Sunday, March 7, 2010

Roasted Lemon Chicken - A La Raos

In late 2009 I had the privilege of dining at one of the most famous yet inconceivable restaurants in Manhattan to be at.  For those familiar with the famed Italian eatery, Raos, an 8 table room on the upper east side of Harlem filled with posters of famous actors, musicians, an autographed Mike Piazza & Jorge Posada picture, and yes one large Jukebox with tunes from all genres not including what many young children of my generation would even classify as "music". 

The meal was quite memorable as well, starting with trays of Fried Mozzarella, seafood salad, beefsteak tomatoes & onions, meatballs, garlic bread, & fried & grilled calamari.  The wine was flowing, bottle after bottle, Cabernet, Barolo, Sangiovese, and on and on and on....

And then came dinner.  By the time the trays were laid to rest,  I can only remember one dish.  Not to say everything that night wasn't cooked to perfection, in all honesty I think the wine, apps, pasta had just about put me to rest.  But there was one specific dish, not uncommon to something my mother would have cooked growing up.  Yet this special night, the dish so simply known as "Raos Famous Lemon Chicken" would end up being a staple in my kitchen for many years to come.

Raos Famous Lemon Chicken


  • 1 large chicken - halved
  • 8-10 Lemons (enough to make 1 cup of Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • Salt & Fresh ground pepper

Preheat broiler for 15 minutes.  Halve chicken lengthwise and set in roasting pan (see below).

Roast for 30-40 minutes turning once.  While roasting whisk together in a bowl lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, & Salt & pepper.  Set aside in refrigerator.  

After 30 minute remove chicken from broiler (leave broiler on) and set aside on cutting board.

Using a sharp knife remove wing and drumstick, cut breast into 3 pieces and thigh into two.  Toss chicken into lemon mixture and place all ingredients back into roasting pan.  Continue to broil for additional 15 minutes.  

Remove chicken from oven.  Pour remaining mixture into small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir in handful of parsley and when slightly reduced pour over chicken and serve.  Goes great with Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic.

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