Orvieto chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 \N 11/2 kg free range or corn-fed chicken; (11/2 to 2)
\N \N Extra virgin olive oil
500 grams Chicken livers; cleaned
2 larges Potatoes; peeled and cut into
\N \N ; 1cm discs
1 large Bunc leaf or feather fennel
18 \N Black olives; stoned
\N \N Salt and pepper
48 larges Fresh garlic cloves in their skins
50 millilitres Dry white wine
500 millilitres Chicken stock

You will need an oval roasting dish slightly bigger than the chicken, one smallish gratin dish for square stuffing, and a frying pan.

The stuffing takes a minimum of 1 hour, including cooling time and it is best done in advance. Put 4 tablespoons of olive oil to heat over a medium flame in the frying pan, add the livers and stir until coloured. Then add the diced potatoes, and cook until they are tender (you may need to add more oil, as the potatoes may stick, but if they do, don't worry, simply scrape the crispy bits into the mixture). It is important that the potatoes are fully cooked. Coarsely chop the fennel and add to the potatoes with half the olives. Mix thoroughly, season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Spoon the cool stuffing into the chicken. You will have quite a lot left. Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil, and season very generously. Put the remaining stuffing in a suitable size gratin dish with a little olive oil and set aside. Put the chicken on its side into the casserole, and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, uncovered. It should be spitting and generally furious by this time. Gingerly turn the chicken onto the other side and give it 20 minutes more. Turn down the oven to 180C/360F/gas 4 if it is browning too much. Put the excess stuffing into the oven to roast. Add the garlic cloves to the casserole and turn the chicken breast side down - for 20 minutes, and throw in the remaining black olives.

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 chickens 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.

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