Rachael Ray’s Chicken Vesuvio has been on my dinner list for months. I just saw it on the show again a couple weeks back and it still really appealled to my senses. It was a very light version of a meat-and-potatoes entree, I think it will be something I make any time of the year.
This recipe suggests using a roasting pan both on the stovetop and in the oven. I realized that I do not own a roasting pan that can be used on the stovetop and I started to panic; I already had all of the ingredients and had been looking forward to trying this and the kids would be awake and ready to eat shortly. But I learned that good things can come, even when you don’t completely read a recipe before committing to it. I am a new cast-iron skillet owner, and would love to use them more. I decided I would try this recipe in a skillet and I cannot imagine making this any other way.
I made approximately half of the recipe for myself, my husband, and my 2 kids. This is how I adjusted the recipe to work for my family:
- vegetable oil for skillet
- 2 large potatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 jalapeno pepper, quartered lengthwise
- 2 t. dried oregano
- 1 large bay leaf
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, seasoned with salt and pepper
- About 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 375F. Place a cast iron skillet on the stovetop and heat up 1/4 cup of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Place the potatoes in the skillet, cut-side-down, season them and cook until a crust forms on one side, about 5 minutes. Turn the potatoes carefully (I ended up losing two potato wedges in the process and was very disappointed) and brown the other cut side. Add the garlic, jalapenos, oregano and bay leaf to the browned potatoes, and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Set the pan contents aside on a plate. Brown the chicken thighs in the same pan, adding a couple more tablespoons of oil, if needed. Add stock and place the potatoes, garlic, and jalapeno back in. Transfer to the oven and roast 35-40 minutes, stirring in peas and butter in the last 5 minutes.
I’ve never had such great potatoes! This will be my new technique for oven fries. Browning them first in the cast iron skillet made a beautiful crust before baking. They roasted up much quicker than my regular technique of only roasting them in the oven.
My whole family loved it; there were no leftovers at all. The next time I make it, I would add another jalapeno and a couple more cloves of garlic. There was also a lot of liquid in the pan that I thought would make a nice gravy with a little flour or cornstarch. I will definitely try this again this fall or winter. In order to save time, I will brown the chicken in a separate skillet while the potatoes are browning, then combine them before roasting.
I would love to hear how yours turns out!