Chicago Style Chicken Vesuvio

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If you’re a Chicagoan you know what Chicken Vesuvio is, it’s one of Chicago’s signature dishes. In fact, many of the restaurants here offer it as “The Specialty of the House”.

There are many variations to to this Italian American dish, the mix of herbs you might use, red versus white potatoes, lemon or no lemon, whole garlic or crushed, bone in or boneless chicken, and adding additional veggies such as artichokes or mushrooms. Throughout the years I have made this every way I’ve mentioned. Some things are just worth repeating, and this recipe truly is!

This is homey, comfort food, intensely flavored herb roasted chicken and potatoes, swimming in a pool of garlicky white wine sauce, topped off with sweet green peas.
I love to make this on a Sunday afternoon, always making extra so we can have the leftovers during the week. By the way, it tastes even better the next day!

This recipe is one of the more classic ways to make Chicken Vesuvio, and is adapted from Harry Caray’s Restaurant, Chicago

chicken. vesuvioINGREDIENTS

1 whole bone in, skin on chicken pieces, or legs and thighs

1/2 cup of olive oil

6 to 8 whole garlic cloves

2 russet potatoes cut into wedges or 6 red potatoes. sliced in half

Equal parts white wine and chicken broth, 1 to 1-1/2 cups

3 Tablespoons of chopped parsley and extra for garnish

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 cup or so of frozen peas


Heat a large skillet at least 14 inches with all the olive oil, then place the potato wedges along with 1 whole garlic clove and brown til golden on all sides, then remove and set aside.

Pat dry your chicken pieces dry and season with salt and pepper, now brown them skin side down in the pan with the oil, brown them a deep golden brown on the skin side and a lighter golden brown on the bottom. Toss in all the garlic as well.

Add the wine and deglaze.

Now add in the broth, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

Pre heat oven to 350 and add in the potato wedges to the pan with the chicken.

Roast for about an hour til chicken is tender, ovens vary so check.

The last 15 minutes toss in the peas.

Smash that garlic into the sauce, spoon some on top of the finished chicken, sprinkle with parsley and enjoy!


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  1. I’ve made this dish literally dozens of times with only the smallest tweaks, and it’s always great. I use mixed Italian seasoning instead of just oregano, I use all leg quarters (juicier, more flavorful, can’t overcook), I double the garlic and I do everything (browning and roasting) in the same big Le Creuset skillet. it fills the house with fantastic aromas and tastes even better than it smells. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. This dish looks delish . Do you cover the chicken in the oven?

  3. I made this and it was outstanding. Thanks for the recipe !

    • My grandparents came from Sicily and Naples. Sad to say neither of them passed down language, culture, or Italian recipes. So a very heart-filled thank you for your recipes. Now when I cook your recipes, my family including all my grandchildren think that I am the best Italian cook. If they only knew

  4. Denise,
    This recipe looks good as well as easy to do, thanks. But I have a question: In the recipe steps you mention dried oregano and granulated garlic, “1. Season your chicken pieces on both sides with salt, pepper, dried oregano and granulated
    garlic.” What do you mean? How much dried oregano and what is granulated garlic? Thanks

    • Peter, granulated garlic is like garlic powder but a courser texture and like the powder version, has no salt. Seasoning just means sprinkling all over on both sides, hope this helps.

  5. DeniseLamb says

    Marie: I made this dish for dinner tonight. It was so delicious. I know that this will be a regular dinner in our home.
    It was liked by the three of us. Your recipes are always a success on our dinner plates. My husband even put to
    containers in the freezer for two lunches next week.
    Thanks so much for your beautiful blog and delicious recipes. Do not remember how I found you but I am so glad
    that I did.

    Hope you have a great Mother’s Day and beautiflu weekend.


  6. I have had many versions of this dish in many restaurants. This is the BEST recipe to cook at home. Follow the recipe to a “T” and you will not be disappointed!!! Great for a group entertainment. With an Italian side salad, great presentation and incredible flavor! Thanks for the recipe!!

