World Recipes
By Therese Kelly
Nov 21, 2004 - 10:20:00 AM

Photo by Olga Litvin

Scarpariello means "shoemaker-style," and it is thought its name might have originated from the sight of chicken bones protruding from your mouth as you eat them; much like a shoemaker might hold tacks in his mouth as he works. Another southern Italian origin of the name is from the historical tid-bit that even the family of a poor shoemaker in southern Italy could afford to make this dish. While yet another version is that all of the ingredients in this dish can be easily "cobbled" together. Whatever the source of its name might be, the dish is delicious.

Some versions of this dish add sausage and vinegar in place of the lemon, although all of the recipes I have come across use cut up chicken pieces. Cut the chicken breast into two or three pieces to ensure all of the chicken cooks evenly. You can remove the skin as well if preferred. I like to serve simple side dishes to accompany this dish - such as mashed potatoes or polenta, and a nice crisp green vegetable.


1 (2 1/2 to 3 lb) chicken, cut into pieces

1 cup all-purpose flour

salt & pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

4 tablespoon 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 softened butter, unsalted

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


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 seasoned 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 letting the skillet get too hot. Once all of the pieces are well browned, remove them to a plate.

Pour out the leftover oil in the pan, leaving just a tablespoon or two with the browned chunks remaining on the bottom. Add the onion and cook until soft, then adding the garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, add the wine and stir the browned bits at the bottom while the wine reduces by half over the 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, whisking 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.

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