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Chicken, Capon, Guinea Hen... Recipes for Birds Cooked Whole

You might be surprised to know that chicken used to be more expensive than beef in Italy. It no longer is, but if you seek out free range birds you'll understand why it was; they're extraordinarily flavorful and versatile too. Here you will find recipes for birds that are cooked whole, and (generally) carved at table.

Beer Can Chicken
This is just what it sounds like, a chicken roasted atop a beer can, and Rob assures me it is quite tasty. I haven't had time to transcribe his recipe yet, but in the meantime, here is one from the Barbecue Bible, on a page that also includes a good rub recipe.

Boned Stuffed Chicken: Pollo Disossato Farcito
A rich, spectacular Neapolitan stuffed chicken recipe fit for a special occasion.

Boned Stuffed Chicken: Pollo Disossato Ripieno
Artusi's stuffed boned chicken has a firm meat and bread filling.

Chicken Basted in Sea Water: Gadduzzu all'Acqua 'I Mari
A specialty of Vibo Valentia (Calabria), chicken stuffed with sausages and other goodies, and roasted (basting with sea water, if you have it).

Chicken Catanzaro Style: Gaddru a ra Catanzirisi
That's filled with butter, lemon and anchovy filets (just a few) and roasted. Self basting and zesty!

Chicken in Kosher Salt: Pollo al Sale Grosso
A chicken roasted in salt comes out juicy and perfectly seasoned -- not salty.

Chicken Stuffed with Apples: Pollo Ripieno di Mela
Chicken stuffed with apples and onions -- a surprisingly tasty combination.

Chicken Stuffed with Rice: Pollo Farcito Di Riso
Chicken with a tasty, tomato and rice filling.

Chicken Under a Brick: Pollo al Mattone
An old, possibly even Etruscan way of grilling a chicken.

Chicken With a Bread & Walnut Stuffing - Pollo Ripieno alle Noci
This stuffed chicken recipe is from Trentino Alto Adige, and will be quite nice in the fall, when freshly harvested walnuts come to market. Unlike many Italian chicken stuffings, this one does not contain meat.

Chicken With a Walnut Stuffing Recipe - Pollo Ripeno alle Noci
This stuffed chicken recipe is from Trentino Alto Adige, and will be quite nice in the fall, when freshly harvested walnuts come to market. Unlike many Italian chicken stuffings, this one does not contain meat.

Galletti al Gorgonzola
Cornish Game Hens in a gorgonzola sauce: An Italian recipe, with original and translation, from the folks at the Artisan.

Guinea Hen Al Cartoccio, or Faraona al Cartoccio
Guinea hen is a bit gamier than chicken, and quite tasty. Guinea hen is also a little drier than chicken, and therefore ideally suited to the al cartoccio roasting technique, which is essentially self-basting. You could also use a small chicken, if you had to. Preferably free-range, which will be more flavorful.

Guinea Hen in a Pyramid: Faraona in Piramide
An extraordinary presentation for Rossini's Mosè.

Hen Stuffed with Savoy Cabbage & Grana - Gallina Farcita di Verza e Grana
Italian bird stuffings tend to be firmer than those I encountered as a child in the US, and in many cases include meat. This is instead cabbage based, and will be a nice option for a festive meal. It does require a boned bird; you can either bone it yourself, or have your butcher do it for you.

Lemony Roast Chicken, Pollo Arrosto al Limone
Lemon and chicken is one of the most popular flavor combintations going, and my lemony variation on Vittorio's grilled chicken is a perennial favorite. However, there are times you really can't take the time to fire up the grill. What to do? Make pollo arrosto al limone, lemony roast chicken.

Roast Chicken with a Pistachio and Rice Stuffing - Pollo Ripieno
Here is a recipe for roast chicken with pistachios and rice in the filling, which has a rather south Italian feel to it.

Salt-Roasted Chicken Stuffed With Apples Recipe - Pollo Al Sale Alle Mele
Fruit fillings are fairly common in Italy, and this apple filling will contribute beautifully to this salt-roasted chicken, making it even moister and more flavorful.

Stewed Chicken Bolognese Style
A tasty stewed chicken with tomatoes and potatoes, from Bologna.

Stuffed Capon, Cappone Ripieno
A capon is a "fixed" male chicken, and they tend to be a little meatier than their unfixed siblings, and can be more delicately flavored. Here is a stuffed capon with a rich stuffing based on Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and more. The recipe will also work with chicken or guinea hen.

Stuffed Chicken or Duck: Volatile con la Farsa
Duck with an interesting, mushroomy stuffing; the recipe will also work well with other birds.

Stuffed Chicken: Pollo Ripieno
Artusi's recipe for stuffed chicken, featuring chestnuts, porcini and truffles ("if you have them").

Stuffed Chicken: Pollo Ripieno
An Umbrian stuffed chicken, with cheese and prosciutto.

Stuffed Roast Chicken -- Polastro Imbotìo Rosto
Stuffed Roast Chicken, or Polastro Imbotìo Rosto: El polastro imbotìo xè el magnare de la domenega, stuffed chicken is the Sunday dinner, they say in the Vicentino, and therefore it had best be stuffed well. The stuffing in this case is not something meat-based to stretch the bird, but rather a combination of herbs, spices, and fat that flavor and tenderize the meat as it cooks. It's natural then that the chicken be young, and, ideally, free range.

Vittorio's Grilled Chicken
Perfect barbacued chicken.

Kentucky Fried Chicken, Italian Style - Pollo Fritto del Kentucky
This is an Italian take on Kentucky Fried Chicken, and while it is simpler than the original, it is very tasty.

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