Chicken Francese

The first time I made this was a revelation. Fried chicken. Velvety coating. Rich, creamy, alcoholic sauce. I describe myself (less jokingly than is healthy) as a carbivore. I usually can’t handle more than four ounces of meat but can eat a whole baguette in one sitting.  Ladies and gentlemen, The first time I made this I chose to forgo my side of bread in order to eat more chicken.  Mr. B’s jaw just about hit the floor.

This is crazy easy to make. Messy, but fast and easy. You can dress it up with grilled asparagus and toasted french rounds, or down with biscuits and steamed veg, or anything in between.

This is one of those not-so-kosher deals where I eat poultry with milk because chickens’ mamas do not produce milk, so there. But you could substitute some schmaltz for the butter and skip the Parmesan and it’d all be good.

Ingredients (serves two, easily doubled)

For the fried chicken:

1 pound chicken breast meat

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup grated Parmesan mixed with 1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup bread crumbs

vegetable oil for frying

For the sauce:

2 T butter (or schmaltz)

2 T flour

1/2 cup white wine

juice of 1/2 of a lemon (about 1 1/2 T)

3/4 cup chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

capers (optional, but awesome)


Heat a layer of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a nice big sauce pan. Dredge strips of chicken breast in flour mixture, then dip them in egg goo, then dredge that mess in bread crumbs. Your fingers, as well as the chicken, will be well-breaded for frying.

Fry chicken about three minutes a side. Wash your fingers. They would probably smell delicious frying, but you wouldn’t like it. Unless you’re very masochistic, in which case it still isn’t a good idea. Plop  the chicken on a bed of paper towels to rest while you clean the frying pan for the sauce.

Heat the pan over medium high again, and we’ll start with a roux. A lot of things start that way, and they tend to be delicious. Melt butter (or schmaltz) and whisk in flour.

Add the wine and lemon juice and stir just until the consistency is uniform.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to simmer. Add the fried chicken and cook gently for about 2 minutes a side. This soaks into the breading, which makes it not soggy but velvet-soft and intensely flavorful.

Top with a small handful of capers if you have them on hand. Serve with anything you like. I’ve had it on a bed of angel hair, which nicely soaks up the excess sauce, with asparagus soufflé, with a small Caesar salad; it really works with almost anything.



  1. #1 by Lynda Kayes on June 17, 2011 - 11:57 AM

    OK I was looking for something to make with chicken breasts for dinner tonight. This is perfect, have all the ingrediants, fast and yummy! Have never made a souffle, but after looking at that I am willing to give it a try . Went to the Itanlin market yesterday and brought 2 packages of quail, will be making that recipe again in the near future. Lots of fresh fruit at the market now, any desset ideas??

  2. #2 by koshercorvid on June 18, 2011 - 6:42 PM

    Raspberry lemon bars? Fresh apricot cobbler? Blueberry pie? Depends on the fruits you’re wanting to use!

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