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Has anybody ever made Rao's Lemon Chicken?

Scagnetti Jan 17, 2007 07:40 PM

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"?


  1. n
    namreb Jan 22, 2007 05:03 PM

    don't use the bottle version. stick to homemade

    1. sivyaleah Jan 20, 2007 01:06 PM

      Made it several times, for my husband's very Italian family and it's always a huge hit. As mentioned, have lots of bread on hand! Very tasty. I've also used their bottled version a few times when I don't want to do it from scratch - it's pretty good and useful for shrimp as well.

      1. n
        namreb Jan 20, 2007 12:37 PM

        I found a bottle last nite in my closet.
        I was thinking about checking with the hounds.
        and there were you!

        I have made this recipe before but never used the bottle version.
        I will this weekend. keep you posted!

        1. l
          lmem1 Jan 18, 2007 08:40 PM

          We own the Rao's cookbook and LOVE the lemon chicken recipe. It is one of our favorites. The lemon sauce has the right amount of tart from the lemon and a good zip from the garlic. Dip some crusty bread in the leftover sauce! YUMMMMMMM

          1. jdm Jan 18, 2007 08:24 PM

            Easy Easy Easy and really quite tasty.

            1. s
              shellymck Jan 18, 2007 03:23 PM

              Saveur magazine featured this recipe in an article a few years ago. It's probably available on their website.

              1. RaleighRocker Jan 18, 2007 10:05 AM

                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.

                1. free sample addict aka Tracy L Jan 18, 2007 08:39 AM

                  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 Jan 17, 2007 08:20 PM

                    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
                      bryan Jan 18, 2007 04:48 AM

                      Could you possibly paraphrase the recipe? TIA.

                      1. re: bryan
                        jfood Jan 20, 2007 12:33 PM

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



                        1. re: jfood
                          bryan Jan 21, 2007 03:34 AM

                          Thank you. I had missed the link earlier.

                      2. re: jfood
                        ChowFun_derek Jan 20, 2007 09:31 AM

                        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
                          jfood Jan 20, 2007 12:38 PM

                          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
                            missmasala Jan 20, 2007 06:09 PM

                            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
                              jfood Jan 20, 2007 09:55 PM

                              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
                              ChowFun_derek Jan 20, 2007 09:13 PM

                              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. f
                          FAL Jan 17, 2007 08:14 PM

                          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. r
                            rockinghamroaster Jan 17, 2007 08:05 PM

                            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...

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