A succulent and garlicky ONE PAN roasted Italian chicken recipe with white wine, fresh herbs and sinfully delicious potatoes to mop up the sauce with! This is ideal for the weekday when there are no plans for the defrosted chicken sitting in the fridge. The whole family will love this wholesome and delicious dinner. Just make sure you make plenty 🙂
Perfectly cooked roasted chicken is one of my favorite go to’s. Add in a silky sauce with garlic and white wine and deliciously broasted potatoes and this girl is in chicken heaven.
I first tasted Chicken Vesuvio at a famous Italian restaurant here in the Chi I used to work at.
I would watch customer after customer order this gorgeously browned chicken and each time I brought it to the table I was intoxicated by the provocative aromas escaping from the plate. Smells of garlic, oregano and white wine would fill my head and transport me to a quaint table in southern Italy, with Mediterranean breezes and scenic landscapes; quietly sipping on a local white wine most likely made in the backyard vineyard of the restaurant whose romantic outside table I happened to be seated at.
I was awakened from my sweet escape by a shove from a fellow waiter or a crazed food runner who looked at me and said, “It’s Saturday night mami, you want to move a little faster so your table will actually get hot food?”
So long scenic landscapes, hello 9 split checks and an entire bottle of red wine spilled down my crisp white shirt. Lovely.
Side note: This did actually happen! I had an extremely inebriated guest spill an entire bottle of red wine down my shirt because he just thought he should. Luckily for me, it happened to be a $150 bottle of wine that WAS paid for by his not so happy and overly botoxed girlfriend. Not so luckly for him, his drunk @ss was ushered out of the restaurant by two angry Italian managers, one the equivalent of an angry Joe Pesci in Casino. The aforementioned manager loudly cursed at him in Italian and whispered threats into the drunk’s ear with a heavy Sicilian accent. Yea, needless to say we never saw Mr. Vino or Mrs. Botox again.
I digress…as usual.
Anyhow…after serving that lovely Chicken Vesuvio to table after table and hour after exhausting hour, all the while drenched in fragrant red wine, I too wanted to dine on this aromatic and crispy chicken.
At the end of my double shift, I invited one of my co-workers to sit down with me before we did our closing work and split the Chicken Vesuvio. It was a huge dish and at $17.99 quite an expensive one!
Us Servers, we were not keen on paying for our food if we could get it for free, we earned those tips and we intended to keep those crinkled up wads of cash in our pockets for as long as possible! Using them to pay for food seemed unnecessary when we could gnaw on crusty baguettes and olive oil with cheese.
But I received some awesome tips due to my sick waitressing skills and the pity party everyone gave me when they saw my red stained shirt. I deserved some damn chicken!
Considering that our meals were 50% off due to being employees and we were splitting the bill a measly $4.50 a person for chicken and potatoes seemed ungodly cheap!
We took our dinner outside on this warm September eve and listened to the streets surrounding us emptying out. Aside from the great tips, this was the best part of the job. Sitting around with your co-workers, whom you know better than your own family and rightfully so, as you spend more time at work than you do at home. Munching on food, telling stories of the crazy and the kind customers who managed to make or break your Saturday night, sharing cigarettes and laughing loudly. We all huddled together pulling tables until our shift manager would come yell at us to start doing our side work so that we could all leave and he could have a drink at the bar.
They were simple times…and I relished in them.
My friend, Rita and I munched on our chicken and were both extremely pleased we had made this choice. Tender flesh, crispy skin and a super flavorful sauce made this chicken our personal heaven. And once I got a taste of those potatoes, forget it. This dish was done. The super garlicky white wine sauce had permeated every part of the potato’s soul and yet somehow these normally powerful flavors became mellow and sweet in my mouth. The sweet peas were the perfect garnish to the dish, gently popping in my mouth between each bite.
It was heaven. And an ultimate end to a perfectly chaotic Saturday night.
I knew this recipe must be mine.
Let me tell you, it was not very difficult to get. I came into the kitchen the next day. And coyly asked the entree chef if I may please have the recipe. Batting my eyelashes ever so slightly. Apparently, I did not need to work hard, “Anything for you mamacita,” he said to me. Damn it was good to be 23 and a girl sometimes! If only I could learn to control the hubs like I used to control these guys I would be a-ok!
Anywho… the recipe seemed easy! But it took quite some time to replicate the precise flavor and texture that I was looking for.
I researched like a mad woman, trying to find the perfect Italian Chicken Vesuvio. Funny enough, Chicken Vesuvio was born in Chi-town. Score! Sure it has influences from Southern Italy, but the ORIGINAL Chicken Vesuvio was first seen on Taylor St. AKA Chicago’s Little Italy.
After several experiments, it turned out that my “broasting” technique is just what the doctor ordered.
Unlike my Coq a Vin this recipe did not braise, it cooked quickly in an open pot in the oven. The key work here is OPEN and QUICKLY. A braise is covered and slow.
It holds more of a similarity to my Greek Chicken actually. Yet another house favorite!
So…we are starting out with chicken thighs and legs. Feel free to use the breast as well or an entire cut up chicken, however I prefer the darker parts for this dish.
First, preheat your oven to 400-degrees.
Dry the chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Quarter the potatoes. I prefer Yukon golds. In the restuarants they used to deep fry them to get that signature crispiness, but I have found if sautee them on each side they develop a great color and flavor as well. Take out some garlic cloves and oregano.
Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat with a good high heat oil like coconut or grape seed. Place the chicken in the skillet skin side down to sear. Remember a good sear come with time! Allow the chicken to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. DO NOT TOUCH IT. It’s going to need about 5 min per side. See, nice deep golden brown.
Remove the chicken and add in the potato wedges and sautee for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned on each side.
Add in the garlic cloves and let caramelize for a few minutes. Pour in the white wine scraping the bottom to make sure all the yummy bits scrape up from the bottom. This is called deglazing.
Add the chicken, oregano, salt and pepper into the pan and place the whole pan in a 400 degree oven UNCOVERED.
Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove the chicken from the oven and place back on the stove. Bring the skillet back to a simmer, add the butter and peas and cook until a silky smooth sauce has formed, about 5 minutes. Serve!
Oh and did I mention this is TOTALLY freezer friendly? Yup sure is! Go on make a triple batch!
Easy Chicken Vesuvio
- 1 Whole Cut Up Chicken or 3 pounds of leg quarters
- 10 whole garlic cloves
- 2 cups White Wine
- 16 Potato Wedges
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup Sweet Peas
- Oil for Frying such as grapeseed or coconut
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
- Heat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat with the olive oil
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper LIBERALLY and place in the skillet skin side down to sear. Remember a good sear come with time! Allow the chicken to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. DO NOT TOUCH IT.
- Remove the chicken.
- Add in the potato wedges and sautee for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned on each side.
- Add in the garlic cloves and let caramelize for a few minutes. Pour in the white wine scraping the bottom to make sure all the yummy bits scrape up from the bottom. This is called deglazing.
- Add the chicken, salt and pepper into the pan and place the whole pan in a 400 degree oven UNCOVERED.
- Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees
- Remove the chicken from the oven and place back on the stove
- Bring the skillet back to a simmer, add the butter and peas and cook until a silky smooth sauce has formed
- Remove the chicken and potatoes from the pan and pour the sauce over them.