Roasted Onion and Chestnut Compote

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


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.


  • 2 lb. small white and red onions, such as cipolline or pearl, unpeeled, trimmed
  • 14 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" strips
  • 12 cup brandy or cognac
  • 1 lb. fresh chestnuts, peeled and quartered, or one 15-oz. jar whole roasted chestnuts, drained
  • 1 12 cups heavy cream


Step 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.

Step 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.

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