Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio
Chicken Vesuvio is a roast chicken and potato dish in a garlic white wine sauce with lots of oregano added to up the flavor. A Chicago specialty!

Chicken Vesuvio

It only took me 33 years to discover Chicken Vesuvio. Pretty pathetic, I know.

After all I grew up off of I57, spent numerous years trailing my parents to various restaurants in Chicago, and yet had never had Chicken Vesuvio. I think they were holding out on me.

It took going back to Chicago for a wedding when the kids were just one year old, to bring it to my attention. And it has held it ever since.

Chicken Vesuvio

Where did Chicken Vesuvio originate?

Chicken Vesuvio is a Chicago dish, made famous at the Vesuvio restaurant in the 1920’s. Or so the story goes. 

It is said the name came about because when the chicken broth and wine are added to the pan during deglazing that the steam made the Italian chef think of the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius. Good story, huh?

Many famous Chicago Italian restaurants feature chicken Vesuvio. In fact, there are now Vesuvio preparations for fish and steak and who knows what else?

I’m guessing they all contain lots of garlic, oregano and wine.

Chicken Vesuvio

 

But we are talking about chicken.. And potatoes;  golden brown, crispy potatoes covered with garlic and oregano and wine. The Vesuvio potatoes. The smell alone could kill you.

Some prefer the potatoes not too crispy…the better to soak up the pan juices…and they are right. I prefer a combo of both, which you will get as an option in this chicken Vesuvio recipe.

The perfume that this chicken dish creates is quite intoxicating if you love garlic and wine and chicken. You do, don’t you?

Though the dish takes a bit of time to make, it is not hard. I first published this recipe in 2013, but since then I’ve found a few tricks to make cooking this faster and easier.

Chicken Vesuvio

How do you make Chicken Vesuvio?

Begin by roasting the potatoes in the oven. Less frying, less mess. One doesn’t need to cook them all the way through, as they will finish cooking in the sauce in the oven.

On the stovetop is where cooking the chicken takes place. It’s a matter of browning the chicken, just as one does in many cooking recipes.

The sauce is made with wine and chicken broth and garlic. It then gets enriched with a bit of butter and then it is poured over the potatoes and chicken, where it finishes cooking in the oven.

Don’t forget the sprinkle of lemon and wine, parsley and garlic at the end. And yes, the peas? I just love them for the color they add, but the sweetness of the peas does add to the dish!

Chicken Vesuvio

And now the rest of the story!

It’s a story that began with an invitation to my cousin’s wedding in 1991. We had just moved into a new home in Denver, about 30 minutes away from our first place, that was caving in under the addition of two more.

The only babysitters I knew were two teenagers who lived near our old place. And then the wedding invitation came and my mother said you have to be there. Now, it is not that I didn’t want to be. I mean the thought of escaping from 2 roving, almost one year old’s was appealing.

And unpacking boxes in a new house – well, those could wait. So I made the airline reservations and began to pray. I mean leaving my two children with two teenagers in a strange neighborhood, in a strange house and missing their first birthday – well that would equate to child abuse today.

But I did it anyway. And I missed Zoe’s first steps and of course there are no 1st birthday photos with those cute little pointed birthday hats and those cute little faces smeared with chocolate frosting.

But I did get the recipe for Chicken Vesuvio. That will have to do.

Chicken Vesuvio

The rehearsal dinner was held at Harry Carey’s in Chicago. I was seated at a table with someone I had been fixed up with on a blind date many years before. We each introduced our spouses to each other. What fun.

But that fun was quickly replaced with little cast iron pans of – you guessed it- Chicken Vesuvio being placed before us. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

I’m still not sure if the thought of eating and only feeding myself was contributing to this exhilarating feeling, but whatever it was has never left.

I still love Chicken Vesuvio, even if it leaves my cook top a giant greasy mess.

You can go online to find links to many dishes that say they are from Harry’s and maybe they are. Mine tastes as I remember it and that will have to do.

Chicken Vesuvio

I will tell you the bonus recipe of Chicken Vesuvio hash is mine, and the Chicken Vesuvio recipe is mine too, after taking several recipes and adapting it to fit me!

I will also tell you that Chicken Vesuvio is a great dish for Shabbat. You can get it ready ahead of time and throw it in the oven for the final cooking whenever you desire.

It is also perfect for a winter’s night or a Sunday supper.

And It makes your home smell warm and inviting. And Italian!

It doesn’t get much better than that!

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Chicken Vesuvio

 
 
 
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Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes approx
  • Total Time: 60 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top/Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian/American

Description

Chicken Vesuvio is an Italian American dish that originated in Chicago. Chicken and potatoes, cooked in a garlic white wine sauce is outstanding!


