Chicken Française

Chicken Française For TwoI 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.

©MakeMineLemon - Use the smooth side of the mallet to pound the chicken breast.

©MakeMineLemon – Use the smooth side of the mallet to pound the chicken breast.

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.

Chicken FrançaiseThis 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.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chicken Française
  • 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
  1. Mise en place ~ Gather ingredients
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Season the flour, egg wash.
  4. Roll the butter slices in the flour; set aside.
  5. Whisk the egg well with 2 tablespoons of water. It is an egg wash.
  6. Heat oil in the pan, over medium to medium-high heat.
  7. Dredge the chicken in the flour, then coat in the egg wash.
  8. Sauté to deep golden, 3-4 minutes on each side.
  9. Remove the browned chicken to a plate.
  10. Add minced shallots to the pan; sauté a minute.
  11. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant; do not burn.
  12. Deglaze pan with the vermouth, or white wine and lemon juice.
  13. Add in the chicken stock; bring to a bubble; reduce by half.
  14. Add in the seasoned, flour-coated butter; whisk in the pan to form a sauce.
  15. Turn off heat; add in chopped parsley.
  16. Serve with the crusty bread or a side of pasta to absorb the sauce and sprinkle with parsley.

I am taking this to

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32 Responses to Chicken Française

  1. This is a meal I’m know I would love. Isn’t it crazy how much more the butcher charges to buy a chicken breast cut in half.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Barbara, Yes, they really mark up the price for something so easy to do yourself. I am shocked at the people I know that are afraid to touch their food. It makes it difficult to cook if you are afraid of it.:) This is a really nice meal, not just because I made it, but because I discovered something so easy. Thanks for visiting.


  2. What a lovely dish and it looks very sophisticated yet it’s easy. That’s my kind of cooking. Julia Child like to use vermouth in place of white wine. It’s more aromatic I believe she said. With regard to how long vermouth will last, it depends on the temperature of your house. We’ve had it turn to sherry (not particularly good sherry either) if left too long in a house that gets hot. One sip and you’ll know right away whether it’s still usable or not.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Thanks Sam. Do you suppose I could put the vermouth in the refrigerator since it feels like summer here? If I can manage to keep it from going bad quickly I think I prefer it to white wine, at least for cooking.

  3. Penny says:

    What a beautiful plate of chicken. Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best. I recently made a pounded pork picatta with capers, lemons and wine and it has become our “go to quick meal”. Who needs fast food when you can pull dinner together in no time. I will try your chicken with the egg wash on the outside. Thanks Madonna.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Thank you Penny. I am always looking for quick but homemade. I like picatta anything also. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Lorrie says:

    This is the easy and delicious kind of meal I love to make. A great variation on Chicken Piccata. Thanks for sharing, Madonna.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Yes, I was a little worried myself, but since we have some caper-haters I thought I would give this a try. I am so happy I did. Thanks for stopping by Lorrie. I love it when good cooks think I had a good idea. 🙂

  5. Daniela says:

    Oh la la! This is a wonderful French version dish, fresh and light, perfect for summer.

  6. Nicole says:

    This recipe sounds so delicious and flavorful. I love cooking with wine. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to trying your recipe.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      I think you will like it and I was pretty happy with the vermouth, I think better than the wine. Thanks for visiting Nicole.

  7. Ai Lin says:

    Ooh la la, what a sophisticated dish. It is so simple as well. Can’t wait to give this a go. I am not much of a drinker too and my bottle of vermouth has be opened and unfinished for a loooongg time! 🙂

  8. Jenna says:

    I have been thinking of trying something like this for a while, and I so appreciate your thorough tutorial and tips~it looks divine! Thank you!

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Jenna, please give this a try. It is almost like gourmet fast-food once you gather all the ingredients. About 4 minutes per side and about 4 minutes for the sauce to come together. Let me know if you make it. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  9. Linda Warren says:

    This is one of my favorite dishes and I’d say yours looks pretty authentic! I like the tip about coating the butter with flour. I will have to try that. Thanks for sharing on Wake Up Wednesdays.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      It has become my favorite also, and by coating the butter with flour gives you just enough to pull the sauce together. If you make this let me know your thoughts.


  10. Lovely dish! I’ve had this in restaurants and made it at home, but it’s been ages and ages. Re vermouth, I always keep mine in the refrigerator once it’s opened, so the oxidation process is slowed waaay down. It’ll still be “good” for quite some time if you don’t refrigerate it, but it’ll lose its brightness (flavorwise) and will eventually become something you don’t want to use. My rule of thumb is if it’s under 50 proof (25 percent alcohol) I refrigerate it. Although it’d probably be OK to go down to 40 proof. Anyway, good post — thanks.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Thanks John for this valuable information. I should have known you would know with all the great drinks you post. I need to scope out your site to see what else I can make.


  11. Kitty says:

    Oh my goodness Madonna, I have everything I need to make this dish. Thank you for explaining the difference between chicken piccata and chicken francaise. I’ll be making this soon and I like that it’s a quick and easy meal. Your lemon garnish looks beautiful on the plate! You’re the queen of luscious lemon-ness.

    • Ms. Lemon says:

      Kitty, you made me laugh out loud, but all kidding aside this is really easy, quick, and tasty, and I just want everyone to try it. Thanks for stopping by.


  12. Poppy says:

    Hi Madonna,

    Having spent minimal time online while in Toronto for the past 2 ½ months, I’ve missed your detailed tutorials of all your delicious treats! Thanks so much for this appetizing account of chicken francaise and the difference between this and chicken piccata – very interesting! Lovely photos, as always!


  13. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Madonna,
    What an informative post about such a wonderful dish! I am like Kitty, can’t wait to make this, your recipe sounds delicious. Your presentation is beautiful, as always! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday today and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  14. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  15. Monique says:

    I love this meal and do not make it enough~
    Lemon just elevates so many dishes in my humble opinion:)

  16. Ms. Lemon says:

    I am pretty happy with it Monique, I am starting to think of it as gourmet fast food. You are so right about using lemon as a flavor booster, also fresh herbs. Thanks for stopping by, I am always thrilled when good cooks think my food is worthy of a comment.

  17. This looks wonderful Madonna, it’s the kind of dinner I like to serve for guests. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Kim says:

    Yum, one of my favorite dishes.

  19. Pingback: Friday Flash Blog No. 71 Plus Features | The Jenny Evolution

  20. G’day from Oz! I’ve just pinned your yummy recipe to my Say G’Day Saturday board-thanks so much for linking up. Hope you can join us again this weekend.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  21. Sherry says:

    Looks delicious! Thanks for linking with Home Sweet Home!

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