Recipe: Nonna's Southern Italian Fried Chicken "Pollo Fritti"

Chef Peter DeRuvo with EVO shares their Nonna's Southern Italian Fried Chicken "Pollo Fritti" with Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes and Giblet Gravy recipe.

Servings: Four
1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups low fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups of flour, for dredging
Vegetable shortening, peanut oil, canola oil for frying


  1. Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/3inch up the side of a 12 inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies, raise heat to 326 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.
  3. Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  4. Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)
  5. Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don't drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it's a gas oven.

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
2 cups Boiled potatoes
2 cups Water
1 tablespoon Salt
2 ounces Mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Heavy cream

Place washed and cleaned and quartered potatoes, red bliss or peeled Idaho potatoes are sufficient. Bring water and salt to a boil. When fork tender remove and combine mascarpone, butter and cream whisking vigorously. Reduce the heat and mash till smooth or chunky, season to taste.

Giblet Gravy:
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
¼ cup of chopped and cleaned liver, heart and tasty extra bits from cleaned chicken
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Defatted chicken stock to make 2 cups, heated
1 tablespoon white wine, optional
1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional
1 tablespoon of sour cream or crème fresh


  1. In a large (10 to 12inch) saute pan, cook the butter and onions and giblets over mediumlow heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Don't rush this step; it makes all the difference when the onions are wellcooked.
  2. Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisk in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock mixture and Cognac, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened.
  3. Add the wine and cream, if desired. Season, to taste, and serve
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