I made this Chicken Française the other evening and I thought it so good I wanted to share. I bought two chicken breasts and cut them in half horizontally. If you don’t want to do this, or don’t feel comfortable, ask your butcher. If you buy them already cut thinly you will probably pay twice as much, but it is your choice.
I placed the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap and pounded with the smooth side of my mallet until they were thin. Be sure they are pounded to the same thickness so they will cook evenly. Season the chicken, the flour, and the egg wash. That way you get consistent flavor with each bite.
The other advice I have is, whisk your egg really well with 2 tablespoons of water so the egg white does not clump onto the chicken, it is a egg wash. I originally used two eggs, but it was way too much. One egg is sufficient for the four pieces of chicken. I used my stick blender, but a fork will work. Be sure to use the biggest skillet you have so your pan is not crowded. Since you pounded the chicken thin it takes very little time to cook. By the time they are browned on both sides they are probably done, about three to four minute on each side; maybe less. It makes for a quick midweek dinner, but to tell you the truth this is also company food.
I did some reading on Chicken Française to see what the difference is from Chicken Piccata. With Chicken Française the egg wash is on the outside as opposed to Chicken Piccata that is dredged in egg wash and then coated in flour. Piccata also has capers.
I used vermouth instead of white wine. I think I mentioned before that I don’t really drink with the exception of a glass of wine at a holiday or some special occasion. However, if you looked in my pantry I don’t know if you would believe me. I am accumulating a collection of alcohol that I use for cooking and baking. Really, it is for cooking and baking. The reason I used vermouth is twofold. When I went to gather my ingredients I realized I did not have any dry white wine, but previously I had picked up a bottle of vermouth for another recipe I forgot to make. It is inexpensive and it keeps after it is opened. I am not sure how long it will stay good, but I have read it will keep months. Does anyone out there know for sure how long it will keep once a bottle of vermouth is opened? I’m talking to you martini drinkers. Any advise?
Roll the cold pats of butter in flour. It is a French technique called Beurre manié. It is a really a clever way of turning hot mixture into a glossy sauce without lumping or clumping.
Once the chicken is done, remove and loosely cover with foil. Add the minced shallots and sauté until soft, then the garlic, about thirty seconds. Don’t burn the garlic or your dish will be ruined. Deglaze with white wine or vermouth, and then add in the chicken stock. Reduce by half. Whisk in the floured pats of butter. By whisking in at the finish the cold butter will thicken the sauce. As soon as you see it getting glossy turn off the heat. Add in the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning.
This is a really inexpensive delicious meal that goes together rather quickly once you have all the ingredients gathered and in place, so I hope you will give it a try. Depending on how big of eaters you have at your house you can serve with rice, potatoes, or just some crusty bread, my favorite.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (6 ounces each), pounded thin
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup flour for dredging
- 1 minced shallot
- 1 clove garlic – minced (I only used a half of the clove)
- 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 3rds
- 1 large egg plus 2 tablespoons water
- 1 lemon, juice of ½ lemon and ½ sliced for garnish
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup vermouth or dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Finely chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish
- Mise en place ~ Gather ingredients
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Season the flour, egg wash.
- Roll the butter slices in the flour; set aside.
- Whisk the egg well with 2 tablespoons of water. It is an egg wash.
- Heat oil in the pan, over medium to medium-high heat.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour, then coat in the egg wash.
- Sauté to deep golden, 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Remove the browned chicken to a plate.
- Add minced shallots to the pan; sauté a minute.
- Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant; do not burn.
- Deglaze pan with the vermouth, or white wine and lemon juice.
- Add in the chicken stock; bring to a bubble; reduce by half.
- Add in the seasoned, flour-coated butter; whisk in the pan to form a sauce.
- Turn off heat; add in chopped parsley.
- Serve with the crusty bread or a side of pasta to absorb the sauce and sprinkle with parsley.
I am taking this to