Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chicken Vesuvio (2012 - Recipe #1)

One TV show that I highly enjoy is Rachael Ray's daytime talk show.   Since I work during the day, I rely heavily on my DVR to record her episodes until I get a chance to catch up on them.    Occasionally, I see a recipe on her show that I must try, so I run to my computer to print them out.  One such recipe was for Chicken Vesuvio, which aired last Friday, December 30th, 2011.

Here is how it turned out:

You start by cutting some large starchy potatoes into wedges and browning them in some olive oil.  Once they start turning golden-brown on both sides, you add crushed garlic, red chili peppers, oregano, and bay leaves:

(I couldn't find red Fresno chili peppers at my grocery store, so I substituted a can of roasted Italian red peppers plus a few shakes of dry crushed red pepper flakes)

Next, you remove the potatoes from the pan and brown chicken pieces on both sides (*see side note below).   Once browned, you deglaze the pan with white wine, then add chicken stock, plus the potatoes, chiles, and garlic from the previous step.   This gets transferred to a 375-degree oven and roasted for 35-40 minutes.   At the end of the cooking time, you add frozen peas and butter:
(After 40 minutes, my chicken wasn't cooked through, so I cranked up the temperature to 400 and roasted for an additional 15 minutes until the interior temperature of the chicken reached 165).

Here is my final plate of Chicken Vesuvio:

My chicken skin didn't get as brown and crispy as I would have liked, so next time I need to give it more time in the skillet.   Other than that, I really enjoyed this recipe.   The chicken meat was juicy and tender, and the potatoes melted in my mouth.    I loved the combination of the slightly spicy red pepper flakes against the herbal oregano and rich white wine.  It paired nicely with the chicken and potatoes.

I highly recommend this recipe!

*Side note:  The recipe called for chicken legs, thighs, and breasts.  Since buying a package of each would be costly, I took a cheaper route and bought a large package of "whole fryer" chicken, then cut them apart myself.  This way, I still had a combination of light & dark meat.  This also explains the somewhat ugly cuts of chicken in my photos - my butchering skills need work!


Since I live by myself, a lot of recipes make way too much food.   I often try to cut down the recipe into smaller quantities.  Other times, I look for ways to repurpose the leftovers into other meals later in the week, as shown below:

I cut the chicken breasts away from their bones and removed the skin.   These will be used later in the week for other recipes... in salads, sandwiches, fajitas, pasta, etc.
I separated out the potatoes into their own container, so they can easily be reheated
I put the peas and peppers into a 3rd container, plus cut all the chicken meat from the wings, legs, and bones.  This container will be turned into chicken soup tomorrow night.

Now I can get multiple meals from one recipe, so I really get a lot out of my time/money!!

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