Mad Men Dinner 1960’s Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio

“By the 1960s, the original concept of “chicken and French fries” evolved into an elaborate gourmet procedure.

Mad Men Sunday “Pick a job and then become the person that does it.” Bobbie Barret

Chicken Vesuvio

Adapted from Harry Caray’s

I haven’t made this dish in years, but after reading the food timeline, (“created in Chicago by a Neapolitan cook shortly after World War II”) I was inspired to at least make an adapted version from Harry Caray’s in Chicago.  I decided to stick as close to the original as I could, but it was tempting to add other ingredients suggested by some updated recipes, Italian sausage, green beans and even artichokes while I love the idea especially for “company” tonight’s version is just very simply, “Chicken Vesuvio” for two with plenty left over for lunch.

A simple fresh garden salad with light vinegar and oil dressing and a loaf of good Italian bread will be a great Sunday 60’s Italian dinner.

I pre-season the chicken with fresh and dried herbs, a little olive oil, salt, pepper and some paprika and ground red pepper flakes. Place in plastic zip bag and refrigerate until time to brown the chicken.

Harry Caray’s
Adapted from

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


1 cup frozen peas
1 whole cleaned (3-1/2 – 4 pound) roasting chicken
1 cup olive oil
2 large Idaho potatoes, cut into thick wedges
1 onion cut into 4 wedges (Saute 2 wedges with chicken and add the rest just before roasting)
10 cloves whole garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dry oregano
3/4 tablespoon granulated garlic
3 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups Chicken stock (I used Knorr Chicken Stock Concentrate)

*1 lemon cut into wedges, you can toss in the lemon before roasting or squeeze over the finished dish

*Parmigiano over finished dish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Have peas ready to add to the roasted chicken and potatoes the last 5-10 minutes of roasting.
  3. Joint each chicken into 10 pieces.
  4. Peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters lengthwise and allow to sit in cold water until ready to sauté, thoroughly dry the potato wedges before adding to hot oil.
  5. In a large roasting pan, heat some of the olive oil over medium heat and add seasoned chicken pieces and onion wedges in batches if necessary, sauté until golden brown turning once, remove to platter.
  6. At this point, I carefully strained the oil to remove some of the really dark bits and returned it to the pan to reheat for the potatoes.
  7. Add the potatoes and garlic cloves and sauté the potatoes until golden brown, stirring so they cook evenly. Remove the garlic cloves from the roasting pan and discard them. Remove the potatoes and set aside.
  8. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce by half.
  9. Return the potatoes and chicken to the pan. Season the potatoes and chicken with the salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley. Add the chicken stock and transfer the pan to the oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Add the thawed peas to the last 5-10 minutes of cooking time. 
  10. Place the chicken on a serving plate and arrange the potatoes around the chicken. Pour the sauce from the pan over the chicken, sprinkle with minced parsley, squeeze lemon over and cheese if using.