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Chicken Francese is one of my favorite ways to prepare skinless, boneless chicken breasts. And this fact isn’t solely because Francese is my last name, but mostly due to how such a simple set of ingredients are transformed into a spectacular finish. 

Related Reading: 9 Easy Marinades for Chicken That Make It Good to the Last Bite

An Italian-American dish of flour- and egg-dredged chicken, Chicken Francese operates a little differently than your traditionally breaded cutlets: Instead of battering the chicken in egg first, as is often the case, the process is reversed. First the chicken is covered in flour, then dunked in whisked eggs. This allows for an eggy crust that absorbs the sauce, creating a moist, tart chicken. 

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Once the chicken has been prepared, sautée each piece in a pan, which gets finished off in a smooth lemony, white wine sauce. If you don’t have wine in the house, it can be omitted, as the lemon does provide the acid needed to make the dish a success. All the other ingredients are staples (flour, eggs, lemon, garlic powder) that you most likely have in your house, so this is truly a pantry-friendly dish. Pair the chicken with linguine or rice, along with a drizzling of the excess sauce.

Chicken Francese Recipe

Chicken Francese

Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ to 2 lbs of boneless, chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • AP flour, for dredging
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/8 cup water
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest removed and reserved; then juiced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise and season with salt, garlic and onion powder.
  2. Place flour in a shallow bowl and eggs, beaten and mixed with water in another shallow bowl, side by side.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet with the oil until it begins to shimmer.
  4. Dredge the chicken cutlets in the flour to fully coat. Then, dip them in the egg wash, letting the excess drip back into the bowl.
  5. Place them into the hot oil and cook on medium heat until the egg begins to brown evenly, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken once cooked through and cook the rest of the cutlets.
  6. Once all the chicken is cooked and removed from the pan, add butter and scrape up all the browned bits. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the flour you have left in a bowl and whisk until light brown.
  7. Add lemon juice, wine, stock and lemon zest and simmer sauce for 10 minutes. It should be reduced by half. Carefully strain the sauce into a large bowl. Then, add the chicken back in the pan and pour the sauce over it all. Simmer a few minutes to allow the chicken to soak up the sauce.
  8. Serve the chicken right in the pan and sprinkle with parsley.

Header image by Anna Gass.

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