Italian Food and Flavours

Italian stuffed roast chicken: Pollo ripieno

Italian stuffed roast chicken: Pollo ripieno

Roasting and stuffing are perhaps not the most common forms of cooking chicken in Le Marche but this recipe is the exception. It is all about the stuffing, using olives and parmesan it might look a little too adventurous and to be fair it is a little dangerous because once you have tried it you won’t be able to go back to sage and onion!

Italian stuffed roast chicken: Pollo ripieno


  • medium free-range roasting chicken
  • glass of white wine
  • glass of water
  • 500g potatoes peeled and cut for roasting
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary

For the stuffing:

  • 120g good quality sausage-meat
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped
  • 100g mortadella diced (optional)
  • 80g pitted green olives
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g parmesan grated
  • 30g fresh breadcrumb


For the stuffing sweat the onion in a little oil when transparent add the sausage-meat (if you are using standard sausage-meat rather than Italian there is no need to add at this stage). add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes or so to combine the flavours and allow the meat to give up some of the fat. Put the cooked contents into a good sized bowl and add the other stuffing ingredients (traditionally the eggs would be hard boiled but I prefer to use them as a binding agent)
Use some of the stuffing for the bird and the rest to make individual stuffing balls in on a baking tray.
Put the bird in a high sided roasting tin, pour over the wine and water. Here Italians would traditionally add the potatoes but I prefer to roast them separately.
roast in a moderately hot oven for a hour or until the juices flow clear from a pierced leg.
leave the chicken to rest while you use the juices in the pan to make your gravy.

Serve the chicken with a stuffing ball and some of the stuffing from the chicken.