Chicken Vesuvio

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Among Chicago’s several signature dishes, chicken Vesuvio might be the least known. Dating back to the 1920s and now the province of a few Windy City upper-echelon steak houses, it is bone-in chicken sautéed to a point that it is encased in a dark, red-gold crust of lush skin plastered with herbs and permeated with the savor of chicken fat. The chicken is served on a plate heaped with thick wedges of potato sauteed in a bath of white wine, copious garlic, olive oil, and spice until they are soft as mashed inside, but with crunchy edges. Our favorite place to eat it is Harry Caray’s Italian Steak House

Roadfood review of Harry Caray’s

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cut-up frying chicken, rinsed and patted dry

olive oil for frying

4 baking potatoes, cut lengthwise into eighths, soaked in ice water

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

4-8 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup cooked green peas

            Mix together the flour, pepper, salt, thyme, rosemary and oregano. Lightly dredge the chicken in the mixture.

            Heat about 1/2-inch olive oil in a large, heavy skillet to 360 degrees. Fry the chicken pieces a few at a time (don’t crowd the pan) until well-browned, turning once or twice and allowing 15-18 minutes per piece. Drain the chicken on paper towels.

            Pat the potatoes dry, then add them to the skillet of hot oil. Cook until golden brown all over. Remove and drain on paper towels.

            Heat oven to 350 degrees. Leave about 1/4-inch of fat in the skillet, but drain off the rest. Return the chicken parts and the potatoes to the skillet, crowding them in as necessary. Sprinkle with minced garlic and pour on the wine. Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are tender and chicken is fallapart soft. Serve drizzled with pan juices and scattered with peas.

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