Hold the artichokes in acidulated water after trimming, to keep from discoloring.
In a heavy-bottomed, tall-sided pot, heat the oil to 300 degrees F.
Meanwhile, drain the artichokes and press them "face" down against a hard surface so that they open like flowers. Season the inside of each choke with salt and pepper. Fry each choke in the hot oil, working in batches, keeping them submerged with a slotted spoon or spider. After 10 minutes, increase the heat to 350 degrees to finish cooking. Remove from the oil, drain on paper towels and, if necessary, season with salt and pepper again.
Recipe copyright 2000, Mario Batali. All Rights Reserved.