Chicken Francaise

Hello everyone! Sorry I haven’t updated in awhile; this semester has been brutal. I have found, however, that I enjoy cooking so much more than I used to. If you had asked me at this time last year to cook you a meal after a long day I doubt I would. It is strange because this semester when I get out of my night classes at 8 or 9 PM after going nonstop all day, I’ve actually began to look forward to the hour or two I can escape in the kitchen. It has become such a stress reliever, and if it is the only break I get all day, then that’s okay with me. Between balancing two jobs, being a full-time student, and doing a bit of freelance work here and there I barely have enough time in the day to get everything done. But I suppose between the chaos of my everyday life, I’ve found that I need that “me” time to throw together a meal; some of course more elaborate than others.

The semester is almost over and I will get the chance to put my role of student on hold until February, and instead immerse myself in work and art for myself, and hopefully some experimentation in the kitchen! I am currently also looking into internships for this coming summer. A majority of my friends in my major are going to London for the VC study abroad, and because of financial reasons I won’t be able to join them. It has given me the motivation to find an amazing internship in my field so I am not depressed all summer long thinking of what I must be missing out on. I am particularly excited about places like Minneapolis or Charlotte. For any designers who follow me, do you know any exciting places to look? I’d appreciate any help I can get!

Anyway, back to the reason for this post… ladies and gentlemen, I present chicken francaise…

Chicken Francaise

  • Boneless, skinless Chicken breast
  • Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine (or white cooking wine with lemon)
  • 3 Lemons
  • 1 Cup of Chicken broth/pound of chicken OR 1 cup of chicken bouillon/pound of chicken dissolved in hot water
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Flour
  • Parsley
  • Corn starch (optional)
  • Pasta and broccoli*

*Optional: I served my chicken over pasta and broccoli, and adjusted the amount of “sauce” I made for my chicken to allow leftovers for my┬ápasta.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To begin, you will need to prep your chicken. I prefer my chicken to be thin and the chicken breasts I had bought were quite thick. I cut each breast in half and used a meat tenderizer to thin them out. (I normally rinse my chicken in the sink as well but I had read online that it is actually worse for you to do so because any bacteria on the chicken will stay in your sink.) You will then need to beat two to three eggs and add a bit of lemon juice to the beaten eggs. (Begin with two to three eggs and add more as necessary – similarly to how I explained in my eggplant parmesan recipe. It is better to use less first, so you don’t wind up wasting as much of what wasn’t needed!) You will be dipping the chicken in the egg then LIGHTLY coating each piece in flour. I enlisted the help of my boyfriend, Vinnie, to egg and flour the chicken.

Make sure you (or your sous-chef) knows to coat the chicken lightly in flour. If you use too much it often clumps off once submerged in the sauce for baking. As you can tell, Vinnie went a little overboard at first, but later pieces were coated more lightly. :O)

You will then begin by browning the chicken using butter. I chopped some garlic cloves and included them in my melted butter. When the chicken is browning, the garlic sticks to the chicken and tastes delicious once baked. Add butter as necessary. I hate to fry in butter, but that is what makes chicken francaise taste as good as it does. When I make it in the future I am going to experiment with using Smart Balance butter instead. I don’t know how it would taste or if it would work to begin with. Make sure you brown each side of the chicken pieces and arrange them in a Pyrex dish for baking.

Once all your chicken is slightly browned and layered in your baking pan it is time to make the sauce. Using the pan you had browned your chicken in, combine the juice of lemons, 1/2 cup of white wine, 1 cup of chicken broth (or 1 cup of dissolve chicken bouillon), chopped garlic, and a dash of parsley. I made extra sauce because I wanted to serve it over pasta. I used about 3 lemons, juiced; 2-3 cups of chicken broth, and about 3/4 cup of white cooking wine.

The sauce will need to simmer and thicken. I used corn starch to speed up the process. (For a how-to, click here.) When it seems a bit thicker, pour it directly over the chicken. It will thicken more when baked. (Note: when I say thicken, it is NOT a creamy sauce. It is meant to be on the watery side. For my own curiosity I read online that you can add heavy cream to your sauce to make it thicker like it sometimes is at Italian restaurants.) I made extra sauce for mine to serve over the pasta, so be sure to set some aside from what you poured over your chicken.

Bake your chicken at 350 degrees until cooked through. In the meantime, cook pasta and broccoli. Add the pasta and broccoli to your extra sauce.

When your chicken is finished, serve over pasta. Use extra sauce from your baked dish to drench your pasta. Add sliced lemon for a pretty garnish (optional). Eat and enjoy. :O)

Questions? Thoughts? Please comment! I love hearing from you. :O)

Jennifer Leigh