  7. What kind of wine should I use with the chicken vesuvio?

    Thank you,

  8. Chris Koffend says

    This is a good recipe. I am making it my third time and have made some modifications:

    #1: heavily season the chicken (I do quarters, all dark meat per my family’s tastes) and then grille it outdoors
    #2: I brown the potatoes as desribed in the recipe, but then set them aside (I heavily season the potatoes, oregano, garlic salt, peper, red pepper flakes before and after cooking)
    #3: Do the garlic in the same pan, deglaze with a little wine and full stock
    #4: Add the chicken and stock (with garlic) and rest of the wine to a crock pot on low (3-4 hours is enough, longer and the meat just falls off the bone). I find adding fresh wine directly to the crock pot provides a bit more wine flavor!
    #5: With about 1 hour+ remaining, I add the potatoes (they were half cooked in the browning process)
    #6: Add peas final 15 mins. like suggested

    This is obviously a more “lazy” way of doing it and I actually find that it comes out better! I like the imparted flavor from grilling the chicken. When I season the chix before grilling I also use some Thyme, sage and red pepper flakes – but keep oregano the predominant herb/flavor.

    • Chris, Living here in Chicago I can’t say I ever had chicken vesuvio done in a crock pot and I barely ever use one my self but I’m sure your version might be one for those that do to try, all the flavors sound good to me, how can you ever go wrong!

      • Chris Koffend says

        I tried it in the crock pot after being at my sisters for Christmas Eve dinner (we always do a specific country for Xmas Eve – last year was African!). We ran into problems when she followed this recipe and we had so many other dishes requiring oven space (as a note, I made stuffed artichokes which did not cook well at all due to this same problem – took twice as long as Lidia’s recipe suggested). Afterwards, I indicated that in a similar circumstance I’d be tempted to try it in the crock pot to prevent the oven issues and much longer cooking times that resulted for her/us. I don’t use the crock pot much, but I have found that you should ignore crock pot based recipes (generally tasteless) and just take a standard recipe and apply it to crock pot usage. In my first effort in the crock pot, I followed the recipe but transferred to the CP and found there was not enough of a wine taste (instrumental in this dish). Hence my changes with regard to the timing of the wine and amount. The crock pot approach combined with a busy dinner party actually makes it much easier and more forgiving – plus your guests never have to know you used a crock pot!

    • Chris Koffend says

      Update, thanks to America’s test kitchen!

      Now when I brown my chicken (if I am doing it inside), I season the chicken quite heavily. But start the chicken out in a cold pan, chicken skin side down (my family only eats dark meat, so I use just chicken pieces, typically thighs with skin on). I turn the heat on to medium and eventually to slightly above medium (after it gets up to heat). Doing chicken this way allows the fat between the skin and the meat to render better, leaving one with crispier skin that is not overcooked (the skin that is).

  9. Carleen, no, do not cover pan. Enjoy!

  10. I love chicken vesuvio and potatoes. I only have one question, do you cover the pan when you put in oven?

  11. Jari, Add it when you put the wine in. Enjoy!

  12. I went to Rosebud’s in downtown Chicago on a whim and tasted this delish dish for the first time. I wanted to lick my plate clean! Hahaha …I want to be able to make it but with the lemony taste bc I love lemon 🙂 how or when should I add it?

    • Chris Koffend says

      I find that adding lemon at different times in the cooking process affects the final “lemony” taste. Heavily cooked lemon has a different flavor than fresh or barely cooked lemon. When I am doing a veal picata-like dish, I typically add the lemon at the end as in this case, I prefer the taste of fresh lemon for this dish.

      Personally, if I were adding lemon to this dish, I would be tempted to add it at the time I would add the peas. But if you read below, I have really changed this recipe up. I am actually making it again, starting tonight, but for dinner tomorrow night (I work). Also, I never cover the top of the chicken with any liquid as I want my chicken skin to remain crispy.

