Polastro Imbotio

Venetian Stuffed Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

In this recipe from the Veneto, a whole chicken is stuffed with a combination of bold tastes, including pancetta, rosemary, sage and onion, which permeate the flesh as it is cooked. Once it is juicy, tender and cooked all the way through, it is jointed and the stuffing ingredients are discarded. It is certainly worth splashing out on a good-quality free-range or organic chicken with lots of flavour for this simple but classic Venetian favourite.


  • 75 g/3 oz fatty pancetta or bacon, thinly sliced
  • 1 oven-ready chicken, about 1.6 kg/ lb
  • 7 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • ½ large onion, thickly sliced
  • 30-45 ml/2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 40 g/ oz/3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup warm chicken stock
  • sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Put the pancetta or bacon slices inside the cavity of the chicken with the sage, rosemary and onion. Add a pinch of salt and sew the chicken closed with kitchen string or twine.
  2. Oil a roasting pan that the chicken will fit into snugly. Truss the chicken legs tightly together, crossing them over and tying them with kitchen string, then lay it in the roasting pan. Oil the chicken, then season with salt and dot with the butter.
  3. Baste the chicken with 30-45 ml/2-3 tbsp chicken stock, then place it in the oven to roast for 1 hour, or until cooked through. Test the chicken is cooked by piercing the thickest part with the point of a knife; the juices should run clear and the flesh should be white, not pink. Baste frequently throughout cooking.
  4. Remove the string and joint the chicken, discarding the filling ingredients. Serve the chicken with the pan juices poured over.