Pollo Fritto per Hanucca

Fried Chicken for Hanukkah

Many fried dishes are served at Hanukkah. They are to remind the Jews of the oil lamp that burned for eight days, despite an amount of oil that appeared sufficient for only one day. This recipe for fried chicken, Italian style, is quite bland, so I recommend adding grated lemon and orange zests and a little minced garlic to the marinade, or consider accompanying it with an interesting conserve. The Sabbath Rice with grapes or raisins would be a good side dish.


  • 1 fryer chicken, pounds, cut into 8 serving pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus oil for frying
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
  • All-purpose flour for coating
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Lemon wedges for serving


Place the chicken pieces in a shallow nonreactive bowl and add the 4 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and the lemon and orange zest and garlic, if using. Turn to coat well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours.

Pour the olive oil to a depth of 3 inches into a large, deep frying pan and place over high heat. While the oil is heating, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Spread the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken pieces in the flour, coating lightly on all sides, and then in the beaten eggs.

Slip the chicken pieces into the hot oil and fry, turning as needed, until golden on all sides and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer briefly to paper towels to drain, then arrange on a platter. Serve hot with lemon wedges.