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Tuscan Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken Poggio Alloro

Serves 8


1 whole chicken, about 5 pounds

3 paper-thin slices pancetta 

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 sprigs fresh sage

8 large garlic cloves, ground to a paste using a mortar and pestle

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc or vernaccia

3 tablespoons olive oil


Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with olive oil and set aside.  Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water.  Drain well and pat dry using absorbent paper towels.


Insert the pancetta, 2 rosemary sprigs, 1 sage sprig, and about 1 teaspoon of the garlic paste into the cavity of the chicken.  Using a small paring knife, cut six small slits in the skin of the chicken.  Strip the leaves from the remaining 2 rosemary sprigs and mince with 6 leaves from the remaining 2 sage sprigs.  Put a pinch of salt, a portion of the herbs, and a pinch of the garlic paste into each slit.  Gently massage the seasonings into the chicken.  Tie the legs of the chicken and place in prepared baking pan.  Spread the remaining garlic paste all over the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Set aside to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pour the wine into the baking pan and spread the olive oil over the top of the chicken.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, then turn chicken onto its breast and bake an additional 40 minutes, or until well browned.  Turn the chicken onto its back again and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees F.*  Remove from oven and set aside to rest for at least 7 minutes before carving.  Carve as desired and serve hot.  


Recipe from:  A Family Farm in Tuscany:  Recipes and Stories from Fattoria Poggio Alloro


*Ginny's note:  If the chicken you're using is less than 5 pounds, please reduce roasting times accordingly.  There are few gastronomic experiences worse than overcooked chicken (undercooked chicken being one of them.)