Chicken Francese


This chicken isn't French, despite the Italian adjective. It isn't really Italian, either — it's a pure Italian-American restaurant classic. The recipe may be unabashedly old-school, but chicken Francese is hard to beat. Chicken cutlets in a light, Parmesan-infused batter, simmered in a creamy wine sauce make for a perfect weekend feast, especially when paired with a crisp arugula salad or lightly steamed asparagus.

Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
4 servings


  • 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 cup (about 4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 4 cups (1 quart) lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1 Meyer lemon or regular lemon, cut into 8 thin rounds, seeds removed

  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish


  1. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, place in a large plastic freezer bag and gently pound to 1/2-inch thickness using the flat side of a meat mallet or a heavy pan. Season flattened chicken breasts all over with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. Whisk together eggs and grated cheese in a shallow bowl. Place flour in another shallow bowl.

  3. Pour oil to a depth of 1/8-inch in a deep large skillet and heat over medium; set up a large plate lined with paper towels. Working with 2 chicken pieces at a time, lightly dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, letting excess drip off. Place in hot oil and fry until golden brown and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining 2 chicken pieces.

  4. Carefully discard hot oil and wipe skillet clean. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in skillet over medium. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and bring to a simmer over high. Simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and return to a vigorous simmer over high. Simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream and bring to boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

  5. While cream sauce simmers, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer on bottom of skillet. Cook, undisturbed, until slices are caramelized around edges, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  6. Stir parsley into cream sauce and reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken and gently simmer until chicken pieces are heated through, about 2 minutes. Divide chicken among 4 plates; spoon cream sauce evenly over chicken. Top with caramelized lemon slices and sprinkle with parsley.

    Chicken Francese Recipe
    Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland
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