Roast capon with pork stuffing and mostarda di frutta

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This stuffed roast capon recipe takes the magnificent bird and embellishes it with an Italian pork stuffing full of Parmesan, mortadella, herbs and orange zest. Serve the bird with mostarda di frutta – a type of spicy fruit preserve from Lombardy – for a perfect example of how sweet and savoury flavours can work in perfect harmony.

First published in 2018




  • 1 capon, weighing approximately 3–3.5kg
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250g of pork mince
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 egg
  • 50g of fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50g of mortadella, diced
  • 30g of Parmesan
  • 1 orange, zested
  • salt
  • pepper

To serve

  • mostarda di frutta


  • Butcher's string


Begin by making the stuffing. In a frying pan set over a medium heat, sauté the onion, celery and garlic in a dash of olive oil until soft but not coloured. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 4
Place the mince in a bowl with rest of the stuffing ingredients and the (cooled) celery, onion and garlic and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper
Stuff the mixture into the cavity of the capon and tie the legs together with butcher's string. Lightly oil the bird and season with salt and pepper, then place in a deep roasting tray with 150ml of water
Place in the oven to roast for 2 1/2 hours, or until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 75°C on a meat thermometer. Baste regularly with the juices from the bottom of the dish throughout the cooking time. If the skin starts to darken too much, cover with foil
Leave to rest for 30 minutes in a warm place before carving
Serve with mostarda di frutta
First published in 2018

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