The Stewpot Recipe Gallery

Avem (Olive-stuffed Birds)
Tatiana Pavlovna Sokolova and Arwen Southernwood

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Original Recipe


Apicius, #231
Another recipe for birds:  Stuff the stomach with crushed fresh olives, sew up, and boil thus.  Then remove the cooked olives. [Giacosa, p. 112]



One whole chicken OR eight pieces of cut up chicken
3/4 - 1 cup assorted Greek olives, crushed
olive oil
salt (optional)

Preparation Steps

Wash chicken.  If using a whole chicken, stuff the cavity with the chopped olives; if you wish, sew the cavity closed.  Coat whole chicken or pieces liberally with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt (note that if olives seem salty, you may wish to omit additional salt).  Place in roasting pan (if using chicken pieces, layer them in the pan with the olives) and roast at 375 degrees F for approximately one hour, or until done. 

Number of Servings

Serves 8.

Redaction Notes

The original recipe calls for the olives to be removed from the birds after cooking; however, I have chosen to serve them with the meat, for diners to eat or discard as they wish.

This recipe can be used with just about any type of poultry, but is especially good with quail.


  • Giacosa, Ilaria Gozzini (Herklotz, Anna, translator). A Taste of Ancient Rome.  The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1992.  ISBN 0-226-29032-8.]. 
  • Vehling, Joseph Dommers (translator).  Apicius:  Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome.  Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1977.  ISBN 0-486-23563-7. 

Date Of Redaction

January, 2002; revisited March, 2003.

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