Family Classics: Dad’s Chicken Vesuvio

My dad’s classic chicken vesuvio, an Italian dish that’s rich in flavor and beautifully simple. Pan-roasted chicken, golden potatoes wedges, and a garlic wine pan sauce that gets soaked into the chicken and potatoes as it all bakes. Top it off with a generous amount of fresh parsley and pecorino romano cheese. And then add on a side of sauteed vegetables and you’ve got a hearty, satisfying, delicious meal for any night of the week!

Dad's Chicken Vesuvio

dad’s chicken vesuvio – the details

Excited to bring back my Family Classics series – recipes that my family has made throughout the years, many passed down through the generations, and many that bring me right back to my childhood.

Today’s recipe is extra special because it’s not only a classic Italian recipe from my dad, but it’s one that he served over 30 years ago in his very first Nancy’s Pizzeria restaurant in Chicago. It was a staple on their menu and sold like crazy. He joined me in the kitchen to show me this classic dish and I can absolutely see why it was such a hit…

It’s simple, flavorful, hearty, and beyond satisfying.

Dad's Chicken Vesuvio

Dad's Chicken Vesuvio

The simplicity of his chicken vesuvio is really what makes it special. The dish isn’t overcrowded with any extras. It relies on the pan-drippings of the chicken to create a rich sauce, plus a ton of garlic, a splash of sherry wine, dried oregano, and parsley to give it all the flavor it needs.

The chicken and potatoes start off on the stove to get a nice golden brown exterior, then finish cooking in the oven while soaking up every drop of luscious sauce from the pan.

It’s a process that results in juicy chicken, flavor-soaked potatoes, and spoonfuls of garlicky sauce to drizzle over top. The finishing touches? More fresh parsley and lots of grated pecorino romano cheese. We hope you enjoy!

Dad's Chicken Vesuvio

If you’re looking for more family classic recipes, here are a few favorites:

Sunday Morning Crepes
Busia’s Sour Cream Cucumbers
Nonna’s Cheesecake


Family Classics: Dad’s Chicken Vesuvio

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my dad’s classic chicken vesuvio with crispy pan-roasted chicken, golden potato wedges, and a garlic wine pan sauce

servings: 4


  • 1 (4 lb) whole chicken, broken down into 4 pieces (breasts/wings & thighs/legs)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup neutral cooking oil
  • 1 ¼ lbs medium russet potatoes, halved lengthwise + each half cut into 3 wedges
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 oz chopped garlic (approximately 6 cloves)
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup cream sherry*
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • lots of grated pecorino cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pat the chicken dry and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Season well with salt and black pepper.
  2. Add the cooking oil to a 12” stainless steel skillet over high heat. Once hot, reduce the heat to medium and add half of the potato wedges in an even layer. Fry the potatoes for about 3 minutes per side, until browned and crisp. Transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan lined with paper towels and immediately season with a pinch of salt. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
  3. Add the olive oil to the skillet. Place two pieces of chicken in the skillet, skin-side down. Cook for about 6 minutes until the skin is browned and crisp. Flip the chicken and cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken out of the skillet and repeat with the other two pieces.
  4. Pull the skillet off the heat and add the garlic to the oil. Cook for about 30 seconds (watch carefully so it doesn’t burn). Back over the heat, add the oregano and sherry wine. Let simmer for a minute or so. Stir in the parsley.
  5. Arrange the chicken (skin-side up) and potatoes in the skillet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve the chicken and potatoes with the sauce spooned over top. Garnish with fresh parsley and grated pecorino cheese.


*We like the brand “Gallo Sheffield” for cream sherry.

shop the dish: dad’s chicken vesuvio

Dad's Chicken Vesuvio

One thought on “Family Classics: Dad’s Chicken Vesuvio

  1. really nice dish, thank you for sharing your dad’s recipe! An elevated chicken dish compared to my regular chicken rotation, much appreciated

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