Why This Recipe Works
Chicken Vesuvio is a classic Chicago restaurant dish: crisp-skinned chicken and deeply browned potatoes in a potent garlic and white wine sauce. Line cooks make it one order at a time in a big skillet, which provides plenty of space for browning and sauce reduction and goes handily from stovetop to oven. To transfer chicken Vesuvio to the home kitchen, we traded the customary skillet for a large, heavy roasting pan, which gave us plenty of room for four servings. We heated oil in the roasting pan on the stovetop, browned the chicken thighs and halved Yukon Gold potatoes, and added the traditional dried herbs and plenty of garlic cloves. We poured wine into the pan and moved it to the oven so the chicken, potatoes, and garlic could finish cooking unattended. After transferring the cooked chicken and potatoes to a platter, we returned the pan to the stovetop to reduce the sauce further. Mashing the cooked garlic cloves released polysaccharides, which brought the oil and wine together in a rich emulsion, and some fresh minced garlic, tempered with lemon juice, delivered robust flavor.