Mains · Recipes

Jon and Vinny’s Chicken Dinner

Hearty meat and potato dinner from celebrity chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, with a bruschetta appetizer.
The chicken and potatoes are easy to make, but it's probably better and cheaper to just buy a rotisserie chicken.
The sauce is good but not great — not really worth the amount of work and ingredients it takes.
The bruschetta is quite nice though.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Resting time40 minutes
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bruschetta, chicken, yams
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 kitchen blender
  • 1 baking or casserole dish
  • 1 baking tray
  • 2 small bowls
  • 1 gravy boat (or something similar. that you can pour sauce from)
  • 1 medium bowl
  • parchment paper
  • manual citrus juicer (optional)
  • 1 serrated knife
  • 1 frying pan
  • 1 pair of tongs
  • 1 cutting board
  • 3 serving plates
  • 1 probe thermometer (optional)
  • 1 instant thermometer (optional)


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 5 sweet potatoes or yams (Google the difference if you don't know, but you can use either and they're often mislabeled at the store. This recipe calls for sweet potatoes, though.)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • sesame seeds
  • 4 oz butter (1 stick)

Green Sauce

  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 limes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin


  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 loaf Ciabatta bread
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 clove garlic


  • Preheat oven to 450ºF, using convection bake if you have it.
  • Line the baking tray with parchment paper

Prep the chicken and potatoes (10 min)

  • Wash the potatoes with warm water
    5 sweet potatoes or yams
  • Place the potatoes in the baking or casserole dish
  • Wrap the top in aluminum foil, to trap the moisture inside, so we can steam the yams
  • Bring the chicken to the sink
    1 whole chicken
  • Take the giblets out or anything else that might be in the main cavity
  • Rinse it inside and out
  • Pat it dry with paper towels, inside and out
  • Place it on the parchment-lined baking tray, breast up
  • Cover the chicken fairly well with salt and pepper
    salt, black pepper
  • Sprinkle some salt and pepper inside the main cavity as well
  • If you have a probe thermometer, stick it in pretty deeply into the middle of one of the breasts, but not so deeply it touches the bone.
    If it has an alert function, set it for 165ºF. Otherwise, watch for when it gets to that temperature.
  • Once the oven is at 450º, put the dish with the yams on the top rack and the chicken on the rack below it
  • Set a timer for 50 minutes

Make the green sauce (30 min)

  • If you have bunches of parsley and cilantro, tear off a handful from the top
  • Place the both handfuls in the medium bowl
    1 handful parsley, 1 handful cilantro
  • Rinse them under cool, running water
  • Drain the water as well as you can
  • Get about 2 feet of paper towel and lay it out on the counter
  • Spread out the cilantro/parsley mixture onto the paper towels
  • Roll the paper towel up, with the mixture inside, like a Swiss roll
  • Set the roll aside
  • Peel the garlic cloves
    3 garlic cloves
  • On the cutting board, rough chop the jalapeno pepper.
    You can cut the end with the stem off, then cut the pepper in half lengthwise, and then chop crosswise. Be careful to not touch your eyes until you've washed your hands thoroughly of the pepper oil.
    1 jalapeno pepper
  • Cut the limes in half
    2 limes
  • Juice them (with a manual juicer, if you have it) into the 1st small bowl
  • Add the vinegar to the 1st small bowl
    ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • Add the olive oil to the 1st small bowl
    ½ cup olive oil
  • Unroll the paper towel and put the cilantro/parsley mixture in the blender
  • Add the lime/vinegar/oil mixture from the 1st small bowl to the blender
  • Add the chopped jalapeno and the whole garlic cloves to the blender
  • Add the sugar and cumin to the blender, along with a good pinch of salt
    1 tsp sugar, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp cumin
  • Start the blender on low speed and move it slowly up to its highest speed and let it blend there for about 30 seconds
  • Taste the green sauce and salt it more if you want (or otherwise adjust it), then pour it into the gravy boat and store it in the fridge

Make the bruschetta (20 min)

