This post is in partial celebration of Tennessee allowing grocery stores to sell wine, and in partial celebration of the upcoming Bastille Day (July 14th!), which is essentially the French version of our independence day. Why? Because this recipe uses a white wine in it that you can now pick up while you buy your chicken. Coolest thing ever. Also, it’s called “Chicken Francaise” so it’s clearly perfect to celebrate both occasions!
But Matthew — you’re American! Where’s the Fourth of July tribute?
What an excellent question! While I had a fabulous holiday with Scott, my friends Chloe and Ciera (both of whom may or may not be contributing to this blog in the future) with Murfreesboro’s park and recreation department (complete with a live symphony), I simply didn’t have time to photograph or write a post commemorating the Fourth of July. Instead of looking back… let’s look to the next National Celebration Day, which as far as I’m concerned… is French!
Chicken Francaise is essentially shallow fried chicken served with a lemony butter and wine sauce. IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT.
Wait… actually it does. From start to finish, this meal is completed in less than a half hour. It’s the perfect after-work meal. It also gives you an excuse to give enjoy a nice glass of Chardonney while you cook. As Julia Child once said, “I enjoy cooking with wine… sometimes I even put it in the food!”
I don’t actually know if Chicken Francaise is an actually French dish (rumor has it that it was brought to America by Italians). Chances are, it’s no more French than French Fries, but for the sake of this blog post let’s just collectively pretend it’s absolutely authentic French cooking.
A note here. Usually, when I am inspired enough by another food blog’s recipe to post on this site, I make at least a few minor changes to it to make it “my own.” In this case, I love the original recipe so much that at least for now, I couldn’t think of anything to make it better! Definitely check out the original website for this recipe, cooking the globe!
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup flour
- olive oil
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (divided!)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
- 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), cubed
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice (1/2-1 lemon)
- ½ cup of a dry white wine, such as an oaky Chardonney
- Either in a ziploc back (if you, like me, freeze and thaw chicken breasts in those), or between two sheets of plastic wrap, pound the chicken breasts with a mallet until they are LESS than a half inch thick throughout the entire breast. Failing to do this will make getting the chicken cooked a very, very difficult task.
- Heat up some olive oil in a large skillet (about a quarter cup, depending on the size of your skillet) over medium heat.
- As the oil heats, break the eggs into a shallow bowl that will fit the chicken breasts, and whisk the eggs. Mix in two tablespoons of the parsley, salt, pepper and cheese. In a separate bowl or plate, spread the flour.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour, then into the egg batter, and then place in the skillet with the heated oil. Cook about 2 minutes on each side without covering the skillet. When cooked through, transfer to a paper-towel-lined platter to allow the oil to drain.
- Drain any remaining oil out of the skillet (If there isn't a lot, I just use a bunched up paper towel to wipe it up).
- Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer until the sauce begins to be reduced. Stir in the parsley and remove from heat.
- Spoon the sauce over the chicken breasts. Garnish with lemons and/or parsley.
In considering a music pairing for this recipe, I tried to think of a good French artist whose works are simply sophisticated, yet complex — one whose music I would enjoy sipping a glass of Chardonney to. Debussy, to me, epitomizes that. At the times, his works were actually considered avant-garde. Rather than create music that was structurally and harmonically formulaic, Debussy strove to create music that would appeal directly to the listener’s emotions. Sometimes his music was programmatic, but at other times… it’s just simply beautiful.