A Chicken for Lemon Lovers

White meat chicken, artichoke hearts and lemon slices are fried and lacquered in a buttery, winy pan sauce.

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By Melissa Clark

When I was growing up, a heated debate broke out over the chicken whenever my parents took our family out for Italian food. My father, a dark-meat and garlic guy to his core, espoused the charms of chicken scarpariello. But my lemon-loving mother preferred chicken francese — batter-fried chicken breasts with their tangy, winy, citrus-imbued pan sauce.

Anna Francese Gass (no relation, probably) has a new take on that Italian American classic (above): She pan-fries artichoke hearts and thin lemon slices in the same batter as the chicken, making for a hearty dish with extra texture and zip that one reader notes is a wonderful “break from the ordinary.” It’s a hands-down winner.

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Chicken and Artichoke Francese

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It’s a bountiful week for lemon lovers at New York Times Cooking. Ali Slagle has a fantastic recipe for white beans and asparagus with charred lemon, all brought together with coconut milk, which makes the dish both creamy and vegan. Cook this with in-season asparagus now, then swap in leafy greens in winter and fall.

I cannot wait to whip up Yossy Arefi’s new potato salad with lemon and feta, in which she cleverly roasts, rather than boils, the potatoes to give them a crisp texture and deeply caramelized flavor. The mix of olives, pepperoncini and tomatoes packs a sweet, briny punch, perfect alongside grilled chicken, fish, hot dogs or whatever you’re planning for Memorial Day weekend.

On the sweet side of lemony delights, I have two oldies but goodies to suggest: a lemon-ginger tart with a press-in-the-pan shortbread crust, and a batch of lemon-blueberry bars, filled with homemade lemon curd and fresh blueberries. You can’t go wrong with either one. Or better yet, make both, and live your best life finishing the leftovers.

Naturally, sour tooths and their allies will want to subscribe to get these and all the other terrific recipes available at New York Times Cooking. If you need any help with a technical issue (printing problems and the like), send an email to [email protected]. I’m at [email protected] if you want to say hi.

A Zesty Tip for Boosting Citrus Flavor

Next time you’re making a recipe that calls for using only the juice of a lemon (or any citrus fruit), grate in some of the zest as well. The zest brings the citrus flavor front and center, adding a deeper, rounded lemon character to the juice’s brightness and acidity.

Melissa Clark has been a columnist for the Food section since 2007. She reports on food trends, creates recipes and appears in cooking videos linked to her column, A Good Appetite. She has also written dozens of cookbooks. @MelissaClark Facebook

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