Stuffed Chicken (Gallina Rellena)

Submitted by: Norman Van Aken

Roast chicken stuffed with meats, vegetables, raisins and pineapple.


  • Serving Size: 5 ounces chicken



    • 2 tablespoons ground annatto seeds
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 cup diced pineapple
    • 1 cup dry red wine
    • 1 Spanish onion, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1/2 cup sour orange juice (or 1/4 cup each fresh lime and fresh orange juice)
    • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
    • 1 chicken (6- to 7-pounds)
    • 2 ounce butter, softened
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


    • 3 tablespoons canola oil
    • 1 1/2 pounds beef for stew, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 ounce smoked bacon, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 large Spanish onion, diced
    • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
    • 1 1/2 chayote or zucchini squash, diced
    • 3/4 pound Red Bliss potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 1 bay leaf, broken in half
    • 1/2 tomato; peeled, seeded and diced
    • 2 cups California raisins
    • 1 pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced into thin rounds
    • 1/2 cup pineapple, diced small
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
    • 3/4 cup stale white bread, diced
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 6 tablespoons ketchup
    • 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce



    In a cup, combine annatto seeds and vinegar to make a smooth paste. Reserve. In a bowl, combine pineapple, wine, onion, Worcestershire, ketchup, juice, salt and pepper. Add the paste, stir together and set aside.

    Rub hen underneath breast skin with softened butter. Season all over, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Put chicken in a plastic bag large enough to hold it and the marinade. Pour marinade into and all around. Marinate overnight in refrigerator, turning occasionally to ensure that all of the chicken is well coated.


    In a large skillet, heat canola oil over high heat. Season beef and pork with salt and pepper. In small batches, taking care not to crowd the meat, brown on all sides in hot oil. Remove to a bowl and let cool.

    In a large heavy roasting pan or skillet, heat olive oil and cook bacon over low heat until almost done. Increase heat to medium-high; add garlic and onion; cook until they begin to caramelize. Add carrots, chayote and potatoes; cook for 3 minutes. Then, add chicken broth, ketchup, Worcestershire and bay leaf. Stir in tomato, raisins, olives and pineapple; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Stir the seared beef and pork into this mixture; cover and let stand overnight in the refrigerator.

    The next day, preheat oven to 375ºF. Put bread in separate bowl and sprinkle with milk; set aside to soak until all the milk is absorbed. Then, combine with 2 cups stuffing. Reserve remaining stuffing. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade.

    Put chicken in a very large roasting pan, breast side up, and stuff with the bread mixture. Truss the bird and scatter reserved stuffing over it. Tent with foil to cover and roast at 375ºF for 1 hour. Remove the foil and brush stuffing mixture off chicken; baste with pan juices. Recover with the foil and roast for another hour. Remove the foil; increase heat to 450ºF and roast for another 35 to 45 minutes, until golden brown and 180°F internal temperature. Remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes. Carve and serve on a large platter with stuffing and sauce around.

    Nutrition Facts Per Serving

    Calories 590 (56% from fat); Total Fat 37g (sat 11g, mono 16g, poly 7g, trans 0g ); Cholesterol 165mg; Protein 44g; Carbohydrate 21g; (Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugars 13g; ); Iron 4mg; Sodium 740mg; Calcium 45mg; Potassium 762mg

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