Have you ever eaten something so delicious that you wanted to cry?
The Best Artichoke I’ve Ever Had
According to Joyce Goldstein, chef and author of several books, including Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen (1998), that’s what it’s like to eat carciofi alla giudia, the deep-fried artichokes that have been prepared by Roman Jews for centuries.
Sign up for the Cook's Insider newsletter
The latest recipes, tips, and tricks, plus behind-the-scenes stories from the Cook's Illustrated team.
Simply put, it’s fried food nirvana: crunchy, crispy, creamy from petal to heart, with nothing but salt and a spritz of lemon juice amping up the vegetable’s sweet, nutty, delicate savoriness. And they’re an architectural showpiece for cooks, the blossoms so dramatically splayed and browned, they look like copper-dipped chrysanthemums.
Preparing them requires a bit of ceremony, mostly due to the variety of artichoke that’s available in the States. Unlike the native Italian varieties, which are thornless and mature before the hairy choke develops, the globe (sometimes called French) plant grown here develops spiny bracts and a choke by the time the vegetable is large enough to harvest.
I’ll walk you through the knife work, which will produce artichokes that are fully edible after frying—no dismantling at the table required. That prep and the first fry are even doable 24 hours ahead, so the last-minute effort is fast and easy. And I promise the stunning visual and potato-chip crunch of the leaves will be worth it.
How to Prep Artichokes for Frying
1. Snap off outer leaves.
2. Trim and peel stem.
3. Cut top at 45-degree angle.
4. Rotate quarter turn; repeat 3 times.
5. Halve lengthwise through stem.
Start Free Trial
10,000+ foolproof recipes and why they work Taste Tests of supermarket ingredients Equipment Reviews save you money and time Videos including full episodes and clips Live Q&A with Test Kitchen experts
Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!
Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.
Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!
John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.