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Chicken Francaise

Let’s talk about Chicken Francaise. This dish, my friends, is a delightful little escapade into the world of comfort food with a chic twist. It’s like taking your classic, cozy chicken dinner on a little jaunt to the sunny side of the street.

The chicken, cradled in a light, lemony sauce, is the kind of meal that brings a smile to your face. With its bright and zesty charm, the lemon masterfully yet simply elevates the dish. It’s also the star in meals like my Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta and Mediterranean Skillet Chicken.

Chicken Francaise with pasta on white plate with spoon drizzling sauce.

Why This is a Must Try

  • Effortless: Perfect for when you want to impress with minimal effort (or just have an easy restaurant-quality meal at home).
  • Bright and Flavorful: The lemony sauce adds a vibrant zing that lifts the entire dish.
  • Versatile: Pairs wonderfully with anything from pasta to greens making it super versatile.
  • Comfort Food: It’s a classic Italian American comfort food with a light, refreshing touch.

Ingredients

Ingredients for chicken francaise

Most of these ingredients are probably things you often keep on hand, adding to the effortlessness of this dish.

I love my chicken sliced pretty thinly so that the ratio of sauce to topping to chicken is just right. Of course, that’s just me – if you like more chicken than sauce in every bite, make thicker slices.

Method

Ingredients for making chicken francaise.
Flouring chicken for chicken francaise.

To begin: Season flour with salt and pepper, then dredge each piece of chicken in it, shaking off the excess. After coating the chicken in flour, dip each piece into a beaten egg and water mixture and set aside.

Melting butter and oil for chicken francaise.
Cooking chicken in pan.

In a skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in batches, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan, for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden and cooked through. Keep the cooked chicken warm on a plate or in an oven set between 200°F and 250°F.

Pouring chicken broth into pan with fond to make sauce.
Mixing sauce for chicken francaise.

After cooking all the chicken, deglaze the pan with white wine, then add lemon juice and broth, bringing it to a slow boil. Simmer to slightly reduce the sauce, adjusting salt and pepper to taste. Optionally, add butter for richness.

Chicken Francaise in pan with sliced lemon and pan sauce.

Return the chicken to the pan to coat with the sauce, garnish with lemon slices and parsley, and serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sides pair well with Chicken Francaise?

Common sides include pasta, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad. The choice depends on your personal preference.

How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked?

Chicken is fully cooked when its internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). The meat should be white throughout, with no pink remaining.

What can I do if my sauce is too thin?

If your sauce is too thin, simmer it longer to reduce and thicken it. Alternatively, mix a small amount of cornstarch with water and add it to the sauce.

How do I prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan?

Ensure your pan is well-heated and coated with sufficient oil and butter. Also, avoid moving the chicken around too much after placing it in the pan.

What can I use as a substitute for white wine in the sauce?

If you prefer not to use white wine, substitute it with chicken broth or apple cider vinegar and water for a similar acidic balance.

Can I make Chicken Francaise ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare Chicken Francaise in advance. Cook the chicken as instructed and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the chicken gently and prepare the sauce fresh for the best taste.

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📖 Recipe

Chicken Francaise in pan with sliced lemon and pan sauce.

Easy Chicken Francaise

Ready to bring a little sunshine to your dinner table? Chicken Francaise is just the ticket. It's a fuss-free recipe that promises elegant flavors, brightened with a kiss of lemon!
5 from 1 vote
Author: Marie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 504 kcal

Equipment

  • large skillet or pan
  • fine mesh strainer (optional) helpful for straining sauce
  • cutting board to slice chicken into thin cutlets
  • large knife to slice cutlets
  • Juicer (optional) to juice lemons (helpful but can do by hand)

Ingredients
 

For the Meat:

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts (skinless) sliced into thin cutlets (pounding is optional for even thickness)

For Dredging

  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water

For Cooking

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more as needed for cooking
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more as needed for cooking

For the Sauce

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine

For Garnish

  • 1 lemon sliced for garnish
  • Fresh parsley chopped for garnish

Instructions
 

Prepare the Chicken:

  • It is completely optional, but if you have time, soak the chicken in baking soda water see NOTE 1 below.
  • Set up your workstation. You will need a dish for the flour, a deep dish for the egg wash, and a dish to place the chicken after it has been dipped in the flour and then the egg.
  • In dish one, add flour and season the flour with salt and pepper.
  • In the second dish, prepare the egg wash by lightly beating the eggs with the water.
  • Dredge each piece of sliced chicken in flour, shaking off excess.
  • Then, dip the floured chicken into the egg mixture, coating both sides and set aside on a baking tray or large dish.

Cook the Chicken:

  • Heat a large skillet and add oil and butter over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the chicken in batches (do not crowd the pan) for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the chicken and the power of your burner.
  • Remove the chicken and set it aside on a warm plate or place it in the oven covered to keep warm between 200°F and 250°F (93°C to 121°C) while you make the sauce.

Make the Sauce:

  • After all the chicken has been cooked and removed from the pan, add the white wine to deglaze the pan and cook for about 1 minute to cook off the alcohol.
  • Add lemon juice and broth; bring to a slow boil, scraping up any brown bits from the pan.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly and thicken it.
  • Taste the sauce and adjust for salt and pepper if needed.
  • Optional: You can add a tablespoon of butter at the end for a richer sauce.

Serve:

  • Return the chicken to the pan and coat it with the sauce (if the sauce has a lot of brown bits in it, you can strain it using a fine mesh strainer before adding back the chicken).
  • Garnish with thin lemon slices and freshly chopped parsley.

Notes

Note 1: Place the cutlets into a medium-sized bowl with enough water to cover the chicken and one teaspoon of baking soda to tenderize the chicken. Mix well and allow to stand for 15 to 20 minutes. After soaking, rinse well under cold water and pat dry. 
Nutrition estimate: The recipe may be easily halved for smaller appetites (using one pound of chicken to provide 4-ounce servings for four people versus using two pounds of chicken for 8-ounce servings for four people). Half the remaining ingredients as well. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 504kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 54gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 242mgSodium: 897mgPotassium: 1013mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 369IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 2mg
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