Fried chicken is a very tasty and appetizing dish, which is really hard to resist to, both kids and adults love it. It is very popular in the United States, a recipe inherited by the black culture. In Italy we do cook it as well using a typical Mediterranean herb: rosemary. In the Italian cuisine fresh rosemary is often added to roast meat to enhance the flavor. My recipe is unique in that the chicken is cooked in a pan with a marinade of lemon juice and spices, floured and then fried in oil. This process makes this dish even more tasty and healthier. The step in the pan facilitates cooking of chicken thoroughly, reducing the frying time, only a few minutes for browning. The addition of spices gives it a tangy touch to the delicate flavor of the chicken meat. You can also increase the amount of spices according to your taste. If you like a spicier taste you can also add a teaspoon of hot pepper to the flour too.
My kids love this recipe and I usually serve it roasted potatoes or baked potato. For a lighter contorno (side dish) you can enjoy a seasonal salad with vinegrette dressing.
I personally like a lighter version – no frying but grilling! After cooking the chicken in the pot you can directly grill it in a hot oven (200 °C, 400 °F) for 5-8 minutes (without flouring). Before grilling pour some tablespoons of sauce on top.
POLLO FRITTO ALL’ITALIANA (ITALIAN STYLE FRIED CHICKEN)
Preparation time: 60 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Servings: 4
1 free-range chicken (about 1.3 kg, 3 pounds) cut into 8 pieces
1 tablespoon dried chili
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons salt
1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Juice of one lemon or 3-4 tablespoons apple vinegar
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 garlic cloves
80 g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour + 1 teaspoon salt
Olive oil for frying
1. Wash the chicken under running water
2. Prepare the marinade in a glass bowl, by mixing dried chili, pepper, garlic, salt, mustard, rosemary and lemon juice. Add chicken and “massage” it by hand to coat well with the spices. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes
3 In a large pot add the chicken with the marinade cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 25-30 until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Transfer chicken on a plate by removing the sauce.
4. In a bowl mix flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper (optional). Flour chicken
5. In a frying pan heat plenty of peanut oil, when oil has reached the right temperature (180 °C -325 °F, measured with a cooking thermometer), fry chicken making sure that it is crispy on all sides. Place on paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve hot. I recommend to eat it just prepared. It’s definitely better freshly cooked.
Note: Deep frying is a dry heat cooking method (see more in chiacchere). – Paola