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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Return the chicken to the pan to coat with the sauce, garnish with lemon slices and parsley, and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Common sides include pasta, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad. The choice depends on your personal preference.
Chicken is fully cooked when its internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). The meat should be white throughout, with no pink remaining.
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.
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.
If you prefer not to use white wine, substitute it with chicken broth or apple cider vinegar and water for a similar acidic balance.
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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Easy Chicken Francaise
- 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)
For the Meat:
- 2 pounds chicken breasts (skinless) sliced into thin cutlets (pounding is optional for even thickness)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 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
- 1 lemon sliced for garnish
- Fresh parsley chopped for garnish
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.
- 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.