Chicken Francaise, also known as "Chicken Francese," is a popular Italian-American dish that has been on dinner tables across the globe. It's a culinary delight that marries the tangy zest of lemon with the tender juiciness of chicken. This instructional post is designed for home cooks, food enthusiasts, and culinary beginners who are eager to master the art of making Chicken Francaise in the comfort of their kitchens.

Chicken Francaise

In this detailed guide, you will learn the art of breading chicken, creating a mouthwatering lemon sauce, and serving a professionally-elevated dish. With a bit of practice, you can achieve the perfect balance of flavors and textures, and wow your family and friends with this classic dish.

Ingredients Required

Before you begin, ensure your kitchen is stocked with the following ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil for frying
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brined capers (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Preparing the Chicken

Before you start cooking, it's essential to prepare the star of the dish—the chicken.

  • Prepping the Breasts: Begin by carefully slicing each chicken breast in half horizontally to create two thin cutlets. Next, place a cutlet between two layers of plastic wrap and gently pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin until even thickness. This step ensures the chicken cooks uniformly and retains its tenderness.
  • Seasoning: After pounding, season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste. This enhances the natural flavor of the chicken and is the first step toward a well-seasoned dish.

2. Breading the Chicken

Breading is a key technique in Chicken Francaise, adding a crunchy layer to protect the moistness of the chicken.

  • Flouring the Chicken: In a shallow dish, spread the flour out evenly. Dredge each seasoned chicken cutlet in the flour, shaking off any excess. This helps the egg wash stick to the chicken and creates a barrier between the meat and the pan, keeping it juicy.
  • Egg Wash: In another shallow dish, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the parsley and grated cheese, and mix well. Dip each floured cutlet into the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. This is the step where your chicken gets its crispy, golden coating.

3. Cooking the Chicken

Cooking the chicken is a delicate process. You want it cooked through but still moist, with a beautiful golden-brown crust.

  • Frying the Chicken: Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, carefully add the breaded cutlets. Cook until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remember, you're not trying to cook the chicken all the way through at this stage; just give it a good sear.
  • Adding Butter: Once the cutlets are cooked, remove them from the skillet and set aside. Add the butter to the pan, allowing it to melt, and mix with the oil. This further enhances flavor and adds richness to the chicken.

4. Making the Lemon Sauce

The lemon sauce ties the dish together, providing a zesty punch that completes the flavor profile of Chicken Francaise.

  • Deglazing the Pan: With the skillet over medium heat, pour in the chicken stock and lemon juice. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. These bits contain a lot of flavor and are a crucial part of the sauce.
  • Bringing It Together: Simmer the sauce for a few minutes until it reduces slightly. If you're using capers, add them to the sauce now. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Pouring Over the Chicken: Once the sauce is ready, return the chicken cutlets to the skillet to warm through. Allow the cutlets to simmer gently in the sauce for a minute or two, ensuring they're fully coated.

Serving Suggestions

To serve your Chicken Francaise like a pro, follow these tips:

  • Plate with Panache: Arrange the chicken cutlets on a serving platter or individual plates. Spoon the lemon sauce over the chicken, and don't forget to include plenty of capers if you've added them.
  • Garnish with Green: For the final touch, sprinkle finely chopped parsley over the top for a burst of color and freshness.

Tips for Success

  • Maintain the Right Temperature: It's crucial to maintain the proper temperature while cooking the chicken. If the oil is too hot, the breading will burn before the chicken is cooked. If it's not hot enough, the chicken will absorb more oil than necessary.
  • Quality Ingredients: The quality of your ingredients, especially the chicken and the lemon, can significantly impact the final dish. Opt for fresh, high-quality items whenever possible.
  • Consistency is Key: Consistent thickness in the chicken cutlets and even coating will ensure that all the pieces cook evenly and have a uniform, appetizing appearance.


Mastering Chicken Francaise is an excellent way to explore the world of Italian-American cuisine. The method of breading, frying, and saucing offers foundational culinary skills that can be applied to a variety of dishes. Practice makes perfect, so don't be discouraged if your first attempt doesn't quite match a restaurant's version. With time and a bit of finesse, you'll be creating a signature Chicken Francaise that's sure to impress.

Invite your loved ones to savor the fruits of your labor and relish in the delightful combination of flavors. Feel free to reach out and share your experience with this recipe. Happy cooking!

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post