This is another Italian-American dish that translates as “shoemaker’s” style chicken, and consists of golden brown, pieces of roasted chicken that are topped with a tasty lemon flavored sauce. This was the most popular recipe on my old website and since I had not made it for a while I decided to make it one evening. I had forgotten how moist and tender the chicken is cooked by this method and the sauce has a piquant flavor that is delicious.
It is thought that this dish was named Scarpariello as the chicken bones protrude from your mouth as you eat them much like a shoemaker might hold tacks in his mouth as he works. Another southern Italian origin to the name comes about from the fact that even the family of a poor shoemaker in southern Italy could afford to make this dish, while yet another version to explain it’s name is that all of the ingredients in this dish can be easily “cobbled” together. Whatever the source of it’s name might be, the dish is delicious.
Some versions of this dish add sausages and vinegar in place of the lemon I have used in my version, although all of the recipes I have come across use cut up chicken pieces. Cut the chicken breast into 2 or three pieces to ensure all of the chicken pieces cook evenly. You can remove the skin as well if you prefer. I like to serve simple side dishes to accompany this dish such as mashed potatoes or polenta, and a nice crisp green vegetable.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 1 (2 1/2 to 3 Pound) Chicken Cut Into Pieces
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Oregano
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Sliced
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Onions
- 1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
- 1 Cup Chicken Broth
- 1/2 Cup White Wine
- Juice From 1 Lemon
- 3 Tablespoons Unsalted, Softened Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Flour
- 1/4 Cup Chopped, Fresh Parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix together the flour and oregano, and season with salt and pepper.
- Rinse and dry the chicken pieces, and then dredge them lightly in the seaoned flour mixture.
- In a heavy, ovenproof skillet, large enough to hold all of the chicken pieces, heat the olive oil, and then brown the chicken well on all sides over medium heat. (Be careful not to burn the oil by using too hot of heat.)
- Once all of the pieces are well browned, remove them to a plate.
- Pour out the left over oil in the pan, leaving just a tablespoon or two with the browned bits at the bottom.
- Add the onion and cook until soft, and then add the garic.
- As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, add the wine, and stir the browned bits at the bottom while you reduce the wine by half over medium high heat.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Break up the rosemary into pieces, and add it to the sauce.
- Return the chicken pieces to the skillet, and spoon the sauce over top.
- Bake the chicken until done, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a warmed platter, and bring the remaining sauce to a boil.
- Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix the tablespoon of flour with 1 tablespoon of softened butter.
- Add the remaining butter to the sauce in the skillet, and mix well.
- Remove the rosemary pieces from the sauce.
- If the sauce is thin, stir in a little of the flour and butter mixture, wisking continuously to prevent lumps.
- Once the sauce has thickened, add the chopped parsley, and pour the sauce over the chicken on the platter.
- Serve immediately.