Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese is an easy gourmet chicken recipe pan fried in an egg wash with a delicious white wine and butter lemon sauce. 

Easy French recipes like French Onion Soup or Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup served with Crusty French Bread Rolls were some of our favorite French recipes on the blog until this recipe.

Easy Chicken Francese in Pan

Chicken Francese isn’t as well known a recipe as Chicken Madeira or Classic Beef Meatloaf but the flavors are as incredible as your favorite French restaurant. It was originally brought to America by Italian immigrants who used the more economical poultry meat instead of veal for their dinners.

Chicken Francese is made of chicken breasts or chicken cutlets rolled in a shallow bowl of flour and an egg mixture, pan fried, and served in a white wine sauce made from chicken broth and unsalted butter. This is a gourmet dinner without the gourmet wait time; it’s delicious and only takes an hour.

This is a chicken dinner that is easy to make and has an elegant name. What is nice about this Chicken Francese recipe is that you can serve it on its own or dress it up or down a bit with additions like parmesan cheese, leaf parsley, lemon slices and season with salt (kosher). Chicken Francese is an excellent, low-stress weekday meal and can go with all sorts of sides, which is a good excuse to break out the leftovers.

Similar to other chicken recipes that we’ve done, such as Baked Orange Chicken, or our Oven Fried Chicken, Chicken Francese is easy and delicious, and the lemon butter sauce is excellent.

What is Chicken Francese?

Francese is pronounced fran-CHEY-zey, with a rolled r sound. It is taken from the French word for French: française (pronounced frahn-SEZ). It’s actually the Italian way of saying French. Another common way of naming this dish is Chicken Française.

It means French style, or the French way, but what it refers to is chicken fried in a flour mixture and egg wash with citrus juice until golden brown. Chefs aren’t entirely sure where the term originated, but cooking chicken “the French way” certainly makes for a tasty meal. 

How to Make Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese is actually really easy to make at home. The process is simple and there’s not many things that could mess it up. Here’s how to make Chicken Francese: 

  • Melt butter in the frying pan by bringing the heat to medium high heat.
  • Season the dried-off chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then coat them in the flour, then the egg.
  • Add each piece to the frying pan which should have melted butter being careful to nots plater the hot butter. 
  • Once the chicken has been thoroughly seared on each side, remove them from the pan.
  • Add to the pan the remaining ingredients (including the corn starch to thicken the sauce).
  • After the sauce has been whisked together, add the cooked chicken back to the pan and continue cooking the chicken in the sauce until the sauce is reduced to perfection. Serve with a yummy side!  

Chicken Francese vs. Chicken Piccata

No, you aren’t having chicken déjà vu. Chicken Piccata and Chicken Francese are remarkably similar with some slight variations. Both recipes fry skinless breasts of chicken in flour and egg wash and are served in a dry white wine, chicken stock and lemon sauce made with fresh lemon juice. The biggest difference is that Chicken Piccata is served with capers on top, which gives the dish a whole different feel. Another great weekday meal, our Chicken Piccata recipe is just as easy as Chicken Francese.

Chicken Francese close up

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cook Chicken Francese in an air fryer? 

Yes. The chicken can be initially cooked in an air fryer, but will still need to be cooked in the sauce before served. Follow the instructions on the air fryer to cook the chicken properly. We recommend only using the frying pan for best results. 

Can I cook the chicken ahead of time? 

Yes. You can cook the chicken in the frying pan ahead of time and freeze it for later. The air fryer would be a good method to pre cook the chicken in this case. If frozen, the chicken will need to be reheated before being added to the sauce for additional cooking.

Do I have to use chicken, or can I use another meat? 

By its nature, Chicken Francese is made with chicken. But originally, this Italian-American dish was made with veal (calf meat). You can use thinned turkey or pork, even beef if you don’t have chicken. But for best results, we definitely recommend using chicken. 

What Temperature Should the Chicken Cook to?

Chicken should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (73.9 degrees C) before you eat it, according to the USDA’s website. With breaded chicken, it is always better to use a thermometer to check to make sure it is cooked all the way through, just to be on the safe side.

Key Ingredients for Chicken Francese

  • Chicken: Choose thick chicken breasts that can be halved to be thin for cooking. They won’t dry out so thin cuts are best.
  • White Wine: Don’t use a white wine that you wouldn’t enjoy drinking yourself. If you prefer an alcohol free option, you can easily substitute equal amounts of chicken broth. If you do this, keep in mind that wine adds an essential tanginess that, in an alcohol free preparation, can be brought in with a teaspoon of white vinegar.
  • Lemon: Use fresh and juicy lemons when you can for the best zest. If lemons aren’t available, limes work well as substitutes. Keep in mind that the white vinegar won’t be necessary in the case of an alcohol free preparation.

Tips for Cooking

  • Dry the chicken breasts using paper towel before beginning to prep them in the batter. 
  • Use fresh ground black pepper for a more robust flavor. 
  • Using a meat mallet, place the dried pieces of chicken between plastic wrap or in a plastic freezer bag and flatten the chicken cutlets until they are about ¼ inch thick. This helps them cook quicker and more evenly. 
  • If you’re prepping ahead of time, you can use an extra shallow bowl to hold the prepared cutlets until you are ready for cooking. 
  • Add in 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil along with the frying butter to give it more authentic flavor. 
  • After cooking the chicken in the pan, have a baking sheet ready nearby to hold the chicken while cooking the sauce. 
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with one of our incredibly delicious sides listed below.

