Updated: May 13, 2020
This is a riff on the Rao's of Harlem classic dish that will surely become a classic in your kitchen.
This dish is so simple yet so satisfying. There isn't much to it, but that's part of what makes it great, both as a recipe and a meal. The chicken is seasoned just with salt and pepper before going in the broiler on a rack. As the chicken broils, the skin crisps and the fat drips to the bottom of the pan. All that good stuffs gets mixed with the lemon sauce to make the most succulent and mouthwatering elixir. Serve this chicken with Spinach Orzo with Parmesan & Pignoli, rice, couscous, or crusty bread. If there is any of that luscious pan sauce left, be sure to save it and repurpose it for later use, like as a sauce pasta, shrimp, or vegetables.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; wet measuring cup; measuring spoons; mixing bowl; reamer; small strainer; whisk; sheet pan or shallow roasting pan with wire rack (or broiler pan); tongs; wooden spoon
Lemon Sauce Ingredients: 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons) ½ cup olive oil 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar 2 garlic cloves, finely minced ½ teaspoon dried oregano kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Chicken Ingredients: 1, 4-pound chicken, cut into parts (2 breasts, 2 legs, 2 thighs) kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1. Preheat the broiler with the oven rack set about 8 inches below the heat. Set a rack over a rimmed sheet pan or shallow roasting pan and set aside.
“If you want to halve the breasts before broiling, you can. The upside is that you won't have to handle a hot piece of chicken to cut it into two portions from the oven. The downside is that you risk the meat becoming dry. I've had success both ways. You choose the way that works for you.”
2. To make the lemon sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
3. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the chicken parts skin side-down on the rack without crowding.
4. Place the pan in the oven and broil for 12-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven (shut the oven door!), and turn the chicken pieces facing skin side-up. Cook for another 12-15 minutes or the until skin is golden-brown and juices run clear.
5. Lift the rack with the chicken on it from pan and set aside. Pour the lemon sauce in into the pan with the drippings. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate the drippings into the lemon sauce. The sauce now will be a rich golden hue.
6. Return the chicken pieces to the pan (cut the breasts in half if you left them whole to broil). Turn a few times to coat in the sauce. Place the chicken pieces on a deep platter or shallow serving bowl and pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.