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This Chicken Francese recipe has golden pan fried chicken in a buttery lemon sauce. You can make this restaurant favorite at home in about half an hour!

I think you’ll also like my Easy Chicken Marsala or Chicken Milanese next.

a plate with chicken francese, green beans, and mashed potatoes

Why you’ll love it

Making Chicken Francese at home is really straightforward and simple. It’s an Italian-American favorite on many restaurant menus that’s similar to Chicken Piccata, the difference being that Chicken Francese (also known as Chicken Française) is coated in an egg wash and doesn’t have capers.

I highly recommend this one for lemon lovers. The vibrant and bright lemon sauce is the perfect complement to the melt-in-your mouth chicken. It’s also one of those recipes that looks way harder to make than it actually is, so it’s sure to impress! It just tastes so gourmet.

What is Chicken Francese?

  • “Francese” is Italian for “French” (confusing, I know). Originally it was made with veal in Italy, and using chicken is reportedly an Italian-American innovation by Italian immigrants in New York.

Ingredients for it

  • Chicken – we’re using 2 chicken breasts cut into 4 smaller cutlets
  • Garlic powder – along with salt & pepper, this infuses savory flavor by directly seasoning the cutlets
  • Flour and egg – for dredging and getting that perfectly crispy crust
  • Olive oil and butter – for sautéing and the base of the sauce
  • Chicken broth – to give the sauce extra savory flavor
  • Lemon juice – the star of the sauce!
  • Lemon slices – they enhance the lemony flavor even more, and you can even eat them if you’re a big lemon fan since they do mellow when cooked
ingredients for chicken francese on countertop

Pro tip

  • You’re welcome to use a 50/50 mix of chicken broth and a dry white wine like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc for a touch of elegance! Make sure it’s one you actually enjoy drinking, though, and definitely skip using cooking wine altogether.

How to make Chicken Francese

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

pounding and adding an egg wash to chicken

Slice the chicken lengthwise to make four smaller cutlets. Thinly pound them between two sheets of plastic wrap to tenderize it. Season them with salt & pepper and garlic powder. Dredge each piece with flour, and then dip in the whisked eggs.

pan frying chicken in a skillet

Working in two batches, pan fry the chicken in olive oil until golden. Transfer to a plate. In the skillet, add the butter and flour to make a quick roux.

making lemon sauce for chicken francese

Whisk in the broth and lemon juice, and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in the lemon slices, and cook until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Add the chicken back in, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired!

Tools for this recipe

  • To pound the chicken, it’s best to do it with a meat mallet, but if you haven’t picked one up yet, a rolling pin works in a pinch.
  • These cooking tongs make it effortless to flip the cutlets.
  • My favorite skillet is this Le Creuset one.
  • Chicken is safe to eat at 165F, and the easiest way to tell when it’s cooked is with an inexpensive instant read meat thermometer. It’s a must-have for any home cook so you don’t under or overcook meat.

What to serve with it

Leftovers and storage

  • Leftovers of Chicken Francese are tasty, but it is best served right away. It’ll keep for 3-4 days in the fridge in a covered container, but the crust will soften up.
  • I don’t recommend freezing leftovers of this one.
  • Reheat in a small saucepan over a low heat until warmed through.
closeup of chicken francese in a skillet

Did you make this easy Chicken Francese, or do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

a plate with chicken francese, green beans, and mashed potatoes
4.95 from 19 votes

Chicken Francese

This Chicken Francese recipe has golden pan fried chicken in a buttery lemon sauce. You can make this restaurant favorite at home in about half an hour!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup flour + 1 tablespoon flour divided use
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth or 50/50 chicken broth and dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 lemon sliced into thin rings
  • For serving: chopped parsley, freshly grated parmesan cheese optional, to taste

Instructions 

  • Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have four thinner cutlets. Place them between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and then pound thin (to about 1/4") using the flat end of a meat mallet. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the salt & pepper and garlic powder. 
  • Add the 1/4 cup of flour to a bowl or plate (you will dredge the chicken in it), then add the eggs to a second bowl and whisk with a fork.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat (let the pan heat up for a few minutes). You will be frying two pieces of chicken at a time. One by one, coat the first two pieces of chicken with the flour, then the egg, and then add each piece to the skillet after letting the excess drip off. Cook for about 3 minutes/side or until the crust is golden and the chicken is cooked through (165F). Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. Repeat for the second batch (add a little more olive oil if the pan is looking dry). The second batch tends to go faster, so keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter to the skillet. Once it melts, stir in the 1 tablespoon of flour and let it cook for about 30 seconds or so.
  • Whisk in the broth and lemon juice (scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan), and then add in the lemon slices. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced/thickened a bit.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet and then serve immediately with some sauce spooned over, or simply plate the chicken and then pour the sauce over. It's best to serve it quite quickly before the chicken's coating softens up too much. Season with extra salt & pepper as needed. Top with some chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Yes, you can eat those cooked lemon slices if you like, or discard them if you prefer.

Notes

  • This recipe has been majorly overhauled from its original version that was published back in 2016. If you loved the original version, here’s a PDF of it that you can save. 
  • Between the lemon juice and lemon slices, this sauce is quite lemony! If you’re not as much of a lemon lover, halve the lemon juice quantity.

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 163mg, Sodium: 404mg, Potassium: 493mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 245IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on September 16, 2016. It’s been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!


Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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4.95 from 19 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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42 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious and easy! It will be even easier the second time around since I am familiar with the steps and process. It will definitely be in our dinner rotation. I used the 50/50 wine and broth. Perfect.

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful!! Thanks for your review, Sarah!

  2. Trish says:

    5 stars
    Very, very nice. Was delicious.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much, Trish! πŸ˜€ Glad it was a hit!

  3. Brianna Bowden says:

    I’m not sure where I went wrong, but I coated the chicken in flour, then egg, let the excess drip off, and put it in the frying pan. The chicken cooked beautifully, but the outside didn’t crisp at all, it was as if I “french toast”-ed it. It was limp and soft, right out of the pan. I would change up how I fry it next time to make it crispy. Overall, the sauce that went with it was great and would even add more lemon as we are lemon lovers! I would double the sauce, too, because I love to drown my chicken and potatoes in sauce. My toddler loved it, too.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Brianna! Hmmm… I’m not sure? Maybe it steamed a bit? Was the chicken a bit crowded perhaps? In any case, I’m glad everyone liked the flavors.

  4. Angela says:

    4 stars
    Not sure why but it had a really weird lemony taste – like the rind was really off?? Not sure what I did wrong in the recipe.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hmm I’m not sure?

  5. Toni Kubousek says:

    Absolutely fantastic!!! One of my new favorites. Thank you.

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome!! πŸ™‚ So happy you enjoyed it, Toni!

  6. Laney R Sexton says:

    5 stars
    This can be made with basic staples and it’s so impressive. I will be making this over and over. My husband thought it was a special occasion πŸ™‚

    1. Natasha says:

      Fantastic!! πŸ™‚ So happy it was a hit. I appreciate your review!

  7. Lydia says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight it was delicious!! My 3 year old picky eater had seconds, and my husband loved it! Thanks for the great recipe!! πŸ₯°β€

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww I love that!! πŸ™‚

  8. Patti says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe I love the lemon taste will make it again…..

    1. Natasha says:

      Fantastic!! πŸ˜€ Thanks for your review, Patti!

  9. Kate says:

    5 stars
    10/10!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much!

  10. Betty says:

    5 stars
    Wow. So delicious

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy you liked it, Betty! Thanks for your review!! πŸ™‚