When my grandmother made any meal that included chicken and vinegar, just the aroma from cooking it made me run upstairs in our house to see what was in the oven. When I make this simple dish I can’t help but see my grandmother in her faded floral apron bending over the open oven spooning the juices in the pan over the chicken, and giving it a little taste to see if she added enough salt. She always had a smile on her face when she put the spoon down. My grandfather would be sitting in the dining room reading his Sunday paper and anticipating when my grandmother would call him in to eat. I was never far behind him. That’s one of the advantages of living in the same house as your grandparents, you always had something good to eat. If I finished dinner with my family early I could run upstairs to see what grandma was cooking. And I usually did.
This is another “one pan dish”. A simple Sicilian Peasant chicken that is full of flavor. Just add a salad and some bread and you have a complete Sunday supper. If you open the windows a bit you also might get a visit from the neighbors to see what’s cooking. So make plenty.
The secret here is you soak the chicken in a mixture of vinegar and water. This acts like a marinade while you are preparing the rest of the dish.
Chicken and Potatoes Peasant Style
- 1 whole chicken, cut up
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 3 medium potatoes cut into small pieces (I like to leave the skin on)
- 2 small onions, rough chop
- 1 cup of white wine
- 4 very ripe fresh plumb tomatoes, cut into medium dice
- 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the chicken in a large bowl or pot to fit and pour in the cup of white vinegar. Add cold tap water till chicken is covered. Let sit for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, toss into a large roasting pan, the potatoes, onions, white wine, fresh tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and olive oil.
Drain the chicken, no need to rinse, just pat dry with paper towel. Add to the pan and toss till everything is mixed well. Arrange the chicken, skin side down, between the vegetables in the pan. Roast for 35 minutes. Turn the chicken skin side up and stir up the vegetables. Cook for another 35-40 minutes, or until chicken and potatoes are golden brown.