8-pound frozen capon, thawed
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 bunches celery leaves
2 sprigs fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
¼ large onion, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt, for garnish
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
1 teaspoon fresh chopped sage, for garnish
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme, for garnish
Additional fresh herbs for serving platter, if desired
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove neck and giblets from the capon’s cavity and save for stock. Rinse the capon inside and out with cold water, dry with paper towels, and transfer to a large cast iron skillet or roasting pan. Season the cavity with 2 teaspoons kosher salt and dried sage. Stuff the cavity with celery leaves, sprigs of fresh sage and thyme, and onion. Tie the legs together securely with kitchen string and fold under the wings.
Brush the skin lightly with only enough olive oil to moisten the skin and season with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and chopped fresh sage and thyme. Roast uncovered 20 minutes to brown the skin, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the capon from the oven, cover the skillet tightly with a tent of foil, return it to the oven, and roast 2 to 2 ½ hours until the legs move freely in their sockets and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 to 170 degrees.
Remove the skillet from the oven and set it aside 10 minutes. Transfer the capon to a serving platter and garnish the platter with fresh herbs and roasted new potatoes.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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