Chicken Vesuvio


3-4 lbs chicken, bone in, skin on
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, flattened with the side of a mallet or knife and minced
Pinch salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/2 t dried oregano
6 red potatoes, quartered
1 sweet onion, cut into chunks
1/2 cup white wine, or good sherry
3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock

Spoon Mage™ Note:

Chicken Vesuvio is a home cooking bit of goodness made in Italian-American kitchens all over the Chicago area. This is an updated recipe from the original that was created by Mr. Spoon Mage™’s favorite Aunt, Mama D.

Use your favorite chicken parts. Breasts, thighs, drumsticks, or use one whole cut up chicken.

New potatoes or those great little fingerling potatoes work just as well as red. Do not use regular baking potatoes, they get too mushy.

You may use a 2-3 teaspoons of garlic powder in place of fresh cloves.


Mix the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. Use your hands and spread the marinade all over the chicken. Place the chicken in a sealed container or sealable bag and refrigerate for anywhere from 1 to 6 hours, whichever is convenient.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator so that it has half an hour to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Quarter the potatoes, slice the onion, and add them to a large bowl. Pour the chicken and seasoned oil into the bowl. Mix the chicken and vegetables with your hands, coating the surface of all the vegetables.

Pour everything into a large roasting pan. Turn the chicken pieces skin side up and rearrange on top of the potatoes and onions with the quick cooking breasts to the center of the pan.

Roast for 45 minutes.

Add the wine and stock to the pan and continue to roast for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear.

If you plan to make gravy out of the pan juices, this is a good time to make a blonde roux with 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour.

Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with foil to rest for 10 minutes.

As the chicken rests, make the gravy by placing the pan over medium heat, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, and adding the roux to the pan juices. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens. Pour into a serving bowl.

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