Ristorante Italia’s Chicken Vesuvio
This recipe comes courtesy of Pina Lollino and my favorite Italian restaurant… Ristorante Italia on the northwest side of Chicago. Chicken Vesuvio is one of those dishes that defines Chicago Italian cooking and nobody did it better than Pina! Sadly, Ristorante Italia has closed and I have to cook all of my favorites myself. Chicago really lost something special the day Pina stopped cooking!
1 cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio)
10 cloves finely chopped garlic
4-5 Idaho potatoes wedged
1/4 cup olive oil for marinade
1 tbsp Fresh chopped rosemary
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Olive oil for frying.
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine wine, olive oil, garlic, rosemary and oregano in a bowl and whisk together. Make shallow slices in the chicken thighs, legs, wings and breasts. Cover chicken with marinade or place in a large zip lock bag forcing the air out. I like using zip locks because the entire chicken comes in contact with the marinade; you can also massage the marinade and really work it into the chicken. Marinate the chicken for at least an hour.
Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. add olive oil and brown potatoes about 5 minutes. Remove and add to pan with browned chicken.
Combine flour, salt and pepper in large dish. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Lightly flour marinated chicken and brown on both sides; this should be done in batches to not overcrowd the skillet. Remove chicken to a large baking dish or pan. De-glaze with a splash of white wine and add to reserved marinade. Add precooked potatoes to baking dish with chicken and cover with remaining marinade. Sprinkle chicken and potatoes with paprika, salt and pepper. Bake in oven for and hour to and hour and a half. Check after an hour and spoon juices over chicken and potatoes. Add peas if you are using them. The chicken and potatoes should be browned very well with a modest amount of liquid left. Some Chicken Vesuvio recipes call for green peas. Pina didn’t use peas but I thought I would try them this time… The peas were a nice sweet touch!