Chicken Vesuvio - America's Test Kitchen Version

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Post  Thu, Oct 29 2020, 11:01 am
This was a really exceptionally good version of the iconic chicken baked with potatoes with lemon and oregano flavoring. No surprise since America's Test Kitchen is the PBS cooking show from Cook's Illustrated.

The trick was sautéing the chicken and crisping the potatoes IN the roasting pan and finishing in the oven. A simple deglaze of the roasting pan created a delicious and easy sauce.

Chicken Vesuvio

Excerpt From: America's Test Kitchen - The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2021


For this recipe you’ll need a roasting pan that measures at least 16 by 12 inches. Trim all the skin from the underside of the chicken thighs, but leave the skin on top intact. To ensure that all of the potatoes fit in the pan, halve them crosswise to minimize their surface area. For the most efficient browning, heat the roasting pan over 2 burners. Mixing lemon juice into the garlic in step 1 makes the garlic taste less harsh, but only if the lemon juice is added immediately after the garlic is minced.

8 (5- to 7-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed
2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, 2 to 3 inches, halved
14 garlic cloves, peeled (2 whole, 12 halved lengthwise)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1½ cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, divided

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season both sides with 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Mince 2 whole garlic cloves and immediately combine with lemon juice in small bowl and set aside.

2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large roasting pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place chicken skin-side down in single layer in pan and cook without moving until chicken has rendered about 2 tablespoons of fat, 2 to 3 minutes. Place potatoes cut side down in chicken fat, arranging so that cut sides are in complete contact with surface of pan. Sprinkle chicken and potatoes with oregano and thyme. Continue to cook until chicken and potatoes are deeply browned and crisp, 8 to 12 minutes longer, moving chicken and potatoes to ensure even browning and turning pieces over when fully browned. When all pieces have been flipped, tuck halved garlic cloves in between chicken and potatoes. Remove roasting pan from heat and pour wine into pan (do not pour over chicken or potatoes). Transfer to oven. Roast until potatoes are tender when pierced with tip of paring knife and chicken registers 185 to 190 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Transfer chicken and potatoes to deep platter, browned sides up. Place roasting pan over medium heat (handles will be hot) and stir to incorporate any browned bits. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic cloves to cutting board. Chop coarse, and then mash to smooth paste with side of knife. Whisk garlic into sauce. Continue to cook until sauce coats back of spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in reserved lemon juice mixture and 1 tablespoon parsley. Pour sauce around chicken and potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley, and serve.
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