Chicken Vesuvio
Pollo alla Vesuvio

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Chicken Vesuvio
Pollo alla Vesuvio
cookbook: Lidia's Italy in America
user comments (2)

serves: 6 to 8

This chicken dish is a signature Italian dish from Chicago. Just about every Italian restaurant in Chicago has some rendition of it. Traditionally made on Sundays, it is a whole chicken cut up in pieces with potatoes, peppers, peas, and lots of garlic and oregano. We have a similar chicken dish in our family, Grandma’s “chicken and potatoes.” At our house, it is everybody’s favorite, and we do make it on most Sundays.


vegetable oil, for browning
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into lengthwise wedges
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
One 4.5-pound chicken, cut into 14 serving pieces including back and neck
4 teaspoons kosher salt
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
2 small onions, peeled, quartered at the root end
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, cut into thick strips
16 ounces frozen peas, thawed


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and prepare a large roasting pan.

Heat 1⁄₂ inch vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and sausage, and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. When browned, transfer the potatoes and sausage to the roasting pan. Season the chicken all over with 2 teaspoons salt. Brown chicken on all sides in batches, about 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer the breast pieces to the roasting pan, leaving the dark meat in the skillet. Drain the vegetable oil from the skillet, and pour in 3 tablespoons olive oil and the crushed garlic. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, toss in the onions and oregano. Deglaze with the white wine. When the white wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock. Return to a boil, and then pour all the contents of the skillet into the roasting pan. Toss in the bell peppers and sprinkle everything with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place in the oven, and roast 20 minutes; then scatter in the peas. Stir and return to oven, to roast until the chicken is tender and caramelized and only a thin layer of liquid remains in the bottom of the pan, about 30 to 40 minutes more, stirring occasionally during roasting. Serve family- style on a warm platter.

Note: To get fourteen pieces from the chicken, cut as follows: two wings, two drumsticks, two thighs, each breast half in two pieces, neck chopped in two pieces, back in two pieces.

This recipe is from Lidia’s newest book, Lidia’s Italy in America, which was released in October.

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