Rao’s Famous Lemon Chicken and Caprese Salad

Several months ago I went on a cookbook buying binge. I felt constrained by my then cookbook collection and wanted to branch out, try new recipes, and really up my cooking game.  I thought what better way to do this than to go out and buy books that inspire me.  So I did, much to my hubby’s dismay.

I waited with anticipation for the books to arrive and then spent the evening reading through them and dreaming of the recipes that I would make. The end. Just as my hubby predicted, they would sit on the cookbook shelf with the rest of my cookbooks as I went back over and over again to my tried and true cookbooks with recipes I knew I could master. Every time I opened the cookbook cabinet those books stared right back at me until this week when I took the plunge and grabbed the Rao’s book off the shelf.

Everyone I know who owns that book can not stop raving about that Lemon Chicken so I went for it. The only problem, I forgot that we did not have a broiler pan in our apartment. I googled broiling without a broiling pan and quickly realized that cooking a chicken for 30 minutes in an oven under a broiler without a broiling pan would be literally asking for my first kitchen fire. So to the store I (or my hubby) went to grab a broiler pan. Finally I was ready.

While the half chicken cooked under the broiler, I started making the lemon dressing.  I juiced the lemons, added the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper.  Wisked it all together, and set aside.  Easy so far.

At 15 minutes, I flipped the chicken over and it looked like it was cooking pretty quickly so I opted for 25 minutes under the broiler and not the full 30 suggested.  I was only making half the recipe, so figured why not.  Well I also did not take into account that my half chicken was as big as a full chicken they suggest halving.  At 25 minutes I pulled out the chicken to cut it into 6 pieces as recommended. I pierced it with a fork to make sure the juices ran clear.  They did, so I started cutting, separating the breast from the leg, and then I saw that the meat in the inside was definitely not cooked. Back in it went for another 5 minutes.  I hoped it wouldn’t get dried out but feared the worst.

Well it looked delicious, so far so good. I cut it into 6 pieces, put it in the bottom of my new broiler pan, poured the lemon dressing over it and back in the broiler it went for another 3 minutes.

While my chicken finished cooking, I assembled the Caprese Salad. I have been dreaming of this dish since heirloom tomatoes first made their appearance a few weeks ago but couldn’t stomach their cost. Thank you Whole Foods for putting them on sale this week. How pretty!

Some thick slices of heirloom tomato, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil and I had my first home-made Caprese salad of the season.

Finally the chicken was done and dinner was served!

As I had feared the white meat did get a little over cooked and dried out but that deliciousness of a lemon sauce made up for everything. It really was AMAZING. I think the red wine vinegar was the secret ingredient to really pull it all together. Next time I will just have to get the chicken right.

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One thought on “Rao’s Famous Lemon Chicken and Caprese Salad

  1. Pingback: Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Chicken Breasts « What I Made For Dinner

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