Chicken Vesuvio is a classic Italian-American Chicago dish. The exact origins of the dish are unknown, but it dates back to the 1930s. My wife and I first fell in love with this dish fifteen years ago when we had it at Rosebud's in Chicago. What's amazes me about this dish is that it's a complete meal in a pan. You have chicken, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, unsalted butter, potatoes, peas. white wine, and chicken stock. There are a couple different variations of the Vesuvio recipe...there are recipes for chicken, pork, and even fish. As a chef, when I look at recipes, there are three things that I look for. First, are the ingredients easily available to purchase? Second, does the recipe require any special kitchen tools that are hard to find? Third, can the recipe be easily executed? In my opinion, Chicken Vesuvio meets all three of these requirements. For this recipe, all you need is a roasting pan, spatula, and you could use a sautee pan (if you want to make the sauce separately). It could be all done in a roasting pan if you like. I prefer to do the entire dish in the roasting pan, so you can scrape up all the bits of chicken and the natural juice from the chicken.
- 1 large fryer (3 1/2-4 pounds) cut into 8 pieces
- 3 medium Idaho potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1/3 cup light-tasting olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper. to taste
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1/3 cub dry white wine (your favorite type...don't break the bank!)
- flat leaf parsley (for garnish)
- 1 meyer lemon (for garnish)
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Keep the skin on the chicken. Wash the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Peel the potatoes and cut crosswise. Cut each half into four quarters. Pat dry. Add olive oil to a large shallow roasting pan and put over medium/high heat. When the oil is hot, arrange chicken and potatoes, rounded side down, in a single layer in the pan. Cook five minutes, carefully shaking the pan often to prevent sticking. Do not turn. Place the pan now in the oven and bake 20 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the chicken and potatoes and bake until both are well browned and crispy. Place a thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken thigh. Bake until the thermometer reads 165 degrees. Working quickly, season the chicken and potatoes with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh garlic, fresh parsley, and toss gently to mix. Add white wine, peas, butter, and shake the pan to mix. Transfer chicken and potatoes to a serving platter. Pour all the juices over. Garnish dish with parsley and lemon wedges. Serve immediately. Feeds 4 people.