More Chicken Dinner Recipes

What to Serve with Chicken Francese

These are some of the best side dishes you can serve alongside Chicken Francese. The savory tubers and other vegetables pair really well with this amazing chicken dish. 

More Chicken Recipes

How to Store Chicken Francese

  • Serve: This recipe can be served and kept at room temperature for up to two hours before food bacteria would start forming making it unsafe to eat.
  • Store: If you get interrupted before you can pan fry your chicken, is it alright to store for later? In the fridge, you can keep uncooked, thawed chicken covered with plastic wrap for about a day before you are in danger of it going bad. Floured chicken can keep for about the same amount of time, but any longer and it gets risky. Once Chicken Francese is cooked, the leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.
  • Freeze: If cooked, you can store this recipe in the freezer in an airtight container for up to three months. You can also prep the chicken for cooking later by dredging the chicken in the flour mixture and freezing before cooking.
Chicken Francese in White Wine Sauce

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Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese is an easy “gourmet chicken” recipe pan fried in an egg wash with a delicious white wine and butter lemon sauce.
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs , beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 lemons (1 juiced and 1 sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper, then coat with flour.
  • Add to egg, then to pan with 4 tablespoons of butter and sear until browned on both sides on medium high heat, about 3-4 minutes on each side then remove the chicken from the pan
  • Whisk in the wine, broth, garlic powder, paprika and remaining butter and lemon juice over medium heat.
  • Whisk together 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and add to the skillet and let the sauce thicken 3-4 minutes.
  • Add chicken back in, topping with lemon slices and letting it reduce by half, another 8-10 minutes.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 261mg | Sodium: 748mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1025IU | Vitamin C: 35.5mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2.3mg
Keyword: Chicken Francese
Chicken Francese collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post:

Chicken Francese in pan

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I made this last night. Delicious! I suggest having the pan additions prepped before starting which then makes this a breeze to make!

  2. Made last night,,,it was great ,,,Need a crowd this is a lot of meat if you use large breasts,, Would not change a thing.

  3. I doubled the recipe, it came out delicious, both my husband and father commented on how tender the chicken was and how tasty. This is going to be my new go to recipe for Francese!

  4. Wonderful, easy recipe. I changed it up a little because I prepared it ahead of time in the a.m. using larger chicken breasts. After pounding them down, I prepared the recipe as directed. I put it in the refrigerator and took it out in the afternoon about 2 hours before baking it for 35 minutes at 350. It was so tender and delicious. Sabrina has become my favorite chef for her easy, delicious recipes. Can’t wait to try more!

  5. Another excellent recipe! I just love chicken cooked in wine-so much flavor. This is a pretty simple recipe and cooks fairly quickly. I pound the breasts a bit and only use 2 eggs. I also cut the butter in half just to lighten it up a bit and it’s still really good. Thank you Sabrina!

  6. Very delicious and flavorful recipe! Simple ingredients most kitchens have handy. I made it with potatoes the first time and I’m going to try it with pasta next. I’ve recommended this to friends already and I recommend it to anybody considering making Chicken Francese. This I think will be your Chicken Francese recipe from now on. Good luck and enjoy!

  7. When the chicken breast have been sliced in half lengthwise do you pound them to make the breasts thinner before putting them in the flour and eggs and then frying them? Thank you and the receipt sounds delicious.

    1. I like using a crisp white wine but since I’m not a wine drinker, I also don’t want to spend a lot of money on a bottle just to cook with either. I suggest using a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc. Hope this helps!

      1. Delicious! I made 20 pieces of chicken and doubled the sauce added a pinch of pasta water and it was perfection. Excellent. 2 thumbs up all-around. Made this twice so far. Thank you for such an easy and excellent recipe.

  8. Another gold star for Dad! Although I made these four days ago, I had to comment. My boys unanimously agreed it was a keeper recipe. Very delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  9. I want to make chicken franchise for a crowd, can I make it 2 days ahead of time and then heat up trays in chaffing dish with stereo?

    1. You can definitely make it ahead, it can keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. However, I wouldn’t do Step 5 (adding the chicken to the sauce) until the day of the event so you maintain the most of the crispness of frying the chicken.

  10. This reminds me of a dish I used to get frequently but it had mushrooms in it as well. Do you think you could add mushrooms to this and it would be good?

  11. does this have enough sauce left over to serve this over pasta? once the pasta is cooked can you add it to the pan to mix it with the sauce and then serve with the chicken?

  12. This sounds super easy & delicious! I’m going to increase the recipe, and make it this coming weekend for my in-laws anniversary dinner. This dish definitely is ‘company worthy’. Thanks for the great idea, Sabrina. 🙂

  13. I’m so excited to try this recipe, it looks amazing! Chicken Francese is one of my favorites, thank you!!

  14. Amazingly good. Easy to make yet it looks as if you slaved away in the kitchen all day. I did make this with chicken stock and almond flour because I didn’t have wine or regular flour in the house and needed to cook up the chicken in the fridge. It would be a really nice dish for company, too.

  15. This was not only an easy dish to prepare, but it is full of flavor and has quickly become a family favorite meal in our home; everyone loved it!

  16. Could this be made a couple of hours ahead and kept warm in the oven? I like to be able to spend time with guest during cocktail hour and then have dinner almost ready to serve