Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My other favorite Lemon Chicken...


I love lemon anything. Mostly anyway! and Woodie's World Famous Chicken Piccata is tops, but has to be tied with Rao's Famous Lemon Chicken. It doesn't get any easier or tastier than this chicken dish. If you like lemon and you like chicken, give this a try. It really is nice enough for company and easy enough when you have a house full of big obnoxious hungry kids. They didn't get the pretty plate either, you can bet on that! Those kids do not appreciate garnish, let alone plating :) Just feed them! A lot. Larry and I, we got the civilized plates!

Rao's Famous Lemon Chicken
From Rao's Restaurant, Frank Pelligrino
6 servings

2 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) broiling chickens, halved (I use chicken parts instead of whole chickens. My family likes the thighs and the legs. and I take the skin off and you can see in the picture it still crisps up really nicely without the skin.)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk together juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk or shake vigorously before using.

(I add two chopped shallots to the lemon sauce!)

CHICKEN: To attain maximum heat, preheat broiler for at least 15 minutes before using.

Broil chicken halves, turning once, for about 30 minutes or until skin is golden-brown and juices run clear when bird is pierced with a fork.

Remove chicken from broiler, leaving broiler on. Using a very sharp knife, cut each half into about 6 pieces (leg, thigh, wing, 3 small breast pieces).

Place chicken on a baking sheet with sides, of a size that can fit into the broiler. Pour Lemon Sauce over the chicken and toss to coat well. If necessary, divide sauce in half and do this in two batches.

Return to broiler and broil for 3 minutes. Turn each piece and broil for an additional minute.

Remove from broiler and portion each chicken onto each of 6 warm serving plates.

Pour sauce into a heavy saucepan. Stir in parsley and place over high heat for 1 minute. Pour an equal amount of sauce over each chicken and serve with lots of crusty bread to absorb the sauce.

I found this recipe for Lemon Orzo at the Food Network. I forgot the parsley in both the pasta and the Rao's recipes. Like that's a surprise. I usually forget something, this wasn't too bad, I guess forgetting lemon in this case would be worse!

and a spoonful or two of the Rao's Lemon Sauce on the Orzo makes it that much better!

Orzo with Parsley and Lemon Zest
recipe by Rachael Ray, Food Network 30-minute Meals

1/2 pound orzo
Coarse salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large lemons, zested
Black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls

Cook orzo in salted water about 12 minutes, to al dente. Drain orzo well. Do not run under cold water. You want the cooked pasta to remain hot. Transfer pasta to a serving bowl. Drizzle orzo with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add lemon zest and parsley and toss to combine the flavors with the pasta.

The String Beans were also, can you guess? Lemon! Steamed the beans, then tossed with a teeny bit of olive oil, little bit of grated garlic, salt and pepper, a little lemon zest, and sprinkled a little fresh parmigiano-reggiano on top.

That about covers everything. A total lemon dinner! Dessert...

Ralph's Italian Ice. Mine was lemon, there was also a mango, a rainbow and a chocolate!

Tomorrow we have takeout! Back to normal.


  1. What a wonderful lemony, sunshiny post!

    Carol, you definitely need a lemon tree ... and one that put out more than one lemon a year. (Or was it years?)

    I've heard you mention the Rao's chicken before but don't remember ever seeing the recipe. It does sound wonderfully tasty.

  2. Looks delish! I still need to try this. I have chicken quarters that need cooking so maybe I'll do it tomrrow!

  3. A woman after my own heart - look at all those legs!! I just ran across the Chicken Piccata recipe last I will have to add this one to it..sounds great. And look at the size of those green beans!!
    Great post, photos and dishes..even if the kids don;t appreciate!

  4. The lemon themed dinner looks so good on that beautiful blue plate. I copied this recipe from your old blog but have yet to try it. It sure sounds good to me...I wish DH liked lemon more.

  5. Your whole meal sounds so delicious! Copying and pasting and can't wait to try both the chicken and orzo!

  6. Carol, any dish with lemons and garlic always gets my vote. Looks delish!

  7. What's not to like, chicken, lemons, pasta and my favorite, green beans!

  8. You are the Rao's chicken queen, Carol. It always looks so good. The orzo sounds great!

  9. Does it work with chicken breasts??

  10. I think it would work any chicken, Kathleen.

    Sol, I know you are a huge fan of garlic! Your lemon garlic chicken is also a big hit here!

    LOL, Cynthia, it was years! Took three years for one lemon that turned out to be dried up on the inside. I haven't given up. I'll have that lemon drop martini one of these years :)

    Thanks everyone! Now all I need is the lemon custard cakes!

  11. I want to make this soon. It looks unbelievably delicious!


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