Chicken Vesuvio is an American-Italian dish, made by pan frying thick pieces of chicken and potatoes in olive oil, along with garlic, chili and oregano, which is then de-glazed using generous amounts of dry white wine and stock, and finished by baking in the oven. I first saw this dish being made by the ever-effervescent Rachel Ray on her show. I was actually drawn to this recipe because she did not use the word “cheese” even once while cooking an Italian meal. You know how Rachel is with her cheese!
Chicken pairs nicely with white wine (preferably a dry Riesling, though a Moscato works too), and this is the perfect dish to use up those half-empty bottles languishing in the refrigerator. You do not need any expensive wines, just buy one from the grocery store. And if you are like me, get one with a cute label or a cheesy name!
This is actually a one-pot dish, if you have one of those roasting pans that can go from the stove top straight to the oven. The first line of this post nicely summarizes this dish, but read on for the detailed recipe!
You will need:
- Olive oil – a little less than 1/2 cup (In a pinch, I use vegetable oil. Just promise not to tell Rachel Ray!)
- Potatoes – 2 large Russets, cut into thick wedges
- Garlic – 6-8 large cloves, crushed
- Red chili flakes – 1 tsp (the original recipe calls for chopped Fresno peppers, but red chili flakes work well too)
- Oregano – 1 – 1 1/2 tsp (freshly chopped or dry)
- Chicken – 8 medium-sized pieces (both bone-in and boneless work well, just use similar sized pieces for uniform cooking)
- Salt, pepper and red chili powder – to taste
- White wine – 1 cup
- Chicken stock or broth – around 1 1/2 cups
- Green peas – a handful
- Butter – 1 tbsp, cut into little pats
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 deg. F.
- Cut the chicken into medium-large pieces. Season liberally with salt, pepper and red chili powder. The red chili powder is optional. I add a teaspoon, just to spice things up a notch! Refrigerate the chicken while you brown the potatoes.
- Heat about 1/4 cup oil in a large pan. Add the potato wedges, season with salt and pepper and fry them till nice and golden on all sides. When almost done, add the garlic, red chili flakes (or Fresno peppers, if you can find them) and oregano. Saute for a couple of minutes. Reduce the heat after you add the garlic, so as not to burn them. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
Make sure no one touches those lovely pan-fried garlicky spuds while you fry the chicken. Would you look at that golden loveliness!
- Now heat the remaining oil. Add the chicken pieces and brown them well on all sides. You do not need to cook the chicken all the way through, just get a nice sear on all sides.
- Once the chicken is almost done, add the potatoes and other sautéed ingredients back to the pan and combine well. You can drain any excess oil or fat from the pan first.
- Add the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the browned bits.
- Add the stock, remove from the heat and pop it in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Again, the time depends on how big your chicken pieces are, and how much stock you use. I used a 9-in pan and added enough stock to just cover the chicken and potatoes.
- About 10 minutes before the time is up, add the green peas and butter. The peas add some color to the dish.
- Once done, keep warm till ready to serve.
- Serve along with toasted slices of bread or dinner rolls to mop up the juices. Yum!
This is one of those TV show recipes that is actually pretty easy to whip up. I make these every now and then, when we feel like having something different. Once, I also added some sautéed mushrooms which worked well.
The aroma that fills the house while Chicken Vesuvio is in the oven is just unbelievable! It is pure comfort food that brings everyone running to the dining table.
As Rachel says, “Yumm-o”!
Buon appetito friends!!
Check out other Chicken recipes here.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
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- By Stephanie Lynn