Everyone loves roasted chicken. But when you can make it in one pan, along with potatoes, wine, and olives, you’ve got a truly delicious meal!
Laura Vitale is why I love watching YouTube. In fact, she kinda got me into it. And it started innocently enough, like all YouTube gateway videos hook you, with me searching for “bruschetta,” and finding her in the kitchen, making it like your Italian grandmother would—only she’s this young, vibrant, beauty. I watched another of her cooking videos right after. When I’d flown through 5, an episode of The Vitales, her vlog channel with her husband, Joe, auto-played. I sat there, mesmerized, through 20 minutes of them chatting to each other in the car, going to the grocery store, serving Sunday dinner and eating with their best friends. A lot of it was as ordinary as a day in my life, and yet I couldn’t stop watching.
photo by Lucy Schaffer
I soon realized Laura had yet one more channel: Vitale Style, with fashion and beauty tutorials. Now she’d covered cooking, life, and style…I was really in the trenches with this woman. I told friends about Laura in the Kitchen, The Vitales, and Vitale Style, and they’d always ask why I liked the channels. And wait a minute—why did I?
The simple answer was: Laura. Every video made me feel like I was watching a friend. She was warm, passionate, humble, but also silly and willing to laugh at herself. In a sense, she reminded me of my mom—sincere and kind in this distinctly old-world, give you the shirt off her back kind of way.
At the beginning of October, Laura released her first cookbook, Laura in the Kitchen: Favorite Italian-American Recipes Made Easy, and it’s everything I love about her. The recipes are down-to-earth, comforting, and so downright lovable. The ingredient lists are as approachable as she is. There’s zero pretense here—not when you’re gathering your groceries or putting the meals together–and I love that. The whole cookbook makes me want to cook more. And with Laura’s signature fuss-free style, I already know I’ll give copies to friends and family who feel intimidated in the kitchen.
This one-pan chicken with potatoes, wine, and olives strikes that signature Laura balance and reinforces the notion that deliciousness doesn’t require extravagance. The flavors are simple and straightforward and yet, combined, they surprise us. Green olives, white wine, and lemon infuse the potatoes and chicken with this briney brightness, and rosemary and thyme play well with chicken. I love using real, wholesome ingredients like this. From prep to plate—the meal comes together in under an hour.
Laura calls for the dish to be made in a roasting pan, but I made it in my new favorite Staub Cast Iron 4-quart Cocotte because I’m just plain obsessed with it, and its heaviness ensures even cooking and the cast iron always helps me with better browning. I didn’t use the lid that comes with the cocotte while roasting this meal, but I can’t help but mention that the special feature of Staub cocotte lids is that less humidity can escape during cooking because each lid is covered (on the inside) with self-basting spikes that create a continuous “rainfall effect,” returning the juices to the food over and over during cooking. How great is that? I love anything that allows me to be a little more hands-off, while still ensuring that the meal cooks perfectly.
I’m giving away 4 copies of Laura in the Kitchen: Favorite Italian-American Recipes Made Easy because I want you all to get your hands on this book!
Leave a comment below telling me 1 recipe you’ve been dying to make but are intimidated to tackle. I’ll randomly select 4 winners by Friday, November 6th!