  13. KLP, Great, Great me know how you like it!

  14. This looks so beautiful…I am planning it for Saturday.

  15. Anonymous, The hole in the walls made some of the best Chicken Vesuvio! Don’t you love how certain foods bring up wonderful memories? Enjoy!

  16. I grew up in Chicago, but have lived on the East Coast for the last 15 years. Silly, I know…but reading about Chicken Vesuvio just made me cry. My parents used to take me to a little hole in the wall for the best Chicken Vesuvio when we were kids. It wasn’t on the menu, but all those in “the know” always ordered it. I can’t wait to make this Chicago classic for my friends and my own family. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. =) Lots of love to Chi-Towners from Connecticut.

  17. My God, this sounds awesome. Very similar to a French dish that I made last night. I have been reading your blog since the beginning of this past Summer, and I absolutely love it! It’s the only food blog I have on my homepage. You are the woman!!!

  18. I made this recipe a few weeks ago for some friends. It was wonderful! Thanks!

  19. Your recipie rocks in Sweden aswell! 🙂 I tried this dish at Hole in the wall in Northbrook, IL a few years back and loved it and now I can make it at home aswell, thanks!

  20. Marie – I made this earlier this month and it was fantastic. Thanks so much for this recipe.

  21. I’m from Chicago. First time I had this dish was at Billy’s on Rush St. I fell in love with it. The second time was in Palm Springs at Sorrentino’s (which is no longer there). The chef from Sorrentino’s opened his own resturant in Palm Springs called Leon’s & he is still serving Chicken Vesuvio.

    I had it two weeks ago, & I was just like the one in Chicago.

  22. Yes Ryan! Many times, we love artichokes. Email me at and tell me what recipe you’re looking for.

  23. Will be trying this recipie this week! Curious, Have you ever made stuffed Artichoke?

  24. Marie, I’ve been looking for this recipe for years and, thanks to you, I’ve finally found it.

    Gourmet magazine did a feature many years ago on Chicago Institutions and had a picture of this dish but no recipe. I can’t put my fingers on the article right now but I know they mentioned The Drake Hotel and Shrimp de Jonge, which we love. They also talked about Chicken Vesuvio and I was so upset there was no recipe.

    Thank you again. I’m been dying to try this.

  25. I never realized it was Chicago dish. I always enjoy it. And that big smear of garlic is always a nice treat in a meal.

  26. Makes me want to visit Chicago!!
    I will have to try this. It sounds like something I would really love 🙂

  27. Sounds simple AND delicious! It’s on my list of recipes to try….yum!

  28. This looks absolutely DIVINE! I can’t wait to make this weekend. . . plus, I want to congratulate both of you on such a wonderful ‘festa’. The recipes are gorgeous to simply look at! Are we in Heaven?

    Grazie mille!


  29. What a perfect meal. I may just have to make this tonight.

  30. That looks delicious. I’ve never seen this before, but I’ve never been to Chicago either, so that probably explains it. I can’t wait to try it.

  31. First time I see this (never been in Chicago so far…), and it looks delicious!!!

  32. love this recipe Marie – very rustic and simple, my kinda food:) Been so busy forgot to enter the festa, next time… Looks great!

  33. Found this great blog while looking for seeds to grow Melrose Peppers. You had a post from 2007. I commented there, but wanted to tell you how much I love this blog. I am full blood Italian and was raised in Melrose Park. I left there in 1874 to start a family. I live in River Falls, Wisconsin. Mom and sister still live there. Mo still cooks at 88!!

    Glad I found you. Great Blog!

  34. My kind of chicken, never heard of this. I’ll have to try.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

  35. Marie, this post brought back memories of when my mother used to make this and how I loved the aroma that filled the house when she would make this. Always made me smile because I just loved it. I tried making this several years back just from what I remember my mother doing and it didn’t come out right. Well, tonight it did!!!! It was so good. Thank you!!

  36. I’m smearing!

  37. Marie, I’m not sure where the Vesuvius part of the name comes from but this sho’ looks delish. Crisp potatoes, golden-brown chicken and roasted garlic…Yum!

