Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rao's Famous Lemon Chicken from "Go Green East Harlem Cookbook"

I discovered Rao's Famous Lemon Chicken recipe after meeting with Maritza Owens, who run Harvest Homes Farmer's Market. It is featured in the "Go Green East Harlem Cookbook."
A wonderful picture of Maritza Owens graces the cover of "Go Green East Harlem Cookbook," which was edited by Scott Stringer, the Manhattan Borough President, as part of the "Go Green East Harlem" initiative. The cookbook features 68 recipes in both English and Spanish that were donated by restaurants, shops and organizations in the area. Recipes include Rao's lemon chicken which I have posted below. You can find all of Rao's recipes on

If you prefer to use breasts instead of half chickens, just purchase 3 pounds of chicken breasts with skin (about 6- 8 pieces) and broil them for 20 minutes/10 minutes each side. Then cut each breast into 3 pieces and continue from step 4. My kids don't really like the parsley so I serve them first and then add the parsley to the sauce for the adults.

  • Two 2.5-3 pound broiling chickens, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
Lemon sauce:
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

In advance:
Whisk together all ingredients for lemon sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk or shake vigorously before using.

To prepare:
1. Preheat broiler for 15 minutes before cooking.
2. Broil chicken halves, turning once, for about 30 minutes until skin is golden-brown and juices run clear when bird is pierced with a fork.
3. Remove chicken from broiler, leaving broiler on. Using a sharp knife, cut each half into about 6 pieces (leg, thigh, wing, 3 small breast pieces).
4. Place chicken on a baking sheet with sides or a baking pan that can fit in the broiler. Pour Lemon Sauce over the chicken and toss to coat well. If necessary, divide sauce in half to do this in two batches.
5. Return to broiler and broil for 3 minutes. Turn each piece and broil for an additional minute.
6. Remove from broiler and portion each chicken onto each of 6 warm serving plates.
7. 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 crusty bread. (Joan's is a good gluten free bread we like.)