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Thursday, May 19, 2011 11:35 am

Chicken francese

  • 2 chicken breasts or 4 thighs,
  • boneless and skinless
  • flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper (preferably white)
  • to taste
  • 1/4 c. finely grated pecorino romano cheese OR parmegiano reggiano
  • 1 very large egg, beaten, plus
  • additional if needed
  • 1/4 c. olive oil, plus additional if needed
  • lemon wedges

For the sauce, optional

  • 1/4 c. dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. chilled unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 2 T. chopped parsley, optional, for garnish

For the chicken:Pound the chicken between sheets of parchment or waxed paper with a mallet or small heavy skillet until thin and of even thickness. Cut into 2 or 3 equal pieces. Season the flour with salt and pepper to taste and put on a paper towel or parchment sheet. Whisk together the egg and cheese on another large shallow plate. Set the flour mixture and the egg mixture next to each other.

 Heat the oil in a very large skillet or two smaller skillets over medium high heat. You may need to add a little additional oil, but it shouldn’t be more than 1/8- inch deep. While the oil is heating, dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and shake off the excess. Then dip the pieces in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off. Add to the oil when it is hot but not smoking. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. It may be necessary to do this in batches, depending of the size of your skillet(s). Cook until the pieces are golden on the outside, turning once. Depending on their thickness, this should only take about 2-3 minutes per side. When they are done, remove the cutlets and drain in a single layer on paper towels, keeping them warm. The chicken can now be served as is, with wedges of lemon on the side, or with the following simple pan sauce.

Pour off the oil from the skillet and return the skillet to the heat. Add the wine, chicken stock and lemon juice and bring to a boil, stirring up any browned bits from the bottom. Boil the sauce until it is thickened and reduced to a glaze, about 1/2 c. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter. Depending on your preference, the cutlets can be added to the pan and coated with the sauce, any remaining sauce drizzled over the top; with the sauce drizzled over the top; or with the sauce on the side. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges, if desired. Serves 2 - 4.

Note: “alla francese” preparation can be used with veal, turkey or pork cutlets and is sometimes even used with large butterflied shrimp.

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