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Jan 17, 2007 07:40 PM

Has anybody ever made Rao's Lemon Chicken?

A long time ago I bought Rao's Cookbook and I've been thinking about making the Lemon Chicken. The cookbook makes it sound like it is a very popular dish at the restaurant. Is it really all "that"?

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  1. Yes. I've had it at Rao's and I've made it at home in L.A. many times and it's great. There is also a Rao's brand marinade of the same ingredients which is a time saver. Tastes the same. Either way, be fearless in broiling the chicken halves at a full broil (add a little salt and pepper)... I like to slightly ovecook the finished, coated chicken pieces for a not quite burnt/carmelized mini-crunch with most bites. Try it... you'll like it...

    1. The true question is maybe Rao's ain't all that.Getting a table is hard and when you do it is old world NYC Italian . I am not saying the food is bad but you would think it would be much greater. Plus it a costly . Last time I was there table of 4 it was $600 plus tips. We didn't have alot .As for the lemon chicken I think the recipe uses too much olive oil.Plus you when you cook it at home the skin is never as brown or crispy as it is in RAO's . Because they have commerical broilers.

      1. I've made this dish a dozen times at home and every time my family asks me why i do not make it more often. It's a snap to make. I agree that 1 cup of oil is a lot and depending on my mood i lessen.

        Why anyone would buy the bottled stuff is beyond me, it's six ingredients, lemon juice, oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, and S&P. Voila.

        As far as getting it the right color, patience and a watchful eye get you there every time.

        8 Replies
        1. re: jfood

          Could you possibly paraphrase the recipe? TIA.

          1. re: bryan

            No need to paraphrase as it's on line. Here's the link:



            1. re: jfood

              Thank you. I had missed the link earlier.

          2. re: jfood

            How many inches away from the broiler is it cooked?
            This wasn't mentioned in the recipe...and 30 minutes seems too long! What has your experience been?

            1. re: ChowFun_derek

              I use a GE Monogram (Bosch-made) oven with four levels to choose. I also use a flat baking sheet (with sides) as the basic so there is no additional height to consider with my method. I place the rack at the second highest choice and broil the underside first. I watch and wait for a good feel that it is all it can take with a golden brown. The I flip over and broil til light tan.

              All in I have bever watched the clock but 20-25 minutes with this distance from the broiler feels about right.

              I then do the lemon sauce purge. and return. This is where the eyes come into play. Gotta watch for the right personal preference on color.


              1. re: jfood

                I have one of those old-fashioned stoves with a bottom broiler and not much deviation in how far from the flame things can be. also, i'm a little intimidated by broiling. so here's my question:
                instead of following this recipe exactly, could i bake chicken parts in the oven until almost done/done, then pour on the lemon sauce and run under the broiler? how different in taste do you think this would be. What exactly makes a broiled chicken different from a baked one. I can see in a restaurant how the two are equally easy but in a home kitchen they are not.

                what do people think about baking for the first cooking?

                1. re: missmasala

                  Go for the "fake broil". Here's what I would do. Bake the chicken halves at 425 for 30 minutes. Take them out of the oven and crank it to 450-500. While the oven cranks up, cut the chicken and combine with the lemon sauce. Through back into the oven for 10-15 minutes, skin side up.

                  Just a thought

                2. re: jfood

                  Thanks, that makes it quite a bit clearer..I especially like that you cook the underside first and then watch the top side for just the right amount of browning...

            2. It's great, adding the lemon sauce at the end really makes the recipe. Thanks for the link. I lost the recipe shortly after trying it when Saveur did a piece on Rao's.

              1. jfood--the recipe is is the first post & after just looking at it myself, it seems like a monkey can do this one, but it seems yummy.