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Shoemaker-Style Chicken

Pollo Scarpariello


Pollo scarpariello, or shoemaker-style chicken, is a country-style Neapolitan favorite with many variations. With just a few choice ingredients and seasonings the taste is sensational. Small bone-in chicken pieces provide the best flavor, and freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must.

Marinate the chicken at least one day before cooking in a heavy-duty zipper-lock bag, shaking it occasionally to ensure it gets evenly seasoned. The secret to the crispy golden crust is to use a good-quality heavy sauté pan; the chicken is browned on high heat to seal in the juices.


3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, cut into small pieces

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Grated zest of 2 large lemons

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Grinding of black pepper

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced

1/2 cup minced parsley leaves


Wash and dry the chicken pieces and set aside.

In a plastic zipper-lock bag combine 1/2 cup of the lemon juice, the zest, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken pieces, close the bag, and shake to distribute the ingredients around the chicken pieces. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and dry the pieces well with paper towels. Discard the marinade. Pour the flour into a large paper bag, add the chicken pieces, close the bag tightly, and shake the bag to coat the chicken pieces with flour. Remove the chicken pieces to a dish and set aside.

In a heavy-duty sauté pan large enough to hold all the pieces in a single layer, heat the olive oil and butter until hot. Add the chicken pieces, skin-side down, and brown them well over high heat. This will take about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook the chicken, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is fork-tender. Remove the chicken to a warm platter.

Stir the garlic into the drippings and cook it over medium heat until soft. Pour in the remaining lemon juice, add the parsley, and stir and cook for 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits remaining in the pan. Pour the juice over the chicken pieces, season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve immediately.

Note: You'll get more juice from lemons if they are at room temperature, not refrigerated. Roll them around before squeezing.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA - BRINGING ITALY HOME by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2001.


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    Jane whitney


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