Ingredients

Scale

1 3 – 4 lb chicken cut up into 8 pieces

3 Russet potatoes  halved lengthwise, then cut into 1” wide wedges

7 cloves of garlic (Reserve 1 for serving)

Salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder

5 T olive oil

4 T butter, sliced into 4 pieces

1 1/4  c white wine or vermouth (I prefer vermouth)

1  ½ c chicken stock

1 c frozen green peas

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 T vermouth or wine

3 T chopped fresh Italian parsley


Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large zip lock bag, toss the potato wedges with 3 T olive oil and 1 t dried oregano,  salt and ground pepper.

Spread the potatoes in an even layer in a 13 x 9″ pan. Try not to crowd or the potatoes will take longer to turn golden. Bake,  turning over after about 15 minutes cooking until the edges are beginning to brown and the potatoes can be pierced with a fork. They will finish cooking with the chicken.

While potatoes roast, prepare the chicken. Season the chicken well with salt, pepper and oregano.

Heat 2 T olive oil in a large 12″ skillet over medium high heat until the oil shimmers. Cook the chicken skin side down until it is golden brown, about 8 – 10 minutes. Turn over and brown the other side, too. You may have to do this in batches because if you crowd the pan, it will steam and not brown. Transfer chicken to a plate when it is golden.

Add 6 sliced garlic cloves and 4 T butter to the skillet and cook until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown. Add 1 1/4 c wine and the chicken stock to the skillet and cook for two minutes while scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes while simmering to reduce liquid by about half.

Pour wine mixture over the potatoes and stir to combine. (HOWEVER, if you choose to have more crispy potatoes reserve some for the top of the dish after adding chicken.) Now place chicken on top of the potatoes, skin side up.

Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 20 – 25 minutes. About 5 minutes before chicken is done, stir in peas.

Combine lemon juice, parsley, 1 minced clove of garlic and 2 T vermouth or wine. Reserve.

Now using the oven’s broiler, broil until the chicken has turned golden and crisp, about 1 – 2 minutes. Drizzle with the lemon juice mixture before serving.

.Serve with pan juices and lots of bread for dunking!

 


Notes

Please see Chicken Vesuvio has recipe below.

Chicken Vesuvio can also be made with just chicken thighs or breasts. You may have to adjust the cooking times.

Keywords: Chicken Vesuvio, Chicken Vesuvio recipe, Vesuvio Potatoes

 

BONUS RECIPE:  Chicken Vesuvio Hash (Since there are now just two of
us eating enough chicken for four)

½ cup chopped onion

1 red pepper chopped

1 T olive oil

Leftover chicken and potatoes from above Chicken Vesuvio recipe with skin and bones removed, chopped

¼ c white wine or chicken broth

Salt and Pepper

Fried eggs optional

Ketchup, possibly!

Directions:

Heat oil in pan and add pepper and onions. Saute until soft.

Add chicken and potatoes and cook until golden. I flatten this with a spatulas so everything gets golden.

Use wine or broth to deglaze pan. Add rest of Vesuvio mixture, like the sauce and peas to pan. Let brown some more and get a bit crusty and crunchy!

It is ready to eat, fried egg or not!

 

 

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  • mjskitchen
    April 6, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    This looks good enough to eat! 🙂 Love all the ingredients as well as the fact that it’s a one dish meal. Like you, I prefer cooking with vermouth over white wine. Not sure why, but I just think it’s has a better flavor for cooking. Thanks for the idea on how to use leftovers since it’s just the two of us as well and this would definitely provide us with two meals. Another YAY!

  • Easyfoodsmith
    March 30, 2021 at 4:12 am

    Just by reading the description of this dish, I know my family is going to love it. Such a beautiful dish!

  • Chefmimi
    March 28, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    Love this! I’ve never heard of it. Great flavors. Love the hash idea as well! Great name!

  • Pam
    March 25, 2021 at 8:23 am

    I love Chicken Vesuvio! It’s definitely a Chicago thing and here in the NW suburbs of the city too. After seeing this, I need to make it again. Good eating for sure!

    And I love Harry Caray’s!!!! I’ve had many delicious meals, Chicken Vesuvio, and great times at the Loop location, RN! Woo hoo!!!! Just wish Harry Caray was still around and announcing Cub’s games!!!

  • Thao @ In Good Flavor
    March 24, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    This dish looks fabulous! Pinning to try later! This is something even my picky husband would eat (minus the peas, which he will pick out). Lol!

