Impress your family and friends with this lip-smacking, homemade Chicken Francaise. So effortless, you’ll have it on regular rotation.
Serve on a bed of pasta or alongside homemade rice pilaf for an outstanding dinner that’s sure to impress.
For many of us, Italian restaurants are our first pick for a delicious meal. But going out isn’t always an option, so I’ve learned to perfect restaurant-quality meals at home. This Chicken Francaise recipe is one of my favorites. Tender chicken, in a garlicky lemon sauce, just like you get at your favorite Italian!
We love making pasta dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo and Spaghetti Bolognese and often make classics like Chicken Cacciatore and Shrimp Scampi. Today, I’m sharing my easy Chicken Francaise recipe so that you can have it any night of the week – no matter what your budget.
Why This Recipe Works
- Adding garlic to the dish adds an extra layer of flavor.
- White wine adds a fruity undertone to the sauce.
- Cooking the chicken in flour creates an enticingly brown crust for the sauce to cling to.
- The lemon juice adds a citrusy brightness that can’t be beat.
What Is Chicken Francaise
Also known as Chicken Francese, it consists of chicken breasts coated in flour and egg, then pan-fried and served in a white wine and lemon sauce flavored with butter and chicken stock.
My version has garlic which isn’t traditional, but it’s what I grew up with, and I think it’s a wonderful addition.
Chicken Breast Buying Guide
When buying chicken breast, always choose chicken that’s a pink, flesh color. When the chicken starts to spoil, its color fades and gradually turns to a gray color. It’s best to avoid any packages of chicken with signs of lighter coloring.
To Pound or Not To Pound
Pounding your chicken breasts isn’t required, but it’s an easy way to ensure evenly cooked succulent chicken! It’s an extra step that will have you rewarded with a tender and delicious meal.
How To Pound Chicken
For perfectly even chicken breasts, cover them with plastic wrap and lightly pound them to an even thickness! Make sure you get each one about ¼ inch thick for the perfect meal.
Chicken: For this recipe, boneless and skinless chicken breasts are best. You can also try using boneless, skinless chicken thighs if desired. If you want to substitute with another type of meat, consider using turkey or pork chops.
Flour: All-purpose or plain flour is best for coating the chicken, as it provides a crunchy texture and helps lock in moisture.
Eggs: Use large or jumbo-sized eggs.
Lemon: Use fresh lemon for this recipe to maximize flavor. Store-bought or bottled lemon juice often tastes too acidic and artificial. Trust me; it’s worth the effort!
Wine: Any white wine can be used for this recipe. A light-bodied variety such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay will produce the best flavor profile. You can use extra stock with a couple of teaspoons of vinegar for an alcohol-free option.
Butter: We recommend using unsalted butter in this recipe to control the amount of salt added. For a lighter version, you can use olive oil instead.
Garlic: Fresh garlic is recommended for this recipe. If you need a time saver, try slicing instead of mincing the garlic.
Parsley: Fresh parsley is best for maximum flavor and color contrast; however, you can substitute it with dried parsley in a pinch.
Step By Step Instructions.
Using a sharp knife, slice four chicken breasts into cutlets by cutting each chicken breast into two or three thin slices.
Then Put the chicken breasts on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin until they are about a quarter-inch thick.
In a separate shallow bowl, beat four eggs with 3 tablespoons of water. and season with salt and pepper.
Then in a shallow bowl, mix ½ cup all-purpose flour with some salt and pepper. Then dredge both sides of the chicken in the seasoned flour, then dip them in the egg wash to coat thoroughly, letting the excess drip off.
Add the coated chicken to the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once.
If your chicken breasts are big, you might have to cook them in more than one batch. In between each batch, take the pan off the heat, remove the oil, and carefully wipe it out with paper towels. This will stop the oil and any breading left in the pan from burning and smoking, which can ruin your sauce.
Remove to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm. Add 4 minced cloves of garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds.
Add ½ cup of white wine, 1½ cups of chicken stock, and the juice and zest of 1 lemon, and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly.
Combine 2 tablespoons of melted butter with 2 tablespoons of flour and add it to the pan, constantly stirring until melted. This will thicken the sauce.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add chopped parsley, and return the chicken to the pan; place the lemon slices on top of the chicken and simmer for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through.
Taste for seasoning and season with salt as needed before serving.
Make ahead and Freezing Instructions ❄
- Make Ahead: The chicken can be floured and refrigerated up to four hours ahead of time.
- Freezing Instructions: The cooked cutlets can be frozen for up to 3 months. Freeze the cutlets on a baking sheet until firm (about 1 hour), then transfer them to a freezer bag with sheets of parchment between them. Defrost in the refrigerator before cooking.
Erren’s Top Tips
- When pan-frying, don’t skimp on the oil. You need enough to get a golden brown finish.
- If your chicken breasts are big, you might have to cook them in more than one batch. In between each batch, take the pan off the heat, remove the oil, and carefully wipe it out with paper towels. This will stop the oil and any breading left in the pan from burning and smoking, which can ruin your sauce.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 20 minutes before you’re ready to cook. This allows the chicken to cook evenly.
- Always wash your hands well after handling raw chicken. This should be done between steps to avoid cross-contamination.
- Keep the heat at a constant, medium high temperature; otherwise, the flour will absorb the oil and get soggy.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. It causes the chicken to steam instead of fry, and the coating will become soggy. It’s better to fry in batches.
- If you want extra sauce, double the sauce ingredients and extend the simmering time to reduce the sauce properly.
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Let’s Make Chicken Francaise
- 4 chicken breasts skinless and boneless (about 1.5 pounds)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour for dredging
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 sliced lemon with rind, cut in thin rounds
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1½ cups chicken broth
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 lemon juiced
- a good handful fresh parsley chopped
- Using a sharp knife, slice each chicken breast horizontally into two or three slices. Put the slices on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin until they are about a quarter-inch thick. Season with salt.
- Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a little salt and pepper, and mix to combine.
- In a separate shallow bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
- Dredge both sides of the chicken in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off.
- Add the coated chicken to the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine, stock, lemon juice, and lemon zest and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly.
- Mix the melted butter into the flour until combined. Add to the sauce, raise the heat, and and while whisking constantly, bring to a boil to thicken.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan; add the parsley, place the lemon slices on top of the chicken, and simmer for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Taste for seasoning and Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
Erren’s Kitchen is written and produced for informational intentions only. We are not certified nutritionists, and the nutritional information found on this site has not been assessed or authorized by a nutritionist or the FDA. The nutritional information found in our recipes is offered as an estimate and should not be considered a guarantee or fact. The estimated data is provided as a courtesy and calculated through a third-party online nutritional calculator, spoonacular API. Although we do our best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered rough estimates. Many factors, such as brands or products purchased and the nutritional fluctuations that naturally occur in fresh produce, can alter the effectiveness of the nutritional information in any recipe. Furthermore, various online calculators provide different results depending on their particular algorithms and nutrition fact sources. To obtain the most precise nutritional information in a provided recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the exact ingredients you are using when preparing the recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.