When I discovered I could make a delicious fried chicken recipe without any grains at all, I was thrilled. I think this is the best recipe for Chicken Francaise and takes about 20 minutes. There are options for a traditional version, and a paleo grain-free version.
What is Chicken Francaise?
Chicken francaise is an egg battered chicken cutlet served with a lemon butter wine sauce.
History of Chicken Francaise