  • On the cutting board, slice and dice the tomatoes
    2 beefsteak tomatoes
  • Put the diced tomatoes into the 2nd small bowl
  • Rinse and dry the cutting board
  • On the cutting board, cut the loaf of bread in half, using the serrated knife
    1 loaf Ciabatta bread
  • Cut four 1" thick slices (due to the airiness of Ciabatta) from the cut ends
  • Cut the lemon in half
    1 lemon
  • Squeeze the juice from the lemon halves into a liquid measuring cup
  • Pour about 2 tbsp of the lemon juice into the 2nd small bowl, on top of the tomatoes
  • To the same 2nd small bowl, add a little salt and olive oil, to taste, and a pinch of pepper
    olive oil, salt, ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Lightly mix everything in the 2nd small bowl with a spoon or whatever
  • Heavily coat the bottom of the frying pan with olive oil
    olive oil
  • Put the frying pan on the burner and turn it on to medium
  • As the oil heats up, put 2 slices of bread in the frying pan
  • Fry them for about 1-2 minutes, until the undersides are lightly brown, and then flip them over with tongs (or your hands, if you're brave)
  • Once both sides are light brown, take the slices out with tongs and put them on the cutting board
  • Put the other two slices in the frying pan and repeat the previous 2 steps
  • Turn off the burner
  • Rub the clove of garlic all over the tops of all 4 slices
    1 clove garlic
  • Cut all 4 slices in half and place all 8 of the resulting slices on your serving plate
  • Spoon the tomato mixture from the 2nd small bowl on top of the 8 slices, letting some tomato pieces fall over onto the plate for a rustic look
  • Garnish the slices with basil, by tearing bits of basil off the bunch by hand and sprinkling on top
    1 bunch basil
  • Drizzle or spray the slices with olive oil
    olive oil
  • Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper
    ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper

Take the potatoes and chicken out (25-70 minutes)

  • Once the 50 minute timer is done, take the potatoes out, but keep them covered.
  • If you don't have the probe thermometer, test the temperature of the chicken with your instant thermometer to see if it's 165º in the interior of the breasts. (If you don't have an instant thermometer, the chicken probably came with a pop-up one, and you can safely rely on that too.)
  • If parts of the chicken are not yet to 165º, put it back in.
    If you don't have the probe thermometer, set a timer for 10 minutes and try checking it again, and if need be repeat, until it gets there.
  • Once the chicken is done, take it out carefully and let it rest for half the time it was in the oven, meaning 25-40 minutes.
  • While you're waiting, eat the bruschetta

Prepare the chicken and yams (15 minutes)

  • After the resting time is up, carefully — because the pan and chicken might still be hot — remove the chicken from the parchment paper, and place it on the cutting board
  • Remove the legs and thighs and place them on the serving plate.
    You can do this by cutting just the skin of the chicken between the breast and thigh, then putting your thumbs into those slits and gently pulling the legs off
  • Remove the breast pieces and place them on the serving plate.
    You can do this by cutting straight down the middle until you hit the breast bone beneath, and then following the bone with your knife on each side, separating the meat from the bone
  • Turn the chicken over and get the oyster from the back and eat it
  • Unwrap the dish with the sweet potatoes (or yams). They should be a little squishy
  • Cut each potato lengthwise, leaving them connected at the bottom, placing each on the 3rd serving platter
  • Pinch each potato from the ends, until the two halves separate in the middle, leaving some space
  • Into the space of each potato, place thin slices of the butter, then a pinch of salt, and shake some sesame seeds
    sesame seeds, 4 oz butter, salt
  • Serve a breast or drumstick to each of the 4 people, along with a potato. One or two people can have seconds, too.
  • Take the gravy boat, with the green sauce, out of the fridge and place it on the dining table.
    The diners should generously pour it all over the chicken pieces on the serving plate, so that they're drenched in it.


Adapted from Selena + Chef on Max, season 1 episode 5, Selena + Jon and Vinny.
In the show, they call the potatoes “yams”, even though they’re clearly sweet potatoes, because of the pointy ends and thin skin.