Chicken Francese may sound like a dish straight out of Italy or France. But it is, in fact, a classic American restaurant dish. This delicious chicken is coated in flour and egg and then lightly fried and finished with super-tasty lemon sauce, so easy to cook and can be on the table in under 30 minutes.
The dish has translated from its restaurant origins straight into the repertoire of the home cook as it makes both a great quick, midweek supper and works so well for a special occasion too. The recipe easily scales up to double or even triple, depending on how many you are feeding.
- 1 large skinless, boneless free-range chicken breast
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ tablespoons butter
- 1 small shallot
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Lemon wedges (optional)
Gather the ingredients.
Cut the chicken breast in half horizontally to create two thinner pieces. Lay the chicken on kitchen paper and keep to one side.
Place the flour into a shallow bowl large enough to hold the chicken breast. In another shallow bowl as above, beat the eggs together with a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Heat the oil and butter together in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.
While pan is pre-heating, gently press both sides of the chicken fillets into the flour and shake off any excess. Then dip them into the egg one at a time, making sure the fillets are thoroughly covered, lift to drain off any excess, then quickly transfer to the frying pan.
Cook the fillets for 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and lightly crispy. Lift from the pan carefully using a spatula, lay onto a plate and keep warm while you make the sauce.
Keep the frying pan on medium heat, add the shallots and stir well. Cook for 3 minutes to soften the shallot.
Increase the heat to medium-hot, add the white wine and stir, then let the wine reduce by half.
While the sauce is reducing, heat a small skillet to hot, add the lemon wedges, and cook for 2 minutes on each side to slightly caramelize the edges. Keep to one side.
Add the chicken broth and remaining lemon juice to the sauce and stir well. Cook for a further 3 minutes, then stir in the cream and parsley. Let this bubble for a couple of minutes.
Serve the chicken cutlets with two or three generous spoonfuls of the sauce, lemon wedges if using and green vegetables, potatoes, or rice on the side.
- If desired, adding a tablespoon or two of finely grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce to finish is a delicious twist on the classic recipe.