Stuffed chicken from Basilicata
Pollo ripieno alla Lucana
Nearly all Italian regions have a poultry recipe traditionally reserved for Christmas. Pollo ripieno alla Lucana is a liver and bacon stuffed chicken from Basilicata that tastes great all year round.
Some versions of the stuffed chicken from Basilicata recipe use a mixture of salted dried pork belly and lard in the filling, while others prescribe chicken liver only. I try to get hold of lean slices of pancetta, but when that fails, I use bacon instead. The smoky and salty flavour camouflages the liver, which can be rather dominating for people not used to the taste. With bacon it’s a hit. The stuffing tastes deliciously, infuses the chicken and helps to keep the breast meat juicy.
1 huge chicken or poularde
150 g chicken livers
150 g pancetta or bacon
50 g grated pecorino
Salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Start by preparing the stuffing.
Dice the pancetta (or bacon) and fry it over moderate heat in a little olive oil.
Chop the chicken liver finely (it’s easy if you use slightly frozen chicken liver)
Add chicken liver to the pan and fry it on all sides with the pancetta.
Let the meat mixture cool.
Chop parsley, rosemary and sage and mix it with the meat.
Add grated pecorino and a beaten egg to the stuffing.
Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Beware that the pancetta can be rather salty.
Wash the chicken inside and out and pat it dry.
Fill the inside cavity with stuffing
Stitch up the opening and tie the legs of the chicken to keep it in shape
Mix a drop of balsamic vinegar with olive oil and use it to baste the chicken. The vinegar will give it a nice golden tan.
Spread sprigs of rosemary over the chicken.
Cook in the oven at 180 C /356 F for about an hour until the legs seem loose to the touch.
Serve the stuffed chicken from Basilicata with roasted potatoes and mushrooms.