Chicken Vesuvio is a delicious dinner which originated in Chicago's Little Italy. A comforting and classic American-Italian one pan meal with all of your favorite flavors!
Jurga and Tim hosted their Chicago Little Italy Gr8 Dinner and ALL of the food was delizioso! Chicken Vesuvio was on the menu and it was so yummy I had to have the recipe.
It's a versatile dish that can be a one pot meal or you can put it on a platter and serve it to company. Don't you just love meals like that?
AND, it can be made a day ahead of time, how Gr8 is that?!
So, a one pot meal that can be done in advance AND is perfect for family or beautiful enough for company... I'm all in, how about you?
How to Make this Chicken Dish
Jurga likes to dry brine the chicken for an hour in the fridge before beginning this recipe. Feel free to add that step, I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal, so I tend to start things at the last minute.
This recipe has four main parts:
- Brown the chicken.
- Cook the mushrooms and garlic.
- Brown the potatoes.
- And bake!
How to Brown Chicken
This chicken begins the same as my mom's Oven-Fried Chicken, by putting the flour, salt and pepper into a bag and shaking the chicken in the mixture to cover. This method ensures that the flour gets into the cracks and crevices of the chicken pieces.
Then you brown the thighs in hot oil. When browned, remove the meat to a bowl or deep platter.
The Mushrooms & Garlic
After the chicken is out of the pan, melt some butter in the same pan, then simply cook the mushrooms and garlic until a little soft.
The garlic cloves are basically whole, but crushed so all the goodness is shared when cooked with the mushrooms.
It's not necessary to cook these veggies all the way through because you will be putting the whole dish into the oven for a bit. They will finish cooking then.
Remove the mushroom mixture from the pan and put it right on top of the browned chicken.
Brown the Potatoes
Put the rest of the oil in the pan and heat it up. This won't take long because the pan is already hot.
Then put the potatoes, oregano, thyme, red pepper, and S & P in the pan and stir it all together until the spuds are well coated with the oil and spices.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown. Remove from the heat, add the wine and the chicken broth, then immediately return to the stove. (Remove it from the heat so the alcohol doesn't flame up.)
Deglaze the pan by scraping up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom. Let the mixture come to a boil and boil for a couple minutes so the alcohol dissipates.
Time to Bake!
Add the reserved meat and vegetables back to the pan, then sprinkle the peas over the top.
Put the lid on and bake the dish in the preheated oven.
When making this for my family I serve it directly from the pan. Just put a hot pad on the table, put the pan on top, and let everyone help themselves.
If I'm serving it to company family style, I arrange the chicken on a platter with the potatoes and veggies around.
The Final Step
Before serving, squeeze the half lemon over the the whole dish and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. This brightens up all the flavors of your delicious Chicken Vesuvio!
Make it Ahead
Make this the day before or in the morning. Just don't add the peas. Once everything is browned and back in the pan, cool it down a little, put the lid on, and refrigerate.
About 30 minutes before baking, remove the pan from the fridge to take the chill off. This is perfect to do while heating your oven.
Also, the oven heat should be 25 degrees hotter. It's all in the instructions.
Add the peas, put the covered pan in the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F.
Finish the dish with the lemon and parsley and enjoy!
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Chicago's Chicken Vesuvio
- 12" oven safe skillet with lid
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided in half
- 6 chicken thighs, with skin and bones
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided in half
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided in half
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced, cremini or white or baby bella, your choice.
- 1 pound small red skinned potatoes, halved
- 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 Tablespoon dried
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more if you like it spicy! I add ½ teaspoon extra for my family.
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup dry vermouth, or any dry white wine
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- ½ lemon
- Heat your oven to 375°F.
Brown the Chicken
- In a 12" oven-proof skillet with a lid, heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil over medium high heat.
- While the oil is heating put the flour, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper into a paper or plastic bag, hold the bag closed and shake to combine.
- Add 2 pieces of chicken to the bag and shake to totally cover the pieces with flour. Use a tong to lift the pieces from the flour, shake to remove any excess, then lay, skin side down, into the hot oil. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Six thighs should fit comfortably in your skillet. If not, cook 4 and then 2.
- Cook the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total.
- When the chicken is browned, transfer to a bowl or deep dish.
Cook the Mushrooms and Garlic
- Add the butter to the skillet and melt, then add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté until softened. Then remove mushroom mixture to the bowl with the chicken. (The mushrooms don't have to be totally cooked, because they will cook longer in the oven.)
Brown the Potatoes
- Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil to the skillet. When heated (which shouldn't take long because the skillet is already hot), add the potatoes, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper, and remaining salt and pepper. Stir to coat the potatoes with the oil and spices.
- Cook until the potatoes are golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and chicken broth and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Bring to a boil and boil for about 2 minutes to dissipate the alcohol.
Put it all together.
- Return the chicken, mushrooms and garlic to the skillet and sprinkle the peas over the top.
- Put the cover on and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- If it's a casual meal, I put a trivet on the table and serve the meal directly from the hot pan. For something a bit more special, transfer the thighs to a large platter and arrange the potatoes and vegetables around the chicken.
- Squeeze the lemon over the top, then sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.