Roasted Onion and Chestnut Compote

by0| PUBLISHED Oct 17, 2013 9:40 PM
Roasted Onion and Chestnut Compote
Roasted Onion and Chestnut Compote ». Ariana Lindquist

Roasted onions and chestnuts are simmered in cream with cognac in an adaptation of a dish from chef Mary Sue Milliken. This recipe first appeared in our November 2013 issue with the article State of Grace.

Yield: serves 6-8


  • 2 lb. small white and red onions, such as cipolline or pearl, unpeeled, trimmed
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" strips
  • <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cup brandy or cognac
  • 1 lb. fresh chestnuts, peeled and quartered, or one 15-oz. jar whole roasted chestnuts, drained
  • 1 <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> cups heavy cream


  1. Heat oven to 350°. Toss onions in oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet; spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, 30–40 minutes; let cool, then peel.
  2. Heat bacon in a 12″ skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8–10 minutes. Pour fat from pan and save for future use. Pull pan off heat and add brandy; return to heat and carefully ignite with a match. Cook until flame subsides, about 1 minute. Add onions, chestnuts, cream, salt, and pepper; simmer until cream is reduced by half, 12–15 minutes.