Italian, Main Course, Pasta, Poultry

Perfecting the Perfect – Chicken Vesuvio

I can’t always tell you how I get to the initial inspiration (as it were) for a recipe – it’s either something I read; something I remembered from my childhood; a bit of oral history from my family; a dish some guy was cooking in a movie – that part doesn’t really matter. I keep a list of  things I want to amp up and muddle through them when the mood strikes.

I usually spend a lot of time in research reworking a recipe before it makes it way here.

I’ll hit the cookbook graveyard and find every possible variation
I make a lot of notes
I do a couple of dry runs

When it came to Chicken Vesuvio it appears it’s pretty much the same as meatloaf – everyone has their own recipe. From whole chickens to exclusively legs, emptying the pantry of every imaginable dried bean and pea to a complete lack of any legume, citrus / no citrus / heavy salt / uber spice / painfully bland… The only thing any of them truly have in common is chicken and potatoes…. So we’ll begin there..

You will note that there is no added salt in the recipe. The stock I use is low sodium and the artichokes are packed in only citric acid and water. This brings down the sodium load to something just under 500 mg per serving. You honestly don’t miss the salt, and the bit of tang from the hearts adds a nice note to the mix. If you wanted to use frozen artichoke hearts instead (they aren’t readily available here) Add 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar to the liquid addition.
The complete recipe is available after the show and tell.
Chicken thighs, Italian sausage, Garlic cloves,
Thyme, Oregano, Potatoes, Peas and Artichokes
You’ll need four chicken breasts – bone in – skin on
Pat them dry and place them in a screaming hot skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil,
skin side down, and brown them well on all sides – it’ll take about 10 minutes for this part
In the meantime, peel 2 baking potatoes and quarter length-wise,
 cut one Italian sausage link into 1″ sections and peel 4 cloves of garlic
When the chicken is nicely browned, remove from the oil and set aside.
Add the  potatoes, sausage and whole garlic cloves to the same pan and
give them a good browning as well – figure another 8 to 10 minutes for this part
Add the chicken back to the potato pan and pour a half cup
 of each white wine and chicken stock into the skillet;
 cover tightly and place in a 450 degree oven for 40 minutes
At this point, add 1/2 cup of frozen peas and
1 drained can of artichoke hearts,
Cover again and allow to cook for another 10 minutes
Carefully remove from the oven and transfer the chicken,
 sausage and potatoes to a serving platter
Add 2 tablespoons of butter (or suitable substitute) to the remaining sauce
 and stir well; mashing up the garlic cloves as you stir.
Pour the pea laden sauce over the chicken
 and serve with some fresh made tagliatelle
Plate Fodder 
Chicken Vesuvio
Serves 4
4 Chicken Thighs – Skin On / Bone In
1 Link Italian Sausage
2 Baking Potatoes
4 Cloves Garlic – Peeled
1 Can Artichoke Hearts – Drained
1/2 Cup Green Peas
1/2 Cup White Wine
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Thyme
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter (or Butter Substitute)
1 Recipe Tagliatelle (find the recipe here)
1 Large Heavy Duty Skillet with lid
  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Pat the thighs dry and brown evenly in the skillet with the oil over medium high heat
  • Remove the chicken and add the potatoes, Italian sausage, and garlic cloves – Cook until the potatoes are golden brown
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet and pour in the wine, stock and spices
  • Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 450
  • Remove from the oven briefly and add the peas and artichoke hearts
  • Cover and cook for another 10 minutes
  • Remove the chicken, sausage and potatoes and transfer them to a serving platter
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of butter to the remaining pan liquids and stir well to incorporate, making sure to mash up the roasted garlic in the process
  • Pour over the prepared platter and serve with fresh tagliatelle

1 Comment

  1. That does look like the perfect dish. It screams hearty and delicious. It would certainly make the man of this house happy.

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