Most people don't think of fried chicken as a particularly Italian dish, but the lemony version Cesare serves is one he grew up eating as a child in Lucca, Tuscany, where his family ran a celebrated restaurant. It's a brilliant preparation, and incredibly simple: The chicken is marinated with lemon juice and garlic, then battered and fried in a simple dredging of flour and beaten egg, the bright citrus cutting through all those juicy, meaty, greasy layers, balancing it all out. At Beppe, Cesare serves it with heaps of fried herbs and garlic on top.
In a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag, combine chicken, lemon juice, garlic, salt, a generous grating of pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Seal and shake to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
When ready to fry chicken, fill a wok, Dutch oven, or large cast iron skillet with about 1 1/2 inches of oil and heat oil until it registers 375°F on an instant-read thermometer. Fill a wide bowl with flour and another with egg.
Drain chicken. Working in batches if necessary, dredge each piece of chicken in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg to coat. Let excess egg drizzle off, then add to hot oil; the oil temperature will drop. Fry chicken, turning occasionally and maintaining an oil temperature between 325 and 350°F, until chicken is golden brown outside and registers an internal temperature of 145°F for breasts and 155°F for drumsticks and thighs, about 15 minutes.
Transfer fried chicken to paper towels to drain, then transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Allow chicken to rest for a full 3 minutes after breast core temperature rises to 150°F. Serve right away with lemon wedges. Alternatively, allow to cool to room temperature, then re-fry in hot oil just before serving.
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Recipe (419g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1 Recipe|
|Calories from Fat: 173 (24%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 19.2g||26 %|
|Saturated Fat 5.8g||29 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 6.8g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 3g|
|Cholesterol 744.5mg||229 %|
|Sodium 3047.6mg||105 %|
|Potassium 577.4mg||15 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 108.2g||32 %|
|Dietary Fiber 8.9g||36 %|
|Sugars, other 99.4g|
|Protein 36.2g||52 %|
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Calories per serving: 728
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