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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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.

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4.95 from 19 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. R says:

    I’d love to try this but we can’t have egg in our house because of allergies. Are there any substitutes for it? We are fine with dairy and wheat but not nuts or legumes.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! Hmmmmm you could try just flouring the chicken vs. the egg wash. It won’t be quite the same but I think it should still taste good.

  2. MARY says:

    5 stars
    I have made this many times for my husband and I. We have enjoyed it each time and will continue to enjoy it into the future. Tender chicken, flavorful sauce. You’ve made me a better cook than I ever thought I would be! lol!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s so nice to hear, Mary!! 😀 Thank you!

  3. Kristen says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! It is so juicy and delicious. Mine keeps getting burnt though and the sauce is a brown sludge rather than lemony. Can’t figure out what I am doing wrong. Any advice?

    Thank you, this is one of my top two chicken recipes. Thanks so much for providing it.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Kristen! I’m glad you like this one. I would say to turn the heat down a little bit. It sounds like you’re getting a good sear on the chicken, though, which definitely isn’t a bad thing.

  4. Becca sarandos says:

    5 stars
    Perfect- we added this you our monthly rotation! It tastes like a restaurant meal- we had bow ties with butter, oil, garlic and asparagus with a garlic butter sauce! So delicious👍

    1. Natasha says:

      I love that, Becca! Thanks for your review!

  5. Kellie Polak says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and easy! I served this with mashed potatoes and green beans, just like in your photo and it was a perfect meal! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Natasha says:

      Aww I love that!! Thank you, Kellie!! 😀

  6. Julie says:

    5 stars
    Wow! Tried this tonight and wow! So very good. We love lemon and this dinner was amazing!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much!!

  7. Antonella Salembier says:

    I don’t see any measurements about chicken broth etc…

    1. Natasha says:

      The recipe card is above the comments section. It has full ingredients and instructions.

  8. Catherine says:

    5 stars
    Made as written but doubled the sauce except the lemon. Delicious

    1. Natasha says:


      1. Frances Graybowski says:

        5 stars
        Made it tonight. My daughter kept saying with every bite, this is so good, so good. I forgot to add the flour to thicken the sauce but all the flavor was there. I will have to make this for my grandson. He loves lemons. He loves chicken. I’ll show him how easy it is to make.

        1. Natasha says:

          That’s so nice to hear!!! 😀 Thank you for your review!

  9. Lynne says:

    5 stars
    I made this for “Old Lady Dinner” last night and it was delicious. Both my husband and sister loved it. Will definitely make it again.

    1. Natasha says:

      Haha love that!!

  10. Rosa says:

    Such a delicious and easy to follow recipe.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you!! 😀