This chicken francese recipe is battered chicken breasts that are pan fried to golden brown perfection, then topped with a savory lemon sauce. An easy and unique dinner option that always gets rave reviews!

You can never go wrong with chicken for a simple yet satisfying dinner. Some of my family’s favorite chicken dishes include one pot chicken and rice bake, chicken coated in BBQ chicken marinade, slow cooker chicken breast, Greek chicken and this delicious chicken francese.

Chicken francese in a white wine sauce, garnished with lemon slices.

Whenever I see chicken francese on a restaurant menu, I have to order it. I just love that combination of crispy chicken in a light lemon sauce. I’ve learned to make this dish at home, and I have to say, I think my version is even better than what you’d get at a restaurant!

Chicken Francese Ingredients

To make this recipe, you will need thin cut boneless skinless chicken breasts, flour, salt, black pepper, large eggs, milk, extra virgin olive oil, butter, fresh lemons, dry white wine, chicken broth and parsley.

How Do You Make Chicken Francese?

Place the chicken breasts in between pieces of plastic wrap, then use a meat mallet to pound the chicken to an even thickness. You’re looking to make thin cutlets. Next, mix together the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Place the eggs and milk in a separate bowl, and whisk to combine. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess coating. Dip the chicken in the egg batter. Heat olive oil in a pan or large skillet, then add the chicken to the pan in a single layer. Pan fry the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover to keep warm.

Make the sauce by melting butter in the pan, then adding some lemon slices. Cook the lemon slices for a few minutes, then remove them from the pan. Add more butter, along with flour, and whisk to combine. Pour in white wine and let it simmer, then add some chicken broth and cook until the sauce has thickened. Stir in lemon juice and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Finally, return the chicken to the pan. Spoon the lemon butter sauce over the chicken, them add the lemon slices and parsley, and serve.

Thin cut chicken breasts on a plate.

Tips For The Perfect Dish

  • This dish works best with either chicken cutlets or thin sliced chicken breasts. You can buy chicken breasts that are already cut thin, or you can make your own by slicing thicker chicken breasts in half lengthwise. You can also make this dish with chicken tenders.
  • I recommend serving your chicken with side dishes such as sauteed mushrooms and onions, air fryer baked potatoes, mustard greens with bacon, make ahead mashed potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes or cauliflower mashed potatoes.
  • Use a white wine that you wouldn’t mind drinking, such as a Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Chicken francese is best when you serve it immediately. You can store any leftovers in the fridge, but the coating on the chicken may soften over time. Reheat leftovers on the stove over low heat until warm.

Quick Tip

Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, it has a much better flavor than the bottled stuff.

Chicken breasts, seasoned flour and egg batter.

Recipe FAQs

What is chicken francese?

Chicken francese is a derivation of a traditional Italian dish that was originally made with veal. It is an Italian-American creation popular in the New York region. It consists of battered chicken cutlets in a lemon, butter and white wine sauce.

Can you freeze chicken francese?

I do not recommend freezing chicken francese as the coating will be soft when thawed. If you need to freeze the dish, you could try thawing the chicken in the frigde then sauteeing it in olive oil over medium high heat to re-crisp the crust and heat it through.

What is the difference between chicken francese and chicken milanese?

Both chicken francese and chicken milanese are pan fried chicken cutlet dishes. Milanese tends to use a breadcrumb coating, whereas francese is seasoned flour, milk and eggs. Milanese typically does not involve sauce, and instead is topped with a salad mixture.

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Battered and pan fried chicken cutlets in a pan.

Chicken Francese Flavor Variations

While this chicken is delicious as-is, sometimes I add other ingredients depending on what I have on hand.

  • Herbs: Instead of parsley, try an herb with a bolder flavor such as fresh rosemary, thyme, basil or tarragon.
  • Sauce: Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the sauce for a different flavor. Some other great additions include garlic or olives. You can also add capers to get a dish reminiscent of chicken piccata.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add some veggies to this dish such as mushrooms, asparagus, onions, green beans, carrots or zucchini.
  • Cheese: Top your chicken with some shaved parmesan cheese, or add finely grated parmesan to the seasoned flour mixture.
Chicken francese served over mashed potatoes with green beans.

Chicken francese is a great way to turn ordinary chicken breasts into something extraordinary!

More Chicken Recipes To Try

Chicken Francese Video

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Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section further down the page.

5 from 126 votes

Chicken Francese

AuthorSara Welch
Chicken francese in a white wine sauce, garnished with lemon slices.
This chicken francese recipe is battered chicken breasts that are pan fried to golden brown perfection, then topped with a savory lemon sauce. An easy and unique dinner option that always gets rave reviews!
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Serves 4

Ingredients 

For the chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts thin cut
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter divided use
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Instructions 

For the chicken

  • Place each piece of chicken in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the flat end of a meat mallet to create thin cutlets.
  • Place the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until combined.
  • Place the eggs and milk in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat.
  • Dredge each chicken cutlet in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg.
  • Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in the pan.
  • Cook for 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and cover to keep warm. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.

For the sauce

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan over medium heat. Add the lemon slices. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until lemon slices have browned. Remove the lemon slices from the pan.
  • Add the rest of the butter to the pan, and cook until melted. Add the flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in the white wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer for an additional 4-5 minutes or until sauce has just thickened.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Return the chicken to the pan. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then top with cooked lemon slices. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve immediately.

Notes

  1. This dish works best with either chicken cutlets or thin sliced chicken breasts. You can buy chicken breasts that are already cut thin, or you can make your own by slicing thicker chicken breasts in half lengthwise. You can also make this dish with chicken tenders.
  2. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, it has a much better flavor than the bottled stuff.
  3. Use a white wine that you wouldn’t mind drinking, such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

Nutrition

Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 1210mg | Potassium: 575mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 503IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Best chicken francese ever . I was always on the fence about this dish until I came across your recipe . I make this often now the family loves it . Great dish easy but comes out like a gourmet dish. I’m making it for a dinner party tonight

  2. 5 stars
    I have been using this recipe forever and we love it. The only change I made was add some chopped garlic after browning the lemon slices. We are big garlic lovers in my home so it may not be for everyone, but I thought I would share for others like us. It works beautifully with garlic.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this tonight as I have been craving Chicken Frances. I have tried other recipes but this is the real deal. I did not change a thing ! It is restaurant quality, don’t look any further, its delicious ! I served mine with steamed spinach and egg noodles.

  4. 5 stars
    The dish was absolutely delightful and had a perfect balance of flavors. The chicken was tender and the tangy lemon sauce added a lovely touch.

  5. 5 stars
    Omg the lemon sauce for this chicken recipe was amazing!! Added such great flavor, paired well with the chicken. And our chicken was cooked perfectly thanks to your helpful tips and directions!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this and it’s delicious. I’m wondering, though, if you have any recommendations on how to get the chicken to be as golden as the one in your photo. I followed the recipe exactly, even using the same kind of pan, but mine never turned golden and most of the coating fell off. (I used as much oil as recommended). Any thoughts?

    Thanks.

    1. Did you move the chicken around? It’s best to let it sit in one spot for each 4 minute block of time so that the coating can set and get browned. Another possibility is that the chicken could be overcrowded in the pan depending on the size of your chicken breasts. You might want to try searing them in batches!

  7. Is it possible to substitute the flour with cornstarch? A member of the family has celiac disease therefore cannot consume regular flour and I know that there are options just unsure of what would work best.