Undoubtedly (at least to me) one of the greatest chicken dishes of the world. You should only attempt this if you can get copious quantities of leaf or feather fennel (all you herb gardeners). Bronze fennel will do.
The stuffing takes a minimum of an hour, including cooling time, and is best done in advance. Put
Spoon the cool stuffing into the chicken. You will have quite a lot left. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil, and season very generously. Put the remaining stuffing in a suitably sized gratin dish with a little olive oil and set aside.
Put the chicken on its side into a casserole, and
Remove the fowl from the casserole to the chopping board and let it rest. Keep the garlic and olives warm in a dish. Remove any excess fat from the casserole. Add the wine to the casserole and boil vigorously until nearly evaporated. Add the broth and reduce by three-quarters. This whole process should take 10 minutes.
Cut the chicken into eighths, and arrange on a heated serving platter around the scooped-out stuffing. Scatter more chopped fennel, the olives and garlic on top, and serve with extra stuffing.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.