Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cucina Chicago: Chicken Vesuvio

Supposedly, Chicken Vesuvio - bone-in chicken and potatoes in a white wine sauce garnished with peas - is a popular dish in Chicago. Since it's only 90 miles away, I've been to Chicago a handful of times (ok, more than a handful), and I'm surprised I've never seen it on a menu. Now that I've made it, I'm determined to find the best Chicken Vesuvio in the city ... because I'm quite sure mine could beat it, throwdown-style!

Chicken Vesuvio
1/4 cup flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
5 teaspoons olive oil
12 oz. red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place flour in a shallow dish. Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Carefully lay the chicken int he skillet and cook until lightly browned on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes, flipping the breasts halfway through. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Wipe out the skillet with a wad of paper towels. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, rosemary and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and wine, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle the chicken, along with any accumulated juice, into the potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the chicken registers 160 to 65 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 12 to 18 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent loosely with foil to keep warm. Increase the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is thickened slightly, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to the platter with the chicken. Off the heat, stir in the peas, butter, and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken and potatoes and serve.

Garlicky, lemon-y, wine-y sauces are so delicious with chicken, so this recipe was sure to be a homerun. Plus, the super creamy potatoes and peas were awesome companions to this chicken. But what I like best about this recipe is that you get the main dish and two sides all in one skillet!

BTW, I inadvertantly took a shortcut in this dish by forgetting to lower the heat when I placed the chicken back in the skillet and covered it. When it was finished cooking through, the potatoes were already tender and the sauce had already reduced (luckily nothing burned or stuck to the pan!). So I was able to omit the extra 5 to 7 potato-boiling minutes. Nice!


  1. Speaking of a throwdown, someone needs to get Bobby Flay on the phone. If you can make this look, and surely TASTE, like the one in the cookbook.. Bobby would be well advised to start getting scared.

    This dish seems the kind that is exceedingly simple yet more delicious than the complicated stuff. Even as simple as it might be, I don't know how you do it-- work full time AND cook every night! Wow :)

  2. I think it's my ultimate dream to have Bobby Flay challenge me to a throwdown. I need to figure out exactly what it is that I make best, though. And then I need to become super well-known for it!

    This is one of the easiest recipes ever, and you're totally right - those sometimes taste the best!

  3. Whatever you choose, keep making it and giving it out to everyone and anyone in Milwaukee. You're good at PR, you could make it happen!

  4. Well food trucks are becoming a huge hit, especially here in Milwaukee. Think I could sell cake balls out of a truck??