Pollo al Limone



The most requested dish at Rao’s in New York City in  East Harlem, is this lemon chicken — or Pollo al Limone, as many of the restaurant’s Italian American regulars say. The dish is a family recipe created by owner Frank Pellegrino’s Uncle  Vincent nearly 70 years ago, who roasted two broiler chickens, then flavored the meat with a tangy lemon, olive-oil, and garlic sauce. As in the Pellegrino tradition, the dish is best served with the side dish Peas and Prosciutto, also a family dish.


Serves 6

For  the Lemon Sauce:
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

For the Chicken:
Two 2 1/2 -to-3-pound broiling chickens, halved
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

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


For the Chicken:
To attain maximum heat, preheat the 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 into 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.


TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor