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Aromatic Chicken-Mediterranean Style

On a bed of fennel and stuffed with lemons, basil, olives and garlic, this cooking method results in a very moist, aromatic chicken. Serve hot or cold. Create an equally flavorful stock from the carcass to use as a base for any number of delicious soups. Pot-Roasted Chicken, Mediterranean Style. Perfect light dinner when served with either ratatouille or a simple antipasto plate.

mediterranean style roast chicken

  • 1 free range chicken…as close to 5lbs. as you can get
  • 1 Cup oil cured olives
  • 6 Cups basil leaves
  • 4 lemons
  • 1 small fennel
  • 10 cloves garlic…peeled and left whole
  • ¼ Cup Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper


Pre heat oven to 350F
Lightly spray the interior of a large, lidded, casserole with olive oil

1.Rinse the chicken under cold , running water. Discard or save for another use the giblets and neck. Pat the chicken dry.

2. Use a small paring knife to separate the skin on the breast of the chicken from the breast meat. Try to not cut through the skin…but don’t worry if you do.

3. Carefully push about 10 of the olives under the skin and work them so that they are evenly distributed. Do the same with 6 cloves of garlic and as many basil leaves as you can get under.

4. Cut the lemons in half and stuff two of them into the body cavity along with the rest of the basil and garlic.

5. Slice the fennel bulb into thin strips and add them to the cavity. Save the stalks.

6. Liberally sprinkle the chicken with sea salt and black pepper.

7. Place the fennel stalks in the bottom of the casserole, put the chicken on top. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice of the two remaining lemons. Drop the lemon shells into the casserole along with any remaining olives, garlic and basil.

8. Cover the casserole and put into the oven. Calculate cooking time at 15 minutes for each 1 lb of chicken weight. Baste with the juices every 15 minutes. Remove the lid for the final 15 minutes of cooking. Chicken is done when the juices around the leg joints run clear.

Pour the juices into a pitcher and reserve for use as a sauce.

Serve hot or cold. Goes very well with a simple antipasto plate of tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, peppers and roasted eggplant.

anti pasta

For stock:- save the fennel, lemon and any other bits in the casserole. Add to the carcass (with ‘stuffing’) and place in a large stock pot. Add 6 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for two hours. When cool enough to handle, strain, discard solids. Return liquids to the pot and boil down to reduce in half. The resulting liquid can be used as a base for soups. It freezes very well.

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