Greek Recipes

Greek and Cypriot recipes

Avem (Olive-stuffed Birds) Byzantine Recipe

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.

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.

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