Lemony Fried Chicken

Lemony Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a perennial favorite, a comfort food that’s just hard not to like. From the crispy outside to the juicy chicken inside, it’s as good cold as it is fresh and hot, and it loves a good buffet table. Our version is inspired by Jewish traditions in Tuscany, and kissed with lemon and herbs.
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine American


  • 1 chicken 3 1/2 to 4 pounds
  • 3 lemons zest & juice
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 eggs beaten


  • 2 lemons cut into wedges


2 Hours Before

  • Cut the chicken into eight pieces. Rinse, pat dry, and place the pieces in a large baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, half the zest, garlic, Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, oregano, salt and black pepper. Toss to blend together, and then pour over the chicken. Stir to coat the chicken on all sides.
  • Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning and stirring every 30 minutes or so.

When You're Ready

  • Add the oil to a large, heavy frying pan deep enough to allow for about 1 1/2-inch of oil.
  • Heat at a medium setting until the oil is about 325 °F. The traditional method uses a wooden spoon – if you stick the end of a wooden spoon in the oil, bubbles form around it and drift to the surface, then it’s ready.
  • Place the flour in a shallow dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste, along with the remaining half of the lemon zest.
  • Add the eggs to another bowl.
  • One at a time, take each piece of chicken, and shake off the excess marinade.
  • Dredge it in the seasoned flour, then in the egg mixture, then back in the flour, and drop carefully into the oil.
  • Turn the chicken pieces occasionally, and fry until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. The average cooking time should be about 15 minutes; larger breasts or thighs may take 20 to 25 minutes.
  • When done, transfer to a cooling rack with tongs. Place kitchen paper underneath the rack to catch the drippings.
  • Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes, and serve with lemon wedges.


Note: When it comes to oil, your best options are vegetable, peanut, or canola.
Keyword chicken, Lemons
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