Sicilian Chicken

How to Boil Water, Roast, Chicken, Sicilian Chicken

Sicilian Chicken

There are many wonderful aspects associated with roasting a chicken.  First, it fills your house with a wonderful smell; second, you have a beautiful and delicious chicken for dinner; third, if you plan ahead and buy an appropriately sized chicken, you’ll have “plan-overs” for other meals — think chicken enchiladas or sliced chicken for sandwiches; lastly it’s a meal that everyone (vegetarians excluded) will eat.  

The recipe below comes from my days in Italy where we called Sicilian Chicken “Dirt Fried Chicken;” we called it that because the rotisseries were literally right beside busy highways; you took your life in your hands stopping to purchase one and it was clear that road dirt added an unusual “flavoring spice” to the birds. As my son said “It was worth it!” We rarely made it home before he was snacking on whatever he could pick off the hot bird; this from a child who ate spaghetti with butter for our two years living in Italy.

Here are some tips for knowing when the chicken is done:

  • internal temperature of 155°F
  • legs barely wobble, watch the video
  • last juices run clear

Sicilian Chicken

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Roast Chicken, Sicilian Chicken, Italian Chicken
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 6 people


  • 1 roasting chicken about 4 pounds
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 lemon pricked around with fork
  • fresh parsley
  • lemon slices or wedges


Combination roasting method:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Wash and dry chicken. Salt and pepper cavity of chicken; place rosemary and lemon inside cavity. Rub outside of chicken generously with olive oil. Truss chicken if desired. Place chicken on a rack in roasting pan.

  2. Roast 15 minutes at 450°F. Baste with additional olive oil. Sprinkle chicken generously with salt after browning has begun. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue basting every 15 to 30 minutes. Roast until chicken is done, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until internal temperature reaches 160°F, and juices run clear (this will result in really lemony, flavorful chicken). Remove from heat, tent with foil, let stand 10 minutes before carving.

  3. Serve on a bed of parsley and lemons.
  4. Serves 5-6.

Sauce for Sicilian Chicken:

  1. Remove the chicken and the roasting rack from the roasting pan.
  2. After removing chicken from the roasting pan, take the lemon out of the cavity, squeeze out some lemon juice for the sauce into the roasting pan.
  3. If the roasting pan can be used on the stovetop, place it on the burner and add one small minced shallot. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. In a small bowl, make a slurry by stirring together 1 tablespoon of arrowroot or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons dry white wine; set aside. To the roasting Add ½ to 1 cup of dry white wine, the lemon juice from the chicken. Bring to a boil; add the slurry to the sauce. Simmer until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Serves 5-6.


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