Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese is an Italian dish of lightly breaded chicken breast cutlets with a white wine, lemon, and butter pan sauce.

Chicken Francese

When looking for a main dish to go with the Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables, Bob and I decided on Chicken Francese – a lightly coated chicken with a lemony sauce. In the words of Ina Garten, “How bad could that be?” Well, it’s delicious!

The chicken has a nice coating, and the sauce is very flavorful. I pretty much knew by reading the recipe that I’d like this chicken, and it definitely delivered. This was a great main dish to go with the potatoes, and one we’d like to make again and again.

Recipe Details

This recipe is quite simple. An easy pan sauce consists of butter, onion, white wine, and lemon. Chicken breasts are cut into cutlets and pounded thin, then lightly breaded and pan fried. The sauce is finished with some butter and spooned over the chicken for serving.

This recipe comes from my all time favorite cookbook, the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook.

UPDATE: The most recent version of this cookbook has every recipe from 2001-2021!

Gluten Free Chicken Francese

Use a gluten free flour blend, such as Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour, in place of all purpose flour.

Chicken Francese Pin

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Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese is an Italian dish of lightly breaded chicken breast cutlets with a white wine, lemon, and butter pan sauce.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 very small onion (minced, about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (or gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • table salt and ground black pepper

For the Chicken:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • table salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each, tenderloins removed, breasts trimmed of excess fat, halved horizontally, and pounded to even 1/4-inch thickness)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 200 degrees F. Set wire rack on rimmed baking sheet and place sheet in oven.

To Make the Sauce:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter in medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add flour and stir until light golden brown, about 1 minute. Whisk in wine, lemon juice, and broth; increase heat to high and bring to boil, whisking constantly. Lower heat to medium-high and cook, whisking occasionally, until mixture is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Strain sauce through mesh strainer, return to saucepan, and set aside.

To Make the Chicken:

  • Set second wire rack on second rimmed baking sheet on counter. Whisk together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk eggs and milk until combined. Season both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper. Using tongs and working with 2 cutlets at a time, coat cutlets in seasoned flour; shake off excess flour.
  • Transfer cutlets to egg mixture; coat evenly and let excess run off. Return cutlets to seasoned flour; coat evenly and shake off excess flour. Place coated cutlets on wire rack on counter.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon each butter and oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; when foaming subsides, place 4 cutlets in skillet. Cook until well browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip cutlets and continue to cook until lightly browned on second sides, 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Transfer chicken to wire rack in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Repeat, using remaining 1 tablespoon each butter and oil to cook remaining cutlets in now-empty skillet. After transferring chicken to oven, wipe out skillet with paper towels.

To Finish the Sauce:

  • Transfer the sauce to now-empty skillet and set over low heat; cook until the sauce is heated through, about 1 minute. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; add salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve:

  • Remove baking sheet with chicken from the oven; transfer 4 cutlets to the skillet, turn to coat with sauce, then transfer each serving (2 cutlets) to individual plates. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
  • Spoon 2 tablespoons additional sauce over each serving and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately, passing extra sauce separately.


Source: The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook
You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword chicken, gluten free, main dish

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