Chicken with Lemon and White Wine
Scarpariello means “shoemaker’s style,” and there are many theories about how the name for this recipe came about. Some say little bits of chopped garlic resemble the nailheads in a shoe, while others say it was a quick dish a busy shoemaker cobbled together. Most likely, it is an Italian-American invention, given an Italian name by a clever restaurateur. There are many versions of this dish, and every one I have tasted has been delicious. Typically, the chicken is chopped into small chunks, known as spezzatino, from spezzare, “to chop,” so that the pieces can absorb more of the tasty sauce. You can do this at home with a cleaver or heavy knife, or have the butcher prepare the chicken for you. If you prefer, you can simply cut the chicken at the joints into serving-size pieces.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturebuttery, garlicky, herby, juicy, meaty, winey
- 1 chicken (about 3½ pounds)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Trim off the chicken wing tips and tail. Set them aside for another use. With a large heavy knife or cleaver, cut up the chicken at the joints. Cut the breasts, thighs, and legs into 2-inch chunks. Rinse the pieces and pat dry. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer. Cook, turning the pieces occasionally, until nicely browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium. Spoon off the fat. Place the butter in the pan, and when it is melted, add the garlic. Turn the chicken pieces in the butter and add the lemon juice.
Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, turning the pieces occasionally, until the chicken juices run clear when pierced with a knife in the thickest part of the thigh, about 10 minutes.
If there is a lot of liquid remaining, remove the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm. Turn the heat to high and boil until the liquid is reduced and slightly thickened. Stir in the parsley and pour over the chicken.
2004 Michele Scicolone