Bored Cook In The Kitchen

Tried and true recipes, new twists on old favorites, and new dishes to expand my family's palate.

Chicken Francese


One of my most favorite ways to eat chicken.  I only make it several times a year, but when I do it never lasts long.  I’m also on a lemon and lime kick lately.  This works for that craving because Chicken Francese is all about the lemon. 

I’m all about tweaking recipes and making them all your own.  But when it comes to Chicken Francese, the simplest way is the best.   I’ve seen people take the basic, simple recipe and tweak it to areas that no longer resemble the original dish.  They will add diced onion, parmesan cheese, garlic, and basil.  And that’s fine.  I tweak many a recipe from the original version.   But for me and my family, we like the authentic flavor of this dish.   The dominant flavor in this dish is the lemon, and I don’t like it compromised by any other strong flavor like garlic or onion. 

But if you truly do have the need to tweak it, have at it.  It’s simple enough that  you can work it to make it whatever works for you.  Just don’t skimp on the lemon!

CHICKEN FRANCESE:

Serves 4 – 6 (*See Note)

  • 4 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 14.5 oz. Can Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Flour (or more if needed for breading)
  • 1/4 Olive Oil
  • 3 Lemons
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1/4 Chopped Fresh Parsley

Trim chicken breasts of any fat.  Take each breast and flatten it out with a mallet.  If the breasts are very thick, you will want to filet them before pounding them out thin.  I had four thick breasts, which I had to filet and then pound out thin. 

Set the chicken to the side and then prepare your work station for dipping and flouring.  Crack the eggs into a shallow bowl and beat together well.  You can add a teaspoon of cool water to the eggs to help thin them out a bit.  In a separate shallow bowl add your flour and season with your salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.

Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, then the egg, and then the flour again, pressing to make sure you get a nice even coat.  Set each breast on a plate until you finish dipping and breading each one.

Set the oven to 350 degrees.

In a non-stick skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and set the heat to medium.  Once hot, add two chicken breasts at a time and cook until just done on each side.  You want them to be a very light golden brown.  We are not looking for a deep brown color to these.  Cook each breast until just about done.  Remove to a casserole dish and continue browning each chicken breast, continuing to add oil 2 tablespoons at a time as needed.  Once you are done, place the casserole dish with the chicken in the oven uncovered and allow to cook for 10 – 12 minutes.

Meanwhile wipe out the skillet with some paper towels.  You don’t want to clean the pan completely, but you do want to remove all that flour that has browned in the bottom.  You won’t remove the flavor by doing this, but you will allow yourself to have a nice lemon colored sauce.

Set burner to medium heat and pour in your chicken broth.  Add some salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.  Squeeze in the juice of two lemons.  Bring to a boil and then quickly whisk in about 1 teaspoon of flour.  Add in the 3 tablespoons of butter and whisk again.  Turn the heat down to simmer and allow to reduce to almost half.

Once the sauce is done, add the chopped fresh parsley and stir.  Set the chicken breasts out on a rimmed platter or baking dish, and pour the sauce all over the top of each breast. 

Take your last lemon and slice it thin, with the skin on.  Place pieces of sliced lemon across the whole dish and serve.

Note:  If you are using 4 thin chicken breasts, even before pounding them thin, you will serve about 4 with this dish.  If you are using 4 thick cut breasts like I used, you should filet them into 8 breasts and then pound each thin.

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16 responses to “Chicken Francese

  1. Gaby February 1, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    Dear Pam, I like your style of cooking the chicken. My mother always makes the chicken lemonato, a greek version of baked chicken with lemons. Your chicken francese recipe will be one of my try on’s. I’ve favorite’d it and really enjoyed my visit. Your blog presentation is exceptional and I shall return for another peek of your good eats. Thank you for sharing,
    Cheers, Gabriella

    http://ptsaldari.posterous.com.

  2. Souffle Bombay February 2, 2010 at 6:19 AM

    Looks great! I am a big fan of Chicken Francese….that and a huge pile of white rice and I am good to go. Great final picture too!!

  3. your sister-in-law February 20, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    ohhhh, i love this recipe; you made it for some event, maybe one of the kids christenings???? I remember doing kp duty and wrapping the leftovers and this was sooooo good
    i like you love lemon in stuff
    i will have to try this, we have a francese recipe from the local Shwartz guy which is good but just not it, you know what i mean?
    we normally don’t do chicken but flounder, a house favorite so will use the next time we go for Francese
    your pics look great!

  4. Chris Meyerowitz September 22, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    I am a former sous chef and casually cook for me and my girlfriend all the time. Chicken francese is one of our all time favorites and ive made it many different ways using different recipes. I am actually going to make it now seeing that i have the ingredients at home, just a quick question though, i dont have any lemons so will lemon juice be an alright substitute for YOUR recipe, because i know it works just fine with other reciipes, i know unfortunetly i wont be able to use it at the end for garnish…and also i see that your recipe doesnt use any cooking wine at all, i was just wondering how come you dont use it in yours? thats it just those two questions..

    • boredcook September 26, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      Hi Chris!

      Thanks for stopping by. For the first question, yes you can use lemon juice in the recipe. Fresh lemon is always best, but there have been many times that I have used lemon juice because that is just what I had on hand. As I mentioned, I tend to love the lemon flavor in this dish, so I will always add extra but some of my family members prefer less lemon. All just a matter of taste.

      I’ve never added wine to my dish because the few recipes I tried with white wine in them took away from the flavor that I have always known Chicken Francese to have. I order it often when I’m out (we live in New York) and I’ve never had it with a wine taste. Chicken Picatta yes, but not Chicken Francese. I’ve tried it with just white wine and no chicken broth and the wine was too overpowering. I’ve tried it with a mixture of both and it still was not that authentic francese taste I was used to. I make my Chicken Picatta with wine and capers, but I felt that the wine was too overpowering for this dish.

      But, that being said, you have to go with what you like best. I’ve changed many recipes and found I liked them better the way I tweaked them from their original version.

      Let me know how it works for you.

      • locoyokel February 17, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        I grew up in New York and New Jersey, and have worked and eaten at more Italian restaurants than I can count, and in my experience – different than yours, go figure – this dish is always served with a wine sauce. I also find in contrast to many of the recipes online that it is usually made with one dip in the flower, into the egg and than into the pan, so that the coating is more like a light omelette instead of the fried chicken that results when you dip into the flower a second time after the egg. Of course, there are many variations to every dish, but I feel confident enough to say that it is uncommonly served without wine and usually dipped only once in the flour. $0.02

      • locoyokel February 17, 2012 at 7:15 PM

        er..I meant, flour not flower. :)

  5. Tara November 9, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Looks great I make them all the time and I recently add lemon rind to the recipe it gives it alittle extra kick my recipe is posted on my blog if you would like to check it out. Mydeliciousrecipies.com

  6. carly June 3, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Is there a way that I can make it ahead and reheat. I am having a party and will need enough for 10 and I don’t want to be in the kitchen cooking Could I half cook the chicken, put in fridge and make sauce. Keep sauce in the pan, bake the chicken then reheat the sauce and pour over the chicken.

  7. Lisa June 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    @ Carly. Did you cook it ahead of time? And if so how did it come out? I am having a party and want to do the same.

  8. Cheryl Reynolds June 18, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    THIS is the recipe I’ve been looking for!! I made it once a few yrars ago and firgot to save the recipe. You’re correct. The others I’ve found weren’t simple and added/tweaked it toooooo much. Tonight’s dinner for sure. :-)

  9. Pingback: 3 Healthy Ways to Doctor Up Mashed Potatoes | theorganicauthority.com - Organic Living

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