I am the kind of person that always wants to try new foods and restaurants, but I am also the kind of person who generally knows what I like and stays within some form of those boundaries (not to be confused with knowing what I want, my friends will tell you that generally, I can’t make a decision for anything). A couple of months back I went to an Italian/Tuscan restaurant in town and ordered this, chicken francese. I know this sounds fancy, but basically this dish is a lightly breaded chicken breast served with a sweet lemony sauce over top. Simply put, it is fabulous. My mission after trying this delicious lemony chicken was, of course, to recreate it. This recipe isn’t an exact replica but I am very much in love with it as it comes quite close to the version I originally tried. I was surprised that it really didn’t take too much time to prepare, and the flavor seems like I had to slave all day over it.  I served the chicken over whole wheat angel hair pasta with sauce spooned over the top (the measurements shown are for doubling the sauce to serve over pasta, if you choose not to serve this way you can cut the ingredients for the sauce in half). I am positive this meal will be a regular in my house, and when you try it I am sure it will be in yours too. Enjoy.

Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese   (Print Me)

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Flour (white wheat or all-purpose)
Fresh ground black pepper
4 large eggs
3 Tbsp water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, washed, cut in thin rounds with rind left on
1 cup dry white wine (such Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay)
2 cups chicken broth (or chicken bullion and water)
1 lemon, juiced
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional, for garnish)

Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet pound the chicken breasts until they are about 1/4-inch thick (if the chicken is really thick you can also slice it in half to make two thinner pieces before doing so). On a plate, mix about a 1/2 cup of flour (use more as needed) with salt and pepper, set aside. In a bowl, beat the eggs and water to create an egg wash, then set aside. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet/frying pan. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the egg wash to coat completely; allow the excess to drip off. When the oil is hot, carefully place the chicken in the pan and let it fry for about 2 minutes on each side (or until golden), turning once. Remove the chicken cutlets and keep warm.

When all your chicken is cooked toss the lemon slices into the same pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, and lemon juice, then let simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Roll the butter in some flour and add it to the skillet to thicken the sauce, stirring to incorporate and dissolve the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan to coat in the sauce and warm through. Serve over pasta with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

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