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Chicken Francaise in a skillet, with lemon slices

Chicken Française

Chicken Française is chicken cutlet blanketed in a decadent sauce of fresh lemon that is offset with a good dry white wine, and a generous knob of sweet cream butter. 
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: chicken, chicken breast, chicken francaise, chicken francaise recipe, chicken francese, chicken francese recipe, creamy chicken francaise, delicious easy chicken francese, famous chicken francaise, francaise sauce, Italian American food, lemon, lemon chicken, lemon sauce, one pot recipe, saute
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 497kcal
Cost: $2.32 per serving

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  • large non-stick skillet


Ingredients for Chicken Française

    for the chicken

    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts each breast sliced in half lengthwise, pounded to 1/4" thickness
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tablespoons light cream or milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    for the lemon butter sauce

    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
    • 1/4 cup Vidalia onion chopped, or other sweet onion
    • 2 - 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup  dry white wine
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice fresh squeezed, about 2 juicy lemons
    • 2 cups chicken broth I am using homemade chicken stock
    • Kosher salt to taste
    • black pepper to taste
    • parsley fresh, chopped
    • 1 large lemon sliced, about 6 to 8 thin slices


    The Method

    • In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and milk. A pie plate works well for this. Set aside. Combine the salt, pepper and flour in a separate shallow bowl and place next to the egg mixture. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
    • In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Using tongs, dredge the chicken cutlets in flour shaking off the excess. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture allowing the extra egg to drip back into the bowl. Transfer to the flour once again, turning to coat. Shake off the extra flour and place in the hot skillet.
    • Cook 2 or 3 cutlets at a time, turning once, until the chicken is well browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to the prepared paper-towel lined baking sheet. Repeat, adding more butter and olive oil if needed until all chicken is cooked. Set chicken aside. Discard the grease and wipe out the skillet with clean paper towels.
    • Add 3 tablespoons butter to the now empty skillet over medium heat.
    • Toss in the minced onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, lemon juice and chicken broth. Increase the temperature to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until it is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
    • Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove the onions. Return the sauce to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Add the last tablespoon of butter to the sauce. Stir gently until melted. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. The lemon flavor will be intense.
    • Add the lemon slices to the sauce and then add the chicken cutlets back to the pan atop the lemon slices.  Heat gently for 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, or until heated through.

    Cook your pasta, if using. Drain.

      To Plate This Dish

      • Remove the cutlets and the lemon slices from the sauce and set aside. Using tongs, take about half of the cooked pasta and add it to the sauce. Twirl the pasta in the sauce taking care to coat it well. Toss the coated pasta with the remaining pasta in a serving bowl. Remember, the sauce is lemon intense, so by coating only half and tossing with the remainder, you will have a nice flavor without it being overpowering or drippy.
      • Add the chicken to the serving bowl atop the pasta. Top the chicken with the sautéed lemon slices and garnish with minced parsley. Pour any remaining sauce in a sauce boat for serving at the table. Serve immediately.


      To Make Ahead:
      The chicken can be coated and refrigerated on a wire rack atop a baking sheet up to four hours ahead of time. Remove from the fridge 20 minutes before sautéing.
      I have also prepared the lemon sauce ahead with great success. It may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
      To Re-heat Leftovers:
      Prepare the cutlets and sauce as written and then re-eat the cutlets in a low-temp oven of 250 degrees F and gently re-heat the sauce in a saucepan on the stove.
      To Freeze:
      The cooked cutlets can be frozen for up to 3 months. Freeze the cutlets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until firm, about 1 hour, then transfer to a freezer bag with parchment squares between each cutlet. Defrost in the refrigerator before re-heating.
      Freeze the lemon sauce separately in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before re-heating.


      Serving: 1serving | Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Sodium: 831mg | Potassium: 483mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 763IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg

      Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.