Mrs. Scorsese’s Lemon Chicken

We came across this dish when on the “tasting along the wine road” November 6 & 7, 2010. The event features cuisine and wine parings by wineries all across the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County California. This particular dish was featured at Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery and was paired with his Director’s Cut chardonnay. We just attended the 2011 Wine Road event, so stay tuned for more recipes!

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 3-lb chicken, cut into serving pieces (leg and thigh separated and breast into 3 pieces)
3 Large garlic cloves
1-1/2 Cups lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup of water
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, torn plus 3 additional sprigs.

Preheat the oven to 400

Coat the bottom of a cast iron baking dish with olive oil. Peel and cut the garlic cloves into thirds. Evenly distribute the garlic pieces in the pan.

Rinse the chicken and pat the pieces dry with paper towel. Arrange the chicken in the baking dish, skin side up.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Taste the mixture, and if it’s too sour or acidic add water as desired. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the chicken, turning to coat all sides. Add the torn oregano and sprigs to the top (skin side) of the chicken. If you don’t have access to fresh oregano, just use your favorite seasonings such as Italian seasoning or Fines Herbes etc.

Put the baking pan into the oven and cook the chicken until the skin is browned, basting occasionally with the pan juices, for approximately 40-45 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and pour pan drippings in a sauce boat to be served separately.

Alternatively you can shred/pull the chicken and pour the pan drippings over the pulled chicken and serve over rice or even on a salad.