  • Healthy World Cuisine
    March 24, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Love one pan recipes that you finish in the oven. Those toasty potatoes alone have us excited, not to mention the chicken and the sauce. Thanks for the little history of the dish’s origins. That was fun to know.

  • John / Kitchen Riffs
    March 24, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    Always good to update old favorites like this! So wonderful — tons of flavor just erupting in this dish. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Adam J. Holland
    February 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I love Chicken Vesuvio. It's funny how (for many years) I thought that deep dish pizza was quintessential Chicago. Nope. It's this dish, right here! Excellent looking recipe.

  • Nusrat Azim
    October 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Those pictures are extremely, astonishingly appetizing! profusely drool-inducing! Seriously…honestly…I got goosebumps looking at the pretty stuff in the cast iron skillet 🙂

    An unusual, new recipe to me. Thanks a lot for that 🙂

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    August 17, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Tammy, do not cover it. And make sure the potatoes are just sitting on top so they stay nice and crispy. It is sooo good! Then try the chicken scarpariello. That is my favorite. And thanks for writing. Hope to see you again!

  • tammy
    August 17, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Do you cover it when it goes in the oven? Thank you.

  • Spot in Cyberspace
    March 15, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I've made something like this many times…I love it! Thanks for telling me what it's called! 🙂

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen
    March 5, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I was just thinking what to do with a tray of chicken I have in the fridge. The flavors of this recipe are calling my name! Wonderful dish.

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    March 6, 2013 at 12:02 am

    You will like this, Paula!

  • Laura
    March 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I made this last night. It was so good! Thank you for the recipe! This is definitely being added to the list of repeat dinners. And we finally got a chance to use our new, freshly seasoned, cast iron skillet!

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    February 25, 2013 at 2:32 am

    Thanks so much Biz. Actually the bone in chicken has lots more flavor than boneless. Glad it worked for you! My favorite part is definitely the potatoes! But aren't you supposed to be watching the Oscars?

  • Biz
    February 25, 2013 at 2:01 am

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I left out the onions because they are gross, and used two giant bone in chicken breasts, but the results were amazing – super tender chicken, crispy skin and melt in your mouth potatoes.

    Thanks for the recipe for this great Sunday Night Supper!

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    February 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I can't say I've heard that expression! And you should try to cook. Your mom was a good one. And the cousins in SAfrica say that they will never forget your dad's prime rib. it is a food memory for them. Love you Mickey!

  • Anonymous
    February 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Hi from your cousin who has carpet on the stove, as they say! But you have inspired me with this recipe and others to set the table and try to cook!!!!! Love from Mickey in Miami

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    February 18, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Thanks Natalie. I love garlic!

  • Natalie G
    February 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Wow this looks really tasty, and I love that it has 10 cloves of garlic, the best!

  • The Sketched Chef
    February 17, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Beautiful recipe with perfect pictures !
    Thank you 🙂

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    February 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Thanks, Chef! I got lucky this time with photos because it is a pretty dish! And Angie, the peas really give this dish a fresh, sweet taste to balance the garlic and wine. Try it!

  • Angie's Recipes
    February 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I have never had chicken Vesuvio, but I know I will love it as it has all my favourite ingredients! I will need to add more peas as I am crazy for them!

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    February 17, 2013 at 2:21 am

    Then this is your dish! Enjoy!

  • Amy
    February 17, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Oh, I don't think I've ever tried a Chicken Vesuvio! What am I missing out. This dish looks wonderful. With garlic, oregano and wine? oh my, those are definitely my favorite ingredients!

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    February 16, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Molly, It should be a requirement if you are from Chicago! Enjoy and thanks for writing.

  • molly yeh
    February 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    ooh! i've never had chicken vesuvio, but i probably should since i'm from chicago! thank you for the recipe!!

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    February 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Well, Chicago John, I hate to say it…my brother's favorite dish is chicken diablo! Glad you like this since I consider you the expert of anything Italian.

  • ChgoJohn
    February 16, 2013 at 4:36 am

    Now you've done it! You've let the cat out of the bag and soon we'll be paying double for chicken diablo in restaurants. Lucky for us all, this looks like a very good recipe. We're going to need it because very soon we Chicagoans will be cooking chicken diablo at home. 🙂

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    February 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Try it if you get the chance! It is hard to go wrong with garlic and potatoes. And thank you for the compliment. You are the best in my book. But with your encouragement I keep trying!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    February 15, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I've never had Chicken Vesuvio! I've heard of it, of course, but I guess I've never had the opportunity. My loss – this looks terrific! And pretty – the peas really garish it nicely. Good photos – I'm a sucker for overhead shots, and you've done them well in this post.