Chicken francaise is a delicious dish that’s worthy of a special occasion. In this recipe, thin chicken cutlets are dredged in seasoned flour, dipped in egg, then gently fried in olive oil and butter. The pan drippings are used to make a white wine and lemon sauce.
- Chicken – This recipe is made with thin skinless, boneless chicken breast. You can either cut the chicken in half, lengthwise to get four thinner pieces and pound them to about ¼ inch thick. Or, if you’re short on time (or energy) buy thin chicken cutlets and skip a step.
- Seasoning – The seasoning is simple, made with salt, garlic powder and black pepper.
- Coating – The dry coating is a combination of flour, parmesan cheese and seasoning. The eggs are part of the coating. But, instead of being used as a binder, each chicken piece is dipped in egg right before adding it to the skillet. So, the egg coating is on the outside.
- Oil – Olive oil and butter combine to make the oil to fry the coated chicken.
- Sauce – The sauce for this dish is made from the pan drippings, plus white wine and lemon juice.
- Garnish – Chopped parsley and thin lemon slices garnish the chicken beautifully.
- Pasta – Spaghetti, linguine or other thin noodle goes great with the sauce.
Chicken francaise cooks-up pretty quick. Try to time cooking the pasta so that it’s ready soon after the chicken and sauce are done.
I like to start a large pot of water and leave it, covered, at a simmer or boil while I get the rest of dinner going. That way, when it’s time to cook the pasta, the water is ready to go and we only need to wait the actual cooking time.
Preheat the oven to warm, or to its lowest setting to keep the chicken warm while you fry in batches.
When cooking the chicken, the oil should be hot enough to sizzle when the chicken is added but nowhere near smoking. Olive oil and butter have very low smoke points. Adjust the heat as necessary.
Use tongs to turn the chicken so the delicate coating does not flake off.
- 2 Large Chicken Breast skinless and boneless
- 1 teaspoon Salt divided, plus a pinch for the sauce
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper divided, plus a pinch for the sauce
- 1½ teaspoons Garlic Powder divided
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 tablespoon Water
- 4 tablespoons Olive Oil divided
- 6 tablespoons Butter divided
- ¼ cup White Wine
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- Chopped Parsley for garnish
- Lemon Slices for garnish
- 12 ounces Spaghetti cooked to package directions for al dente
- Preheat the oven to warm, or to its lowest setting.
- Start a large pot of water for the pasta and bring to a boil while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. When the chicken and sauce is almost ready, drop the pasta and cook to package directions for al dente.
Prepare the chicken
- Cut each chicken breast in half, lengthwise to get four pieces. Pound the chicken breast to ¼ of an inch thick.
- In a small bowl combine ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, stir to combine. Season the chicken with the prepared seasoning mix.
- In a shallow pan add the flour, grated Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and remaining salt and pepper, stir with a fork to mix well.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture to coat each chicken breast, shake off any excess.
- In a large bowl beat together the eggs, water and a pinch of salt until combined.
Make the chicken francaise
- In a large, non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. The oil should be hot enough to sizzle when the chicken is added, but nowhere near smoking.
- When the butter melts and starts to foam, dip one piece of chicken in the egg mixture so that it is completely coated and gently place it in the skillet. Repeat with another piece; cook two pieces at a time.
- Cook the chicken breast for about 2-3 minutes, turn and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until each side is nice and golden. Turn the chicken gently using tongs so the delicate coating does not flake off.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet; place it on a baking sheet and place in the warm oven.
- When the skillet has cooled a bit, carefully drain any oil and wipe it down with a paper towel. Place the skillet back over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter and repeat the frying process with the last two pieces. Keep the chicken warm in the oven while you make the sauce.
Do not wipe the skillet clean this time.
Make the sauce
- Place the same skillet over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice, stirring gently. When the liquid starts to simmer, lower the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, stirring constantly while the butter melts. Once the sauce comes to a simmer, cook gently for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste the sauce and add a pinch of salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve the chicken francaise over a bed of pasta. Top each piece of chicken with one, or two tablespoons of the pan sauce. Garnish with some chopped parsley and lemon slices.