Chicken Francese – Dinner at the Zoo

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 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!

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Chicken francese is a derivation of a traditional Italian dish that was originally made with veal.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.

Thin cut chicken breasts on a plate.

How do you make chicken francese?

This dish starts with chicken breasts, which are dredged in seasoned flour and coated in egg. The chicken breasts are seared in olive oil until golden brown. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan, then cook some lemon slices until they’re browned. Remove the lemon slices from the pan, then add wine, chicken broth, lemon juice and butter. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until thickened. Garnish the chicken with the cooked lemon slices and fresh parsley, then serve and enjoy.

Chicken breasts, seasoned flour and egg batter.

Tips for the perfect chicken

  • 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.
  • Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, it has a much better flavor than the bottled stuff.
  • Use a white wine that you wouldn’t mind drinking, such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Chicken francese is best served immediately. You can store any leftovers in the fridge, but the coating on the chicken may soften over time.

Battered and pan fried chicken cutlets in a pan.

Chicken francese 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.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add some veggies to this dish such as sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, onions 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.

I like to serve this dish over pasta or mashed potatoes, with a green vegetable on the side. It’s a great way to turn ordinary chicken breasts into something extraordinary.

More chicken recipes to try

Chicken Francese Video

Chicken Francese

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!

Keyword chicken francaise, chicken francese, chicken french


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


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.


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

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