Back in New Jersey, Mr. Betty and I had a little Italian place where we’d get the best chicken francese. Flavorful, thin slices of chicken in a delicious sauce are the perfect compliment to a simple pasta. We would go there for special occasions and despite the huge menu, we’d both order the same dish, every time.
After being gone for several years, I finally had the courage to make it myself. My only regret is that I waited so long because it was really easy. Rather than following a specific recipe, I watched a few videos and several variations of making chicken francese. I chose the elements I liked best and then winged it. This is a pretty classic take on the dish. So here you go:
Take a couple chicken breasts and slice each one into five or six thin pieces. You’ll need a sharp knife. Don’t worry about making them exactly the same size. Then pound them out so they are thin, thin, thin.
Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. You want it to be fairly hot, so that you see ripples in the oil when you shake the pan. I tested this dish with both nonstick and a regular pan, and I strongly suggest using nonstick if you have it.
While your oil is heating you can prepare your chicken. Season some flour with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, beat two or three eggs.
Dredge the chicken in the flour and then the eggs. You want them to be pretty eggy, so just leave them in the egg bowl until your pan is ready. Then you can drop them in so they are flat. While they cook, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese and parsley in the middle of each piece of chicken.
Keep checking the underside of the chicken. You are looking for a nice golden brown before you flip them. Because they are small pieces and they are nice and thin, they will cook quickly. So be careful not to let the egg burn. Once you flip all your pieces, add a tablespoon of butter, a couple cloves of chopped garlic, the juice of a lemon and some white wine, about a third of a cup.
Let the chicken simmer for a couple minutes. The sauce will reduce and thicken. Serve chicken parsley side up on the plate. There will be enough sauce to flavor some pasta, too, so I served mine right on top.
For variety, try adding tomatoes while the sauce simmers. Or kick up the dish with some strong flavors like capers or anchovy fillets. As long as you make sure the egg doesn’t burn or stick to the pan, and that the chicken is cooked all the way through, you really can’t go wrong.