Chicken Vesuvio A Chicago Classic

Chicago's Chicken Vesuvio

Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza and its signature hot dogs get lots of attention, but the city has other uniquely delicious dishes like Chicken Vesuvio. This Italian inspired chicken is a beloved restaurant dish. The Chicago Tribune traces its possible origin to Nick Giannotti at Giannotti’s Steak House. They believe that they called it Vesuvio because cooking it causes the skillet to smoke like the Italian volcano.

This memorable dish features crispy pan-fried chicken and potatoes served with a garlic white wine sauce. After tasting this Chicago specialty, I knew I had to find a recipe to enjoy it at home. So, after much fun researching different versions of this dish and I have created my own that has all the flavors we have come to love.

Chicken Vesuvio – Serves 4

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and with the cloves sliced in half
  • 3 cups small gold potatoes halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cup chardonnay
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup cooked green peas
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley (for garnish)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Prepare your chicken breasts by removing the bone. Carefully take the tip of a sharp knife and side it between the bone and the meat to loosen it. Use your fingers to pull the bone away from the breast meat and make another cut if necessary to free the bone. Pat your chicken breast dry with a paper towel and season with the salt, pepper and dried oregano.

In a large skillet heat your olive oil and butter oven medium heat. Once your butter has melted and your pan is hot add your chicken and cook it skin side down until it is golden brown. Then flip your chicken and cook it an addition two to three minutes on the other side.

Once your chicken is browned remove it from the pan and set it aside. Then add in your potatoes to your skillet cut side down. Cook them over medium heat for about eight to ten minutes or until they are golden brown.

Remove your potatoes from the pan and set them aside with your chicken. While your pan is still hot add in your white wine and deglaze your pan over medium heat. Taking care to get all of the good little brown bits mixed in with a rubber spatula. Add in your chicken broth and remove your pan from the heat.

Next, place your potatoes and your chicken breasts in a large roasting pan with the skin of the chicken breasts and the cut side of your potatoes facing up. Add in your garlic cloves and pour in your wine from the skillet.

Place your roasting pan in the oven and cook it for about 25 minutes until your chicken is cooked through and your potatoes are soft.

Once your chicken, garlic and potatoes have roasted remove them to a serving platter and carefully pour your sauce back into your skillet. Place the sauce over medium heat to reduce it down and concentrate those flavors. Meanwhile take 8 of your roasted garlic clove halves and add them to mini food processor or blender along with one tablespoon of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the pan sauce. Puree or blend your garlic mixture until it is well chopped. Pour the roasted garlic into your pan and whisk it until it is well incorporated and your pan sauce has reduce by half. The roasted garlic adds a depth of flavor that makes this white wine sauce especially tasty.

If you want to serve your chicken Vesuvio the traditional way then add some peas to your dish and you are ready to serve. Make sure when you serve it to be generous with the sauce, because it’s what makes this chicken so delicious. Add some chopped parsley on top to finish your dish.

There is a reason that Chicken Vesuvio is so loved. The flavorful sauce begs you to serve it with some good Italian bread to make sure that you can enjoy every bit of it. It will also have your house smelling amazing. Add a glass of white wine and you have a wonderful meal.  So, even if you can’t make it out for a night in the Windy City give this Chicago classic a try at home.

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