Chicken Francese or Chicken Francaise? Italian or French?
Well, according to my 3 minute Google search, I've learned that it is basically an Italian-American dish and goes by "Francese". Popularized in NY, when a chef tired of frying cutlets the same way. I've honestly always thought it was a French dish, so look at that...I'm a wee bit smarter today. :)
But I should have known this. So many times have I been to a party, catered by an Italian restaurant, and Chicken Francese is almost always in one of the sternos. That, along with Penne Vodka and Eggplant Rollatini. Large bowl of salad adjacent with bread in a basket and butter in foil wrapped rectangles. Like every graduation party I've ever attended. Ever.
No surprise though, it's a delicious dish. Thin egg-coated cutlets, fried in butter then simmered in lemon, white wine and more butter. But as if that doesn't sound just marvelous, get this- When you make it at home on a smaller scale, it's so much better than from your 3rd cousin's graduation pool party.
So.much.better. First, becuase you get to serve it right from the skillet. Second, the freshly squeezed lemon stays vibrant, not compromised by a foil lid. And third, it's home-made and that always translates to better.
So go ahead and make it. I adapted the recipe from Dinner at the Zoo, a great food blog and the results were yummmm. Relatively easy and quick as well, so that's a plus.
I served it with roasted red potatoes and asparagus. A well-rounded Sunday dinner that was thoroughly enjoyed.
Which may or may not be like your time at that family shindig. ;)
Adapted from: Dinner at the Zoo
4 thin chicken cutlets
2 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk
1 C all-purpose flour, mixed with a liberal pinch Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
3 TBS olive oil
4 TBS butter, divided into 1 TBS chucks
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced and the other halved
1 TBS all purpose flour
1/2 C white wine
3/4 low sodium chicken broth
1 TBS lemon juice, or a good squeeze from 1/2 a lemon
Additional salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh basil or parsley, to garnish
Heat olive oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat.
Coat your cutlets in the 1 C flour, shake off excess, then dip in egg wash-drip excess. Place in frying pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side- until golden and cooked though.
Remove chicken to plate and cover with foil.
Lower flame to medium and add 1 TBS of butter to the same pan. Add the lemon slices and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until slices have browned. Remove the slices and place atop chicken you just plated. Replace foil.
Add the remaining butter to the pan and cook until melted. Add flour and whisk constantly for about a minute.
Add the white wine and bring to boil. Reduce heat to allow wine to simmer and reduce- about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer for an additional 3-4 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Add in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Return the chicken and lemon slices to pan and use a rubber spatula to really scrape that plate's drippings in! Keep flame on low and spoon sauce over chicken. Top with basil or parsley.