Chicken Francaise

Chicken Francaise

Golden Battered Chicken

in A Lemon Butter Sauce

The Gourmet Goddess guest stars with The Chocolate Goddess this week to share a chicken cutlet sautéed a golden brown and kissed with a buttery lemon wine sauce.  Tender and juicy, the Francaise sauce has a wonderful feel in your mouth and a vibrant taste.

Studies of lemons indicate they are hybrids - a marriage between a citron and bitter orange. Lemons most likely originated in India and made their way to Italy as early as the third century.  They weren’t seriously cultivated until the 15th century, when people began to realize their culinary and health value. 

The lemon is a giving fruit and surrenders itself completely in its juice, rind and peel – its seeds can then be cultivated. The Eureka is the variety found in most supermarkets.  Boldly acidic, it is used in foods, baked goods and drinks.  The Meyer Lemon has gained popularity in the last few years.  Usually available seasonally in the United States, winter through spring, the Meyer was originated in China and is sweeter and less acidic because a cross between a lemon and mandarin orange.

Most say Chicken Francaise originated in Italy.  Limoni are abundant in the Sorrento and Amalfi regions.   Sorrento lemons produce the famous liquor Limoncello®.  Italians also used lemons to flavor veal dishes and pasta.  In America, chicken was more abundant and Chicken Francaise may have originated here in America.  It didn’t appear in cookbooks until the 1950’s.  The sauce is similar to the popular French Buerre Blanc, with the addition of lemon and wine, which may have inspired the name Francaise or in the French style.

Chicken Francaise, also known as Chicken Francese, is similar to Chicken Piccata.  Francaise is dipped in flour and egg before it is sautéed, while Piccata is only dredged in flour with the addition of capers into the sauce.

Chicken Franaise is not as popular across the states as it is in New York.  This is a pity, it is a most delicious dish and is stunning in appearance.  The chicken encased in a golden coating along with a vibrant and creamy sauce is a delicious dinner year round.  Serve it with a side of pasta or roasted potatoes and green beans. Or over a bed of arugula with shaved parmesan for a spectacular summer gourmet meal.  

Buon Appetito!

And Remember

Always Stay in Touch with Your Inner Goddess!


Ingredients for the Chicken Cutlets

6 Chicken Cutlets, pounded

1 ¼ cups flour, with added 3/4 teaspoons Salt and ¼ teaspoon Pepper

2 eggs, with 1 tablespoon Water

Olive Oil for sautéing

3 cloves of garlic

Chopped fresh parsley, wash and prepare ahead for garnish

Ingredients for Francaise Sauce

1/4 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice (about 1 lemon)

3 slices of Lemon

1 stick Butter melted

1/2 cups Flour

16 ounces Chicken Stock

2/3 cup Pinot Grigio

1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Chicken Base

Instructions for Chicken Cutlets

Plan on 1 ½ cutlets per person.

Pound Cutlets in plastic bag.

Place flour in pan. A pie dish or cake pan works nicely to keep the flour from going all over.

Stir in salt and pepper.

Whisk eggs a bowl.

Dip all cutlets in flour and lay out on waxed paper. Set aside.

Wait to dip in egg.

Heat a large frying pan.  Add oil (about ¼ inch thick) and 3 cloves garlic. Don’t let it get too hot, you don’t want cutlets to stick.

Dip floured cutlet lightly into flour again and then dip in egg, shaking off excess.

Add to pan.

Adjust as it is lightly cooked to a little higher flame, you should hear a slight sizzle.

Sauté cutlets until a light golden brown, turning once with a fork by the ends.

Set aside cutlets on Reynolds Wrap or plate.

 Instructions for Francaise sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make a roux by sautéing butter and adding flour, then set aside. Or mix softened butter with flour.

In the large pan with the chicken juices, sauté lemon slices briefly and remove.

Add chicken stock, lemon juice, better than bouillon, and Pinot and stir until incorporated.  

Bring to a simmer and add roux. 

Stir until thick and continue to simmer for a few minutes.  Strain out lumps.

Baking Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place some Francaise sauce in roasting pans. 

Place cutlets on top,

Add more Francaise Sauce on top and around cutlets.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until bubbling.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley, if serving immediately.

If not serving until next day...

Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Remove foil to reheat at 350 until bubbles appear.

Add fresh parsley.

Serve at once.