  38. Yum, I love chicken with potato, nice dish!

  39. i’m drinking all that juice at the bottom of the dish!

  40. Marie, I have really been trying to be good about my eating however, it is now 11.11 p.m. I am at your blog and I’m seriously tempted to go to the fridge and find something to eat. That is just not right at all! Bad Marie 🙂

  41. I’ve never heard of this dish, but I love roast chicken. I would love the potatoes and artichokes and sauce. I don’t eat peas, but my SO loves them, so I’d put them on the side for him.

  42. I’m sure this would be delicious. Simple chicken recipes are the best!

  43. I’ve never heard of Chicken Vesuvio, but it looks amazing. I think I’ll surprise my boys with it soon.

  44. A recipe similar to this was topic of conversation last week with some great old friends. I think this is what’s for dinner to night. Can’t wait to try this version.

  45. Loving this classic dish:D

  46. Perfect Sunday dinner. Maybe my family can forego their Sunday pasta for this yummy dish. Will have to make the trip to Chicago to try a house specialty. been awhile.

  47. Mama Mia! This looks good! All that yummy dark meat. I’ve never heard of the name of this dish – I’ll have to make it.

  48. Not only would my Italian husband love this (especially the chicken on the bone!), but the kids would be happy too.

    Great recipe. I would love it with artichokes and mushrooms too. Can’t wait to try this one.

  49. Yet another Marie Wonders! I can’t wait to impress my family with it.

    You would not believe the amount of food my son eats…. I might have to double this recipe!

    Molti baci,

  50. Mmmm … I’m ready to hop on a plane and head out to O’Hare this very minute! This is very similar to what my mom made for us growing up. She told me that Mt. Vesuvius was visible from her village in Calabria!

  51. Great lookng chicken dish, I belive i will give it a try. Thanks

  52. How can I be Italian and not have heard of this dish–wow I am gonna make it tomorrow for Sunday dinner-thanks for sharing!

  53. Being from Chicago I love to see this. I’ve never made it though…I must make it one of these days, thanks for the recipe Marie.

  54. That looks so good. I clipped it and will be making it soon.

  55. This looks wonderful, Marie! One of our fave Italian restaurants has this dish on the menu and my husband orders it every time! Never knew it was a Chicago specialty.

  56. Yum, this will go on my must make list!

  57. Marie,
    I have never heard of this dish!
    I guess we don’t serve it in NJ!
    we have everything else Italian!

    Looks delish. I love peas!

  58. What a delicious looking dish, I have found a new chicken item, thanks! One can never have too many great chicken dishes.

  59. Oh Marie, I never knew the name of this, my Mom this made often.. and we always enjoyed. This looks so good!

  60. I’m looking at the sauce and want to dip some bread in it 🙂

  61. MMMMM…this sounds perfect for tonight’s dinner!!! MMMMMMM….

  62. 5 ingredients only… and this is what you’ve made!!! Very impressive!!!Thanks for sharing this Chicago classic!!!

  63. Great classic! I loved the Vesuvio at Gianotti’s when I lived in Illinois! Now I have to make this!

  64. Oh that chicken look so good, I have to make this especially the recipe sounds very easy to make. I don’t normally like leftover, but I am convinced.

  65. I’ve never had this signature dish! Now I know the first thing I’ll order whenever I visit Chicago. It looks delicious!

  66. I love chicken and I’m always looking for a new way to prepare it. This sounds so gooood!

  67. I agree with Dawn…it sounds like Sunday dinner. My family will love this.


  68. I used to get this all the time when I lived in Chicago. Yours looks great.

  69. Mmmm. This sounds perfect for sunday dinner. It’s still freezing over here and comfort meals are still needed.

  70. Marie.. this looks so fantastic and simple to prepare! I love being able to prepare a dish that the family will ask for time and time again and this seems like just the dish!
    Hope your doing well, it’s good to see you posting!
    Ciao and Hugs!!

  71. Sounds delcious! I will be making this soon!


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