Chicken Francaise is an impressive dish that celebrates our American “Melting Pot” by bringing together two of my favorite cuisines – Italian and French. The bonus is its feasibility for a busy weeknight treat, allowing you to put together a complex and delicious dish with simple ingredients and limited time.
The recipe is a perfect example of the mingling of two distinctive European tastes that will transform your dining table into a magical bridge over any communication barrier – this dish does all the talking!
This dish was created sometime around the mid-1900s after world-fairgoers were wowed by the simple, light dishes of traditional French cuisine. The French spelling Chicken Francaise pronunciation is “frahn-SAIZE;” the Italian spelling, Chicken Francese, is pronounced, “fran-CHAY-zay.”
If this is your kind of meal, try more of my Italian-inspired chicken dishes: Chicken milanese, chicken scarpariello, chicken vesuvio’s, and New Jersey’s famous, chicken murphy.
The Original Chicken Francaise
While the dish may have originally been prepared with veal, the method would have been the same – a sauteed affair of thin pieces of veal or chicken, pre-dredged in flour and egg wash, then served with a simple lemon sauce. (Note: When you think of lemon sauce, you may hearken to memories of Chicken Piccata, but the difference in this dish is the addition of an egg wash, yielding a slightly heavier crust on the chicken, and the omission of capers in the sauce.)
Whether it’s actually a little more French or a little more Italian, it’s a whole lot of awesome!
Let’s make this!
Chicken Francaise Ingredients:
- Chicken Breasts
- Black Pepper
- White Wine
- Chicken Broth
- Lemon Juice
Recipe Notes For Chicken Francaise
- Chicken: Have you ever taken the time to painstakingly pound your chicken breasts to tender, thin perfection only to realize that the piece(s) are now too huge to fit more than one or two comfortably in a pan? My time and sanity-saving suggestion here is to buy chicken cutlets at the grocery store. Sometimes labeled “chicken scallopine,” this market-ready thin-cut chicken is a great time saver and makes the dish sooooo much easier to prepare.
- Wine: I make this with a dry chardonnay. I like how a dry white wine complements the lemon flavor in the sauce and really don’t care for it when a sweeter variety is used.
- Remember the wine you use will impact the flavor of the sauce a great deal, so it’s best to follow the rule of only using something to cook with that’s good enough to have a glass of yourself.
- Lemon Juice: Any Chicken Francaise description will include references to the bright, tangy, acidity from the lemon which really is a star in this dish.
- To preserve that quality, this recipe must be made with fresh lemon juice from a fresh lemon. PLEASE don’t even think about using that juice from the yellow plastic imposter!
- Pan Sauce: This is one of the only times I will ever suggest you wipe out the pan first or cook the sauce in a separate pan. Generally, I love to incorporate those little brown bits created in the bottom of the pan, called fond, when the chicken pieces are browned. But this sauce, in particular, is a white sauce, and removing the fond will make sure the sauce stays the correct color.
- After all, we’re trying to serve a professional-quality dish, here, and the result will be a sauce that rivals any Italian-American restaurant. By not wiping out the pan you will definitely have a more flavorful, if slightly less authentic, sauce, though, so feel free to make it either way.
- Low Fat: Let me be perfectly honest. Forget about counting calories and fat grams in this dish. The recipe doesn’t work if you cut back since those ingredients, especially quality butter, are integral to the right preparation, flavor, and texture of Chicken Francaise.
Storing + Freezing + Make-Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? The leftover chicken will keep in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
- Can You Freeze This? I prefer this dish served fresh. It dries out easily with the freezing and reheating process.
- Make-Ahead Tips: If you don’t buy the chicken already thin cut, you can pound out the cutlets the night before or in the morning. Mix together the dredge ingredients on a plate and cover with plastic wrap until you’re ready to use it.
- Food Safety: If you’d like more info on food safety check out this link.
If you’re wondering what to serve with Chicken Francaise, my advice is to prepare some al-dente pasta (angel hair is my favorite) to capture a little more of the rich, buttery sauce.
Then add my copycat Olive Garden bread sticks, buttery homemade crescent rolls, lion house rolls, or my favorite garlic bread with fresh herbs.
It’s also delicious with my sautéed asparagus with lots of garlic, simple roasted peppers, or my fully loaded with delicious goodies, Mediterranean salad!
How To Make Chicken Francaise
In a shallow bowl, mix together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 pepper. Set aside.
Beat the eggs in a second shallow bowl. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a 12 inch, high sided skillet, over medium heat. While the oil is heating, dredge 2 chicken breasts in flour mixture, shaking off excess. When oil begins to shimmers, dip the 2 floured breasts in egg mixture and coat both sides, allowing excess to drip off, then add to the skillet.
Repeat with 2 remaining breasts. Cook breasts, until golden brown, flipping over once (coating is delicate) until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 4-6 minutes. Remove cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Pour out and throw away oil from the skillet. Wipe the skillet out with paper towels.
Add the butter to the skillet and heat over medium-low, until butter is melted and foam subsides.
Pour in the wine, broth, and fresh lemon juice and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, about 7-9 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and parsley. Ladle sauce over chicken and garnish with lemon slices.
*** See Full Instructions Below!
More Favorite Chicken Recipes
- Italian Chicken
- Chicken Lombardy
- Balsamic Chicken
- Chicken Lazone
- French Onion Chicken
- Chicken Florentine
- 4 thin-cut chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 lemon sliced
- In a shallow bowl, mix together flour (1 cup), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 pepper. Set aside.
- Beat the eggs (3) in a second shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Dry the chicken (4) of any moisture with paper towels.
- Heat the oil (1/2 cup) in a 12-inch, high-sided skillet, over medium heat. While the oil is heating, dredge 2 chicken breasts in flour mixture, shaking off excess. When oil begins to shimmer, dip the 2 floured breasts in egg mixture and coat both sides, allowing excess to drip off, then add to the skillet.
- Repeat with 2 remaining breasts. Cook breasts, until golden brown, flipping over once (coating is delicate) until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 4-6 minutes. Remove cooked chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Pour out and throw away oil from the skillet. Wipe the skillet out with paper towels.
- Add the butter (1/2 cup) to the skillet and heat over medium-low, until the butter is melted and the foam subsides.
- Pour in the wine (1 cup), broth (1 cup), and fresh lemon juice (6 tablespoons) and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, about 7-9 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and parsley (1/4 cup). Ladle sauce over chicken and garnish with lemon slices. Serve
Fans Also Made:
- Wipe out the pan first or cook the sauce in a separate pan. Removing the fond will make sure the sauce stays the correct color.
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” – – – James A. Beard
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I love this recipe!
instead of white wine i just used chicken broth, is was just as good! and kid approved! 10/10 would recommend to anybody looking for a delicious and easy recipe!
Gloria Gastman says
My Mon used to make this and having learned from her, I’ve been making it for ages (without the wine. Just as good).
I cannot for the life of me figure out how to print this recipe for Chicken Francaise . When I click “print recipe” at the top of the page all I get is the Recipe Notes – no actual recipe.
Kathleen Smith says
Hey Robin, so sorry, I have a glitch on the blog. It should be fixed within the hour!
Where is the Recipe for the chicken francese?
Kathleen Smith says
Hi Nancy, so sorry, I have a glitch on the blog. It should be fixed within the hour!