In my family, favorite dishes are always being altered according to what is available and what is best — especially when I’m cooking. Here’s a perfect example: chicken and potatoes, fried together in a big skillet so they’re crisp and moist at the same time, is my mother’s specialty. Growing up, my brother and I demanded it every week; our kids, Tanya and Joe and Eric, Paul and Estelle, clamored for it too. And now the next generation of little ones are asking their great-grandmother to make chicken and potatoes for them.
When I am at the stove I follow my mother’s basic procedures, though I can’t resist playing around. Some days I add sausage to the recipe, or capers or olives; I might douse the chicken with a splash of vinegar; sometimes I cut up a whole chicken, other times I’ll split little poussins or Cornish hens. (You can see what experiments have worked well if you look through my previous books.)
This recipe, though, gives you Erminia’s classic formula — chicken, small potatoes, a bit of onion, and rosemary leaves—with two of my latest twists: pickled cherry peppers and bacon strips, in bite-sized rolls. Cherry peppers are plump golf-ball-sized antipasto peppers in vinegar that you’ll find in jars on the pickle shelves of the supermarket. They come in sweet and hot varieties—and the latter are explosive, if you take just a bite. But when they’re seeded, sliced, and added sparingly to the chicken, they imbue the dish with a mellow heat that I love. If you and your family are hot heads, cut up two or more peppers; otherwise slice only one, or use the sweet cherry peppers and see how you like that. Then we roll bacon slices into little bundles, pin each one closed with a toothpick, and caramelize them along with the chicken. The bacon fat slowly renders and lends the meat a layer of flavor that’s picked up by the potatoes and onions too. By the end of cooking, the rolls have turned into crisp morsels that are a treat to eat with the juicy chicken and tender potatoes. (But be sure to remove all the toothpicks!)–Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
LC By Heart Note
This, our dear reader, is one of those rare recipes that you easily come to learn by heart. It’s also one of those rare recipes that you quickly come to appreciate with all your heart given how simple, satiating, yet versatile it can be. (Hey, we can get sentimental if we want!)
My Mother's Chicken and Potatoes
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 45 M
- Serves 4 or more
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Recipe Testers Reviews
I used bone-in chicken breasts and, since it only took 2 breasts, I cut each into thirds. This fed 5 of us with no leftovers. There was a comment from someone that they wished there were more potatoes, but 1 pound took up the entire bottom of my frying pan. I did use the bacon rolls and I would not recommend leaving these out as it adds that little extra flavor boost. There wasn’t a strong rosemary flavor, but you could taste it in the potatoes more than anything else. I did not add the cherry peppers because I forgot to pick them up at the store. If you took a little bite of everything (chicken, potatoes, bacon, and onions) all at once, you had a flavor explosion in your mouth. I will make this again but I will season the chicken with a little more salt and add some pepper.
This recipe is a bit time consuming but it is worth EVERY moment. I used a cast iron skillet and followed the recipe exactly. This is as hearty a chicken dish as I’ve ever eaten. Honestly, Mamma’s Chicken and Potatoes can compete with ANY steak or beef dinner. Lidia stole my heart with this one….