Chicken Francese (Chicken French) is a fine restaurant that you can make at home with soft chicken chops placed in a butter-lemon pan sauce.
I started to taste lemon every year. Lemon is a great way to brighten the day with some sunlight on a plate. The gloomy days in winter are here, but that doesn’t mean our dinner should be gloomy! This delicious, friendly, wonderful chicken dish that your whole family will love.
For the chicken:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 6-8 chicken cutlets)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the sauce:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/4 cup minced sweet onion
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 juicy lemons)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or chicken stock)
- salt and pepper to taste
- minced fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
- sliced lemon, for garnish
To create chicken cutlets:
- Line a small baking sheet with wax paper. Remove the rib meat/tenderloin from the breasts. Reserve for another use or cook with the cutlets. Place the chicken breasts on the pan and freeze for 15 minutes. This step makes it easier to slice the breasts creating cutlets. Hold the breasts firmly against the cutting board with one hand. Using a sharp chef’s knife, carefully cut the breasts in half horizontally with the knife parallel to the cutting board. If you purchased chicken cutlets, skip this step.
To prepare the chicken:
- While preparing the chicken, set a pot of water over medium high heat for the pasta.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Set aside. Combine the salt, pepper and flour in a separate shallow bowl and place next to the egg wash. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons butter and two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until the butter is melted and the foaming stops. Using tongs, dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour mixture shaking off the excess. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture allowing the extra egg to drip back into the bowl. Transfer to the flour once again, turning to coat. Shake off the extra flour and place in the hot skillet. Cook 2 or 3 cutlets at a time, turning once, until the chicken is well browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to the prepared paper-towel lined baking sheet. Repeat, adding more butter and olive oil if needed until all chicken is cooked. Set chicken aside. Discard the grease and wipe out the skillet with clean paper towels.
To prepare the lemon sauce:
Add 3 tablespoons butter to the now empty skillet over medium heat. Add the minced onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir for 2 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice and chicken broth. Increase the temperature to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until it is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove the onions if desired. Return the sauce to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Add the last tablespoon of butter to the sauce. Stir gently until melted. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. The lemon flavor will be intense.
Cook your pasta, if using.
Add the chicken cutlets to the sauce and heat gently for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, or until heated through. Top the chicken with sautéed lemon slices and garnish with minced parsley and plenty of fresh ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
There are a few moving parts to this recipe, but everything happens in the same skillet in a few easy steps. Read through the recipe a few times to understand the flow and have all ingredients pre-measured, chopped and ready. With just a little prep work, this recipe comes together in a flash.