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Chicken roasted in sea water

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Chicken roasted in sea water

By Emma Knowles, Lisa Featherby & Alice Storey
  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking plus resting
Chicken roasted in sea water
Chicken roasted in sea water

Calabria is the birthplace of many of Italy's finest butchers, and its cured pork products are well known. Positioned as it is on the toe of Italy's boot, though, Calabria also has a rich tradition of maritime cuisine. Here, in an unusual dish called gadduzzu all'acqua 'I mari, a specialty of Vibo Valentia, the sea itself becomes an ingredient: traditionally, sea water is used to baste the chicken, but you can substitute a tablespoon of sea salt dissolved in 200ml of water. Either way, the brine keeps the chicken tender and juicy while seasoning it at the same time.


  • 150 gm pork and fennel sausages, skins removed, coarsely broken
  • 80 gm mild pancetta, finely chopped
  • 50 gm chicken livers (about 2), trimmed, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 chicken (about 1.8 kg)
Lemon and garlic beans
  • 400 gm green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180C. Combine sausage, pancetta, liver, rosemary, olive oil and garlic in a large bowl and season to taste.
  • 2
    Rinse chicken under cold running water and pat dry with absorbent paper. Stuff chicken with sausage mixture, truss legs, drizzle with a little oil, season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and place in a roasting pan. Roast, basting occasionally with salt water, until chicken is golden and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer (1 hour 10 minutes-1¼ hours). Set aside to rest (10 minutes).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for lemon and garlic beans, blanch beans in boiling salted water until bright green (30 seconds). Refresh in iced water, drain well and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, stir occasionally until just tender (30 seconds), add beans and toss until warmed through (2-3 minutes). Add lemon rind and juice, season to taste and serve hot with chicken.


This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of .

  • Author: Emma Knowles, Lisa Featherby & Alice Storey