Chicken Stuffed with Olives – Bring Back Some Summer Sun

Holy Lord! It’s cold around here. Temperatures had dropped below freezing and I had got myself into a real deep winter gloom. This was driven by a number of factors. Firstly, it’s winter. Secondly, we seem to be living in very pessimistic times. Thirdly, the media have been whipping up a storm about the cold weather. One newspaper here in Ireland was telling us to expect “Thundersnow”. They also reported on roads grinding to a halt and flights being cancelled. Thankfully, I’m not completely gullible to this shock tactic journalism. I read elsewhere that “Thundersnow” is not a meteorological term. I also found out that the only flights that were cancelled from Dublin were because of snow in London. Pathetic standards. But the sort of journalism we must expect in a clickbait, post truth world. Now, back to the chicken…

In an effort to shake off the effects of the thundersnow that never arrived, I set to thinking about happier times. One of the most enjoyable times the Wife and I spent last summer was dining with Stéphane Garbart in his garden at Libourne, in the south of France. Stéphane served us a wonderful lunch, sitting in the dappled shade (not a flake of thundersnow in sight). We enjoyed a delicious olive stuffed roast chicken as part of that afternoon long relaxation. I thought the best way to banish our winter blues and the journalistic bull was to recreate something akin to that lovely dish. So, here’s my take on Olive Stuffed Roast Chicken.

Only the very best of ingredients for this one.


  • 1 large, organic, free range, high quality chicken (this one weighed in at 2.2 kilos / just short of 5lbs)
  • 200 grammes or so of best quality pitted olives
  • 4 to 6 anchovy fillets
  • About a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A little good quality olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Side note on seasoning the chicken. In numerous recipes I have read the instruction “season the bird both outside and inside the cavity”. I have never managed to season a chicken inside the cavity. Far too much work. That is until now. Simply add the salt and pepper to a little olive oil, stir to incorporate and then rub the oil inside the cavity and all over the outside of the bird. Job done. 

This is cunning stuff indeed. Why has it not been thought of before?

Rub the chicken all over with the oil/seasoning mixture.

The chicken could swim the English Channel with all that grease.

Slice the garlic into thin slices and then slice the anchovies. Layer the olives, anchovy and garlic slices into the cavity that you have already seasoned. The end result will look something like this;

This is as close to an artistic shot as I could get of a load of stuff inside a chicken.

Tie the legs of the chicken together with some butcher’s twine. Place the chicken in a 200ºC oven for an hour and three-quarters. The end result should look something like this;

Just like being out in ‘thundersnow’ the skin will wrinkle fairly soon.

Let the bird rest for fifteen minutes while you fry some delicious potato slices. You can make a gravy from the pan juices and a few olives too. Carve the chicken and serve with olives, fried potatoes, green beans and gravy. It is delicious. We had it with a glass or two of a nice white wine from near Libourne. We ate this delicious dish in our kitchen on a cold, damp Irish evening. However, the chicken and happy memories of our times in France with Stéphane gave us an inner glow.

Chicken stuffed with olives (11 of 11)

Delicious chicken with olives. Bring back the summer!

No amount of cooking will stop journalists from sinking to the lows and scare tactics that produce the likes of ‘thundersnow’. But, it sure makes it easier to bear the gloomy Irish winter. Bon appetit, as they say in Libourne.

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Latest comments
  • That looks delicious and the combination works well with pheasant too.
    Ignore the news, it’s all salacious gossip these days – there’s barely anything factual 🙂

  • I think they cancelled the flights in London on the off-chance of snow. Ridiculous. Your chicken however looks sublime. Lx

  • After being served chicken with olives by Stephane, I came home and made it too. Such a wonderful combination!

  • This sounds so lovely, and what a great idea to stuff olives in a chicken, must give of a incredible aroma too. Here in the Netherlands we have all sorts of red alerts on the news for ice and zero visibility when in fact it’s just a mild winter compared to years ago.

  • I am in the tropics and even here we have nasty trade winds . As soon as I get home I will make this good looking chicken.

  • What a treat for you!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I have a new found love for olives and I am always looking for ways to add anchovies into a dish. Looks delicious!

  • I find it very interesting how they leave the little extra part of the chicken leg on. I’ve never seen it done in the U.S. that way before. I’m wondering if there a purpose for that?

    If so, I’d love to know since I butcher my own chickens and may start doing this if there is good reason? The dinner looks delicious! A job well done on your part! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • I can smell the aroma of your chicken from here Conor, yum and I can imagine how delicious the taste is. I’ll be trying this as soon as the temperature cools and I feel inclined to use the oven. Might be a month or 3 yet…..

  • I bet that was a mouthful of warmth and sunshine… Nothing like a nostalgic meal to take you to happier places and times. My mouth was watering at the sight of all that crispy chicken skin 🙂

  • Love the ingredients and the aroma is wafting all the way to superhot Down Under. Not fond of leftovers I rarely cook the full bird so shall have a ‘go’ of rewriting this to use some plump pieces lodged in my fridge! But thank you for that simple tip about seasoning a whole bird inside . . . will be used when needed 🙂 !

  • Oh my goodness, your weather “journalists” would have a hey-day with our weather, lol! And our schools won’t even THINK about closing school unless more than a foot is forecast, and even then they sometimes stay open. (Such as the almost-tragic event when a school gym roof collapsed with school about to open.) Anyhoot, I think your choice to recreate such a lovely dinner in remembrance of your wonderful time with Stéphane was a fantastic idea! I can almost imagine him eating that with you!

      • Oh, please do give a hug to Stephane from me! I’m sure that will be a lovely meet-up with lots of great food and wine. xoxo

  • This looks great, Conor, although I bet it’s even greater in the company of Stéphane. Love the artistic stuffed shot, although I miss a pouring shot in this one 🙂 I hardly ever prepare whole chickens, looks like that should change!

  • That looks delicious – and thanks for the tip about seasoning the inside of the chicken – i had never thought of that.

  • Did you just say “a clickbait, post-truth world”? I think you hit the nail so hard on the head there, that you drove it into my skull. That is exactly the world in which we now live. Thank God there’s chicken! Julia Child used to say that you can judge a chef by his roasted chicken, and this one looks like something of which you deserve to be proud.

  • I do like olives. I have added them in stews but not in a roast. Time for a change.

      • The good ones in Turkey were not that cheap by local standard. Yes, these were local olives, well, grown in a nearby city, 2 hours away. Olive oil was expansive.

  • Look at those golden, va-va-voom legs and breasts! ( Excuse my language, please but I was strictly talking about that pretty Bird) . Thanks a billion for bringing back Summer. Never thought olives could be that ‘sensuously’ used. Ah, my words! I’m a sinner so pardon my presence here.
    Neighbor has got an olive plant. A big one. ( me happy dancing. fresh olives, chicken, french cuisine) ooo la la 🙂

  • The dinner sounds lovely, and I think we had “Thundersnow” here. It thundered and snowed. Hmmmm. Our weatherman didn’t use the term Thundersnow, though, which I have to say I rather like. It’s catchy. Better than Thunder Thighs.

    I have a slight complaint – I must say I was slightly disturbed by your chicken birthing olives; I may never get that image out of my mind, so I am trying to console myself by thinking about those roasted potatoes!

    Have a lovely evening or morning or whatever time of day it is there!!


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