Recipe: Lemon chicken, at home and at the campsite

This week I would like to share a recipe for lemon chicken. This recipe originated from the famous Rao’s Restaurant in New York City. However, I have made changes to the method by which it is cooked.

In the original recipe they used the broiler to cook the chicken (what a mess!) and added the lemon sauce for the last 15 minutes or so of the cooking. I felt that the chicken was not tender enough and the sauce did not get infused deeply into the meat.

Therefore, I brown the meat either on a barbecue (if you are camping) or in a cast iron Dutch oven with a bit of olive oil. Then I place it all into a baking dish/pan, pour the sauce over, cover and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

You can do this at home or at the camp site in a pan that will fit on a covered barbecue or as a Dutch oven meal. The result is amazing. It is the most lemony delicious, fall-off-the-bone chicken you can imagine.

I have used every cut of chicken in this recipe including boneless/skinless breasts, bone-in/skin on thighs and whole chicken cut into pieces. It all turns out fabulous.

I also substitute Meyers Lemon whenever possible. This pairs well with pasta or rice. I always serve mine with wild rice and broccoli or boccolini as they both do a good job soaking up the sauce. Enjoy!

Lemon Chicken

Serving: 4


  • 1 chicken cut up into pieces
  • or skinless boneless
  • chicken breasts
  • Lemon Sauce:---
  • 14 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 12 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 12 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Barbecue or brown chicken pieces until browned, turning as needed. Mix all remaining ingredients well. Place chicken pieces in baking dish and cover with lemon sauce. Cover tightly and cook in low oven 250-300 for several hours until sauce has cooked down and chicken is falling apart. Serve with wild rice.

2. I have done this camping too. I bring the sauce premixed; brown the chicken on a small gas barbeque that has a lid then put it all in a small tin pan and cover it with foil tightly. Put it back on the barbecue, cover the barbecue and let it cook slowly (med to med-low) for several hours. It is always a big hit.

3. I added Jerusalem artichokes last night. Scrubbed them a little and cut them into chunks and threw them in with the sauce and they really were a wonderful addition.

Kate Johnson is a longtime resident of Carson City. She practices pharmacy at Costco Pharmacy and is an avid gardener, musician, cook and lover of dogs.


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