A big, hearty baked chicken dish, it might have originated at the Vesuvio restaurant in Chicago in the 1920s, named after the volcano near Naples (though the restaurant was owned by a native of Turin). It is probably most appropriately enjoyed in a cooler time of the year, but it will still be a hit when prepared properly. The best version of it that I have had over the years was at the popular, tourist-laden Harry Caray’s downtown.
Here is their recipe, from the Harry Caray’s Restaurant Cookbook:
This is adapted from Harry Caray’s in Chicago where it is one the signature dishes, and quite tasty, too. The original location in downtown Chicago is a touristy spot serving hearty Italian-American dishes – and expense-account steaks – that were a favorite of namesake, legendary baseball broadcaster Harry Caray (born Carabina), an exuberant patron of notable Italian-American restaurants across the country.
Peas, frozen – 1 cup
Olive oil – ¼ cup
Potatoes, russet – 4, peeled, cut in quarters, lengthwise
Garlic – 12 cloves, 2 minced
Chicken – 1, cut into 8 pieces
White wine – 1 ½ cups
Parsley, flat-leaf – ⅓ cup, chopped
Oregano, dried – 1 tablespoon
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Black pepper – 1 teaspoon
Chicken stock – 1 ½ cups
- Boil water in a small saucepan. Add peas and cook 1 minute. Drain. Rinse with cold water.
- Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat and add the potatoes and the 10 whole garlic cloves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are golden brown on all sides, about 12 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard. Remove potatoes on top of paper towels.
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Add chicken pieces to the skillet, in batches, if necessary. Cook, turning once, until lightly brown, about 5 minutes per side. Stir in the wine, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
- Return potatoes to the skillet. Season with the oregano, parsley, the 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock.
- Put in the oven, and bake until the chicken is done, about 45 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken, and pour the sauce from the pan over the dish.