Prep Time: 45 minutes
To prepare the artichokes for frying, begin by removing the first few layers of leaves until you reveal pale yellow ones with green tips. Using a paring knife, trim the base of any hard outer layer. Peel the stem until you get to the pale colored center. Cut the artichoke in half and trim the thorny top. Remove the fuzzy centers with a spoon or melon baller. Immediately place into a large bowl filled with cold water and squeezed lemons until you're ready to fry.
Fill a large pot with enough oil that will cover the artichokes and place over medium flame. Rinse the artichokes well and dry completely with paper towels. If using a thermometer, the oil should register 325 degrees. If not, place a single artichoke leaf in the oil. It should sizzle immediately. Add the artichokes when the oil is hot and cook until a knife can piece the stem, about 15 minutes.Turn the heat up and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until crispy. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.