Pollo Fritto per Chanuka

Christmas may have come and gone (did you have a nice holiday?), but there's still two days of Hanukkah left! If you're tired of latkes and sufganiyot (as if that could happen), allow me to suggest a few recipes from the Italian Jewish canon. Italian Jews make up one of the world's oldest Jewish communities, combining two great culinary traditions. After doing a good bit of research for an article in the Jew and the Carrot (check it out here), I learned that while Hanukkah traditions vary by region, one dish is universal throughout the country: Pollo Fritto per Chanuka, or Fried Chicken for Hanukkah. As you might expect, Italian-Jewish fried chicken bears no resemblance to the buttermilk-soaked, cornmeal-breaded American version. For one, soaking in buttermilk is out as that is not kosher. Instead, this recipe calls for a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, nutmeg, and garlic that acts to flavor and tenderize the meat. The chicken is then dredged in flour and egg (in that order) and fried. The outsize develops a nice, flaky crust, while the inside is as tender as chicken gets.
Our Italian Jewish Hanukkah

Our Italian Jewish Hanukkah

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pollo Fritto per Chanuka
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
This traditional Jewish-Italian Hanukkah dish is so good you'll want it year round.
Recipe Type: Entree
Yield: 4 Servings
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, cut into tenders*
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges
  • Chopped parsley
  1. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, nutmeg, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Marinate, covered, for at least an hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Dip each piece of chicken first in the flour, then in the egg.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy duty pan over medium-high until hot.
  4. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary (do not crowd the pan), and fry until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
  5. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm in a 200F oven if not serving immediately.
  6. Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with chopped parsley.
Kosher meat


  1. Merry Christmas to you, Kat. Hope you and your family having a fabulous time with loads of laughter & joy.
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe. Btw, I too love everything in that last picture of yours. They all look simply mouthwatering. Slurppppp……
    May god bless you all and also wishing you a Happy 2012! Hope it will be a blessed one. ((hugs))
    Best wishes

    • Thank you Kristy!! We had a wonderful holiday together. It was so great to be home. Happy new year! Can’t believe it’s 2012!

  2. Katherine,
    Hope you are enjoying all the holidays. Your table looks beautiful.

  3. Wow, Katherine, your posts about Jewish Italian are so interesting! 🙂

  4. Your holiday fried chicken looks so delicious!

  5. Glad to see that you are enjoying great food this holiday season. Your chicken does look tasty. The combo of lemon, nutmeg and garlic is unique to me, but definitely worth a try. Great pictures!
    Enjoy this time with family and friends!

  6. That looks and sounds absolutely delicious. I think I’m gonna start celebrating Hanukkah too just to try all the delicious dishes you’ve been posting. What a nice spread of food!

    • Thank you!! Hanukkah is definitely worth celebrating for the food alone, that’s mostly why I celebrate it! Hope you had a great new year!

  7. that sure looks good. i have never tried that before.

  8. Sign me up! This looks outstanding and actually a great alternative to southern fried chicken which is yummy…but lethal 🙂 Yours looks delicious!

  9. A delicious meal indeed — i am intrigued with the nutmeg in the marinate. Must try this recipe, soonish 🙂

  10. OOHHH – This does sound like a crispy chicken recipe! Deeeelicious! Have a wonderful New Years!

  11. I love lemon! And your marinade is one I often use for grilled chicken. Never thought of pan frying it, though – great idea!

    • I also love lemon! Funny enough, I’ve started using it even more than ever since moving to Israel. I bet this marinade would be amazing on grilled chicken too! Great idea.

  12. Hi Katherine,
    The chicken looks yummy. Where did you get that tablecloth from? I have the same one bought from India.

    • Thank you Asmita! I bought the tablecloth from a chain home goods store in Israel believe it or not! But I fell in love with it because it reminded me of the beautiful fabrics I found in Rajasthan when I visited many years ago.

  13. そこにちょっと! 私が知っている私は理解これはちょっとオフトピックしかし 私が持っていた依頼する。 実行、管理Aない仕事十分に確立されたウェブサイト様あなたは取る大量大量のをたくさん? 私はブランドの新しい毎日しかししかし私は私の中で書くのですブログを操作するブログにログオン日常的。 ことができるようになりますへ私は私がブログを開始したいと思いシェア私と気持ちオンライン。 どんな種類のいずれかのあなたが持っているなら、私に知らせてくださいためアイデア提言かのヒントを新しいブログの所有者。 サンキューそれを感謝!

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