Rao's Famous Lemon Chicken

Enjoy flavorful Rao's Lemon Chicken with this easy recipe that comes together in less than an hour.

Updated January 06, 2023
Raos Famous Lemon Chicken
Raos Famous Lemon Chicken

Editor's Note: Rao's Famous Lemon Chicken is a delicious broiled chicken recipe that's tart and tangy — perfect for the spring and summer. It's quick and easy to make — the whole thing takes under an hour, and most of that time the chicken is in the broiler so you don't even need to worry about it. This easy lemon chicken recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners or a weekend dinner party. The lemon sauce is garlicky and bursting with the flavors of lemon and oregano, making this dish a mouthwatering addition to your dining room table! This recipe for Rao's lemon chicken is just what you need the next time you want to make a truly special meal. If you can't get reservations to the iconic restaurant, then you can do the next-best thing by making this lemon chicken recipe at home!


Cooking MethodBroiling



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course


Taste and TextureGarlicky, Herby, Savory, Tangy, Tart


  • 2 2 ½- to 3-pound broiling chickens, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. To attain maximum heat, preheat broiler for at least 15 minutes before using.

  2. Make 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Return to broiler and broil for 3 minutes. Turn each piece and broil for an additional minute.

  7. Remove from broiler and portion each chicken onto each of 6 warm serving plates.

  8. 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.


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I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

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lidnab, your suggestion of using a Rotisserie chicken cut into serving pieces was brilliant! I covered the serving pieces in the sauce and put into a 200 degree oven till it was hot. For us Sam's Club has the best Rotisserie chicken. Just make sure it is plain and not pre-seasoned another flavor.

This sounds divine. If you are looking for an even faster way - buy a Rotisserie chicken, cut in pieces and then go on with the lemon sauce.

I can't wait to try this lemon chicken on the grill in the summer.

tried the lemon chicken using thighs.....i went heavy with the oregano...i merinated prior to baking. came out very herbsy tasting and good.

I make this and its amazing, don't need quite as much olive oil or lemon though. I squeeze to lemons, then add about the sa,e amount of olive oil as what i get for juice.

I normally don't offer a comment unless it's positive. I had this dish at Rao's and it was almost inedible. The sauce was way too strong and not even tasty. I do not recommend this recipe.

This sounds great, but wouldn't it be easier to cut the chicken into the desired pieces beforehand, marinate them in the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic, and THEN roast in the oven?

The lemon would cook it rubbery and it would not get enough char quick.

I can see cutting it ahead of time, but not marinating it ahead of time, but the cooked chicken would cut apart easier, it seems.


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