • 75g of butter

Method

1
For the capon, place 100g of hay in a large saucepan. Flame the hay with a blow torch; make sure you do this in a well-ventilated room and have a lid to hand in case something goes wrong
  • 100g of hay
2
Leave to burn for 10 seconds then add 2 litres of water to bring out the hay flavour
  • 2l water
3
Bring to the boil, take off the heat and leave to infuse and cool. Strain and split into 2
4
Keep 1 litre aside for the purée and sauce. Place 1 litre of hay stock in a large container, then add 10g of salt and the capon
  • 10g of sea salt
  • 1 capon
5
Leave for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. This will season the capon, help to tenderise it and add a subtle hay flavour throughout the flesh
6
Remove from the stock and place in the fridge uncovered for an hour or overnight. This will dry and tighten the skin giving you a super crisp skin
7
Take the capon out of the fridge 1 hour before cooking so the meat is at room temperature. This will help to cook the capon equally, giving a moist and juicy bird
8
Heat the oven to 240°C/Gas mark 8
9
Rub with olive oil and season well. Place the capon on a tray and roast for 1 hour 20 minutes, basting every 25 minutes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
10
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Drain the juices from the roasting tray into a jug
11
For the chestnut pulp, bring the chestnuts, 100ml of the hay stock and the thyme to the boil. Season
  • 500g of cooked chestnuts, peeled
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • salt
  • pepper
12
Whiz in a blender, adding the butter and more hay stock to make a pulp. Pass the pulp through a sieve, then season
  • 50g of butter
  • salt
  • pepper
13
For the Guinness and oyster sauce, place the Guinness and hay stock into a pan. Boil and reduce by 2/3
  • 1 can of Guinness
14
Steam the oysters for 1 minute, remove from the shells and blend the flesh with all the juice in a blender
  • 8 oysters
15
Pass the oyster purée through a sieve and add to the reduced Guinness sauce with the sieved cooking juices from the capon. Whisk in the butter, then season
  • 75g of butter
  • salt
  • pepper
16
To serve, remove the legs and breasts from the capon, and cut each into 2. Serve half a breast and half a leg for each person
17
Place a spoon of the chestnut purée onto the plate, then the capon and spoon the sauce around. If you have a hand blender, blend your sauce to give a lighter frothy sauce. Serve with 1 fresh oyster each
  • 4 oysters