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Rao's Famous Lemon Chicken


The most requested dish at Rao's in New York City is this lemon chicken -- or pollo al limone, as many of the restaurant's Italian American regulars say. Owner Frank Pellegrino roasts two broiler chickens, then flavors the meat with a tangy lemon, olive-oil, and garlic sauce.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


  • 2 broiling chickens, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds each, halved
  • Lemon Sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat broiler for at least 15 minutes before using.

  2. Broil chicken halves, turning once, until skin is golden brown and juices run clear when bird is pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken from broiler, leaving broiler on. Using a very sharp knife, cut each half into about six pieces (leg, thigh, wing, and three small breast pieces).

  3. Place chicken on a baking sheet with raised sides. Pour lemon sauce over the chicken, and toss to coat well. If necessary, divide sauce in half, and do this in two batches.

  4. Return to broiler, and broil for 3 minutes. Turn each piece, and broil for an additional minute. Remove from broiler, and evenly portion chicken onto six warm serving plates.

  5. Pour sauce into a heavy saucepan, and stir in parsley. Place over high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Pour sauce over chicken, distributing it evenly among the six servings; serve with lots of crusty bread to absorb the sauce.

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