Legendary Dishes | Gallina Ripiena (stuffed chicken)


One of the great traditional dishes of the Italian regions, stuffed chicken is a feast of flavours. In Bologna the stuffing will usually contain mortadella and veal with layered hard-boiled eggs. In Brescia the stuffing will have amaretto breadcrumbs, Grana Padano cheese and liver.

Generally the stuffing is pork mince with onion and salami bound with breadcrumbs, hard cheese and egg. Herbs are prominent.

We have decided to stay with the Po Valley versions, not that we don’t believe the Emilia-Romagna versions have merit.

It is also a tradition in northern Italy to have the butcher bone the chicken.

We are simmering our stuffed chicken in an aromatic stock containing garlic, onions and root vegetables.

  • 1.8 kg chicken, boned
  • 500 g pork mince
  • 3 eggs (2 hard-boiled)
  • 100 g shallots, chopped small
  • 90 g prosciutto, cut small
  • 45 g breadcrumbs
  • 45 g Grana Padano cheese, grated
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 30 ml wine
  • 1 tbsp herbs (from marjoram, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme)
  • 10 g black pepper
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • Salt, pinch

In a bowl bring together the mince with the breadcrumbs, cheese, prosciutto, shallots, seasonings and choice of herbs. Add an egg, form into a homogenous mass.

Bone the chicken, leaving the wings on.

Layer the stuffing in the middle of the boned chicken, place the hard-boiled eggs in the middle, fold and sew together.

Pour some oil into a large frying pan, add the rosemary sprigs, carefully brown the stuffed chicken on all sides.

Remove the chicken to the stock pot.

Deglaze the frying pan with a little wine, add the liquid with the rosemary to the stock pot.

Bring the stuffed chicken pot to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for two hours.

Leave to cool, place stuffed chicken in a bowl, refrigerate overnight.