Chicken Francese

by Susan Hanna

This recipe was one of the most popular on the New York Times cooking website in 2018. It’s easy to see why: chicken cutlets bathed in a butter-lemon-wine sauce are fast enough to make for a weeknight supper and fancy enough to serve at a dinner party.

Serves 4.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Imagine Organic brand chicken stock and a white wine from Frogpond Farm. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt, plus more for seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup (82.5 ml) olive oil
  • ⅓ cup (82.5) vegetable oil
  • 4 to 6 large boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (buy the cutlets thinly sliced, or buy regular boneless breasts and slice them in half horizontally to make thin pieces)
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons (45 to 90 ml) unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed (optional)
  • ½ cup (125 l) dry white wine
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon, more to taste
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 ml) freshly minced parsley

Preparation:

  1. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper until blended. Place the flour in a separate bowl. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  2. In a wide skillet, heat olive and vegetable oils over medium heat until shimmering.
  3. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, lightly dredge the chicken in flour and shake off any excess. Dip into egg batter, let excess batter drip back into the bowl and place in the skillet. Fry, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Adjust the heat as the cutlets cook so they brown slowly and evenly, with a steady bubbling. Transfer to the paper-towel-lined pan and repeat with remaining cutlets.
  4. When all cutlets are browned, remove the pan from the heat and pour off the oil. Wipe out the pan with paper towels. Return the pan to low heat.
  5. If making the lemon slices (if not, skip to Step 6 below): Melt 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of the butter and then scatter the lemon slices over the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring gently occasionally, until the lemon slices are golden and browning around the edges, about 3 minutes. Scoop out the lemon slices and set them aside.
  6. Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of butter, the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil until the liquid is syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil and cook until thickened into a sauce, about 5 minutes. (It will thicken more when you add the cutlets.) Taste and adjust the seasonings with lemon, salt and pepper; it should be quite lemony and not too salty.
  7. Reduce the heat, tuck the cutlets into the pan and simmer very gently until the sauce is velvety and the chicken pieces are heated through, about 4 minutes. Turn the cutlets over occasionally in the sauce. Place the browned lemon slices on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve, spooning some of the sauce over each serving.

From the New York Times