Puddighinos a Pienu

Sardinian-Style Roast Chicken with Stuffing

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

We have taken to using Cornish hens for roasting instead of young poussins because we’ve found that the hen’s skin is crisper and its meat remains moister during cooking. When roasting the birds, baste with a little of the olive oil drained from the sun-dried tomatoes. The stuffing may be made the day before.


  • 4 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • cups unsalted butter, melted
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • ¾ pound chicken gizzards
  • cup (or as needed) Chicken Stock
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), drained but oil reserved
  • 4 Rock Cornish game hens, about pounds each, or a 6-pound roasting chicken or capon


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the bread crumbs with ¾ cup melted butter and spread on a baking sheet. Toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

Heat ¼ cup wine in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm. Remove from the heat, add the saffron, and let steep 15 minutes.

Trim the gizzards well, peeling the cartilage and tough membrane away to leave the meaty center nugget. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the gizzards and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining ½ cup wine and the chicken stock; cover and braise over low heat until tender, about 1 hour. Remove the gizzards from the pan with a slotted spoon and coarsely chop (do not do this in a food processor); set aside. Reserve any pan juices.

Heat 6 tablespoons butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the saffron-infused wine and cook 5 minutes longer.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Chop the tomatoes and combine in a mixing bowl with the bread crumbs, giblets and pan juices, and the onion mixture. Season the stuffing mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool if necessary, then spoon the mixture into the cavities of the hens.

Place the birds on a rack in a shallow roasting or sheet pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, basting 3 times with the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer, about 45 minutes. Cut the birds in half and serve with sautéed greens or green beans.