Pollo Fritto alla Veneta

Fried Venetian Chicken


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

Although fried chicken exists as a traditional dish in many parts of Italy, in the Veneto the chicken is first marinated in a sour mixture of lemon juice, parsley and salt to flavour it before coating it in egg and breadcrumbs for frying. The olive oil used in the northern regions tends not to be the intensely flavoured extra virgin that is used further south. Here, the much milder olive oil, from the second or third pressing, is used instead - and always more sparingly than in the south. Serve with a vegetable dish or salad.


  • 1 chicken, about 1.6 kg/ lb, boned and cut into large chunks
  • juice of 2 large lemons
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 ml/5 tbsp fine dried breadcrumbs
  • 200 ml/7 fl oz/scant 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 large sage sprig
  • sea salt
  • lemon wedges and a salad, to serve


  1. Put chicken in a bowl and set aside. Pour the lemon juice into a small bowl, add the parsley and a pinch of salt, and mix together.

  2. Pour this mixture all over the chicken, stir well, then leave to marinate for 50 minutes, turning the pieces frequently.

  3. Beat the eggs in another large bowl and stir in a pinch of salt.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and immerse in the egg. Leave for 10 minutes.
  5. Put the breadcrumbs on a plate. Take each piece of chicken and dip it into the breadcrumbs to coat it thoroughly all over.
  6. Heat the oil in a deep pan to 180°C/350°F, until a cube of bread, dropped into the oil, turns golden in 45 seconds. Add most of the sage, then fry the chicken, in batches, first over a very high heat to seal, then over a lower heat until cooked right through.

  7. Serve, garnished with the reserved sage, with lemon wedges and a salad, if you like.


Although not traditional, sunflower or vegetable oil could be used in place of the olive oil, and would be less expensive.