Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cousin Joey's Chicken Francaise

Cousin Joey is my Zia (aunt) Dina's son.  Zia Dina is an AMAZING cook!  She makes pasta from scratch, makes homemade pizza dough that is phenomenal. So the fact that Joey loves to cook doesn't surprise us - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  Joey has a signature dish...his Chicken Francaise.  This is a staple during a family get together.  The challenge with this recipe is that we have no exact measurements.  This is the case with almost all our recipes.  We cook to taste.  He gave me a list of ingredients and directions (a bit time consuming, but the pay off is HUGE) and I took a stab at the measurements.  Well, I have to say my version was a BIG hit.  I served 2 pounds of chicken to 3 guests and there was nothing left.  Without further ado...the recipe:

  • 2lbs of Chicken breast or thin sliced chicken breast
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Cup Seasoned breadcrumbs*
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Chicken flavored bouillon cube
  • 1 Lemon - cut in half
  • Butter
  • White wine
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 5 quart saute pan
  1. Rinse off your chicken breast 
  2. If you are using thick chicken breast, you want to slice the chicken breast in half - but if you want to save yourself ALOT of time, buy the thin sliced!
  3. Pound out the chicken breast so that its nice and thin, like a scallopini.  I cut them in half after this point, sometimes in thirds if its a really big piece
  4. Once you've finished, place the chicken in a large bowl and add about 1/2 cup white wine - let this sit for at least a half hour
  5. Now that your chicken is nice and drunk it's time to bread and fry
  6. Layout your chicken on a large flat area lined with paper towels - you want to get rid of any excess moisture
  7. While the chicken is laid it, sprinkle with salt and pepper
  8. Beat two eggs in a medium bowl and add the chicken, make sure you evenly coat all the pieces - I just used my hand to work the egg through
  9. In a shallow dish add your breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. is another little twist - we use homemade breadcrumbs.  They are MUCH lighter than store bought and taste completely different. I'll write more about this later..but for now mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together.
  10. Coat your saute pan with olive oil, once the oil is hot add your chicken about 4 pieces at a time - be careful not to overcrowd your pan
  11. Lightly brown the chicken, about 2 minutes on each side (you will continue to cook the chicken later)
  12. Once you are done cooking the chicken, cool and wipe down your pan
  13. Return your pan to the stovetop and olive oil - enough to coat the bottom of the pan entirely
  14. Add 4 Tbsp. of butter - yes, I know it's alot...but it's going to make your sauce so decadent
  15. Smash your garlic using the flat side of a meat tenderizer or large knife - add this to your pan - INCLUDING the garlic skin (yes, I said to add the skin it takes any bitterness of the garlic away - at least that is what Zia says)
  16. Once the garlic turns a light golden brown, add about 3/4 cup of wine, the bouillon cube and the juice of 1/2 lemon
  17. Bring to a boil, add the chicken and 4 slices of lemon
  18. Reduce the heat to medium low
  19. Cook covered for 20 minutes, turning the chicken over after 10 minutes
  20. When done, place the chicken on a serving platter, pouring the remaining sauce (including lemons & garlic) over the chicken
If you did this right, some of the chicken will have a nice little crust on it!  I know there are alot of steps here but that is partly my fault - I want to make it as detailed and as easy as possible.  I served this with my Simple Risotto and it was a hit!

*Now before I forget, I want to talk to you about breadcrumbs.  I will always have a container of seasoned breadcrumbs in my's a staple.  But there is NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING like homemade breadcrumbs. Just take a look at the chicken in the above can just tell that it's delicate.

Homemade Breadcrumbs

You can do this one of two ways, you can make your way to your local bakery and purchase them there OR do it yourself.  If you use Italian bread at home save any of your leftovers.  My mom keeps leftover bread in the oven in one of those disposable aluminum trays.  Once you get enough to fill the tray it's time to take out your Cuisinart.  Add dried bread to the Cuisinart adding fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.  I don't have measurements for this - you'll need to adjust the parsley and cheese to your taste.  Now chop.  Continue to chop until you get the consistency you like.  Viola, homemade breadcrumbs.  Since this has cheese in it, you will need to refrigerate it.


  1. Chicken Francaise is a favorite of mine! Can't wait to try it!

  2. This looks outstanding, in addition to all the other recipes - great blog Patrizia! (found you via Sara's blog) Looking forward to seeing and trying your recipes!