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Tuscan Fried Chicken Sandwiches

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Lemon trimmed to reveal fruit under the skin.

1 Lemon trimmed to reveal fruit under the skin.

After trimming the lemon ends, follow the curve of the fruit to remove zest and pith.

2 After trimming the lemon ends, follow the curve of the fruit to remove zest and pith.

Cut in between sections and release lemon segments.

3 Cut in between sections and release lemon segments.

Diced lemon segments.

4 Diced lemon segments.

Mayo with diced lemon and capers.

5 Mayo with diced lemon and capers.

Garlic, herbs, and hot pepper gently infusing oil with flavor.

6 Garlic, herbs, and hot pepper gently infusing oil with flavor.

Tuscan Fried Chicken.

7 Tuscan Fried Chicken.

Tuscan Fried Chicken Sandwich.

8 Tuscan Fried Chicken Sandwich.

Who doesn't love fried chicken? And while it's often associated with Southern cuisine, it seems to be a staple in many cultures and Italy is no exception. In Italy whole pieces of chicken are marinated in lemon juice, dredged in flour, dipped in egg and fried. Whole pieces of chicken are delicious, but not so easy to eat in a sandwich. So I decided to use chicken cutlets and serve it on ciabatta rolls. The olive oil is infused with herbs and a little garlic which in addition to the lemon in the marinade, gives the chicken great flavor. The crust is light and airy and the finishing touch; a little mayo with some capers and diced lemon bits.

Makes 4 sandwiches
2 lemons (plus more juice if necessary)
4 chicken cutlets (about 3 ounces each)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/3 cup mayo
1 tablespoon rinsed and drained capers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
pinch red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, well beaten
4 ciabatta rolls, split horizontally

1. Trim both ends of the lemons until you can see the fruit. Stand lemons upright and with a sharp knife, following the curve of the fruit removed both the zest and the white pith underneath. Working over a bowl to catch juice, cut in between sections to release the lemon segments. Remove any pits and cut lemon segments into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside. Measure the lemon juice in the bowl and if necessary, add more to equal 2 tablespoons.

2. Place the chicken in a shallow pan and pour the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice over. Season with salt and pepper.

3. In a small bowl combine the mayo, diced lemon segments and capers; set aside or refrigerate if not using shortly.

4. In a large skillet heat the oil, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and garlic over low heat. When the oil becomes fragrant, raise the heat to medium.

5. Dredge the chicken in the flour and then in the beaten egg, letting excess drip off. Working in 2 batches, cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Spread the mayo mixture on the split ciabattas, top each with chicken and close.

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