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Chicken French


Chicken French
Special*Dark/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
This not-French recipe is a distant cousin to an Italian sautéed veal dish called vitello francese, which uses a sauce similar to ones used in France. The recipe came to New York City with the first wave of Italian-American immigrants, and became known as "Veal French." Eventually, the recipe migrated to Rochester, NY's large Italian-American community, where chicken is substituted for the more expensive veal.

Ingredients for 4-6 Portions of Chicken French

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • For the chicken:
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced or pounded-out, into 1/4-in thick peices
  • 4 eggs, plus 2 tablespoon milk, beaten
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • cayenne to taste
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon butter for sautéing
  • For the sauce:
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup good white wine or dry sherry
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoon cold butter, cut in cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


Season chicken pieces on both sides with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a baking dish and mix well. Combine the beaten eggs and milk in another dish. Dredge the chicken, one at a time, in the flour to coat both sides, and then transfer into the dish of eggs. Turn the chicken in the egg to coat both sides, and leave in the egg.

Once all the chicken is floured and transferred into the dish of eggs, place in the refrigerator until needed. In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over med-low heat, until it begins to sizzle slightly. Lift the chicken pieces out of the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off, and sauté for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Cook in batches and keep warm in a very low oven.

When all the chicken is cooked, add the lemon juice, wine, and broth to the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat until reduced by half. Turn off the pan, and the parsley and cold butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter melts. Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust. Place the chicken on warm plates, and spoon over the sauce. Serve immediately.

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