Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chicken Francese

So it's been waaaaay too long since I last posted! Sorry about that y'all, but things have gotten kinda hectic 'round here. My cousin Lora has been requesting that I post my recipe for Chicken Francese for months now, so this one is for you Lora!! It's my parents recipe, and in my opinion it's the best Francese I've ever had, so I hope you all enjoy it!

Chicken Francese

Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 C flour for dredging
3 Large Eggs
1/4 C Chopped FRESH Parsley
1/4 C Chopped FRESH Basil
1/2 C Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese (either will do)
4 TBS Olive Oil
2 Large Lemons, Zested and Juiced
3/4 C White Wine
2 TBS Butter, Chilled and Cubed
1 tsp Crushed red pepper
Salt and Pepper to Taste

First we are going to start by butterflying the chicken breasts, this step is very important in order to get a nice tender piece of chicken.  What you want to do is take your chicken breast and lay it on a cutting board (preferrably a plastic one). Put your hand on top of it and press down, then with your filet knife you'll carefully cut your chicken breast right at the middle. Bring it about 3/4 of the way through the breast and stop. You do not want to cut the breasts in half, however, if you do don't panic, you'll just have more pieces of chicken! After you butterfly them they need to be pounded. Place the piece of chicken between 2 pieces of wax paper to keep the mess to a minimum, then using the flat side of your mallet pound the chicken a few times to get it nice and tender. Be careful not to over pound it, otherwise you'll wind up with chicken shreds that have no texture. Repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken until all are done.(If this seems like too much work for you then you can always buy the pre-cut chicken cutlets in the meat section of the grocery store)

Now we're going to set up a dredging station. On a shallow plate mix your Flour, salt and pepper together and set aside. Beat all 3 eggs in a bowl, then add the Basil, Parsley, Parmesan cheese and mix well. The mixture will seem thick, but the consistency will be fine to coat the chicken with.

In a skillet heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium high heat until oil is nice and hot.  You can tell when the oil is hot enough by using the back end of a wooden spoon, you just place it into the oil and if you see the oil bubbling around it then you know you are ready to fry your chicken.

Grab your first piece of chicken and run it through your flour dredging station, make sure the entire cutlet is covered with the flour, then place it into your egg bowl. Coat the piece entirely and then quickly put into the hot oil. You want to cook the chicken until it's browned and then flip over and brown the other side. You don't need to worry about cooking the chicken all of the way through at this point, we are just looking for a nice browning. Once your chicken is browned set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining pieces of chicken until all are finished. You may need to add more oil throughout this process, make sure to let the oil come back up to heat before you put your next piece of chicken in.

Once you've finished cooking all of your chicken lower the oil down to medium low heat. Add crushed red pepper to pan. Take the butter that you've chilled and cubed, and roll it through the leftover flour from the dredging, then add it to the pan with remaining oil. Stir frequently until the butter has melted then add the wine to deglaze the pan. Raise the heat up to Medium High and let the alcohol cook out, approximately 3 minutes. Make sure to scrape up all of the little browned bits on the bottom of the pan from when you cooked the chicken, that's where all of the best flavor is. Once wine has cooked out add your lemon juice and zest to the pan and reduce heat to medium low again. Add chicken to pan, turn to coat and let simmer until fully cooked, approximately 5 minutes. Serve with pasta or roasted potatoes, the picture is shown with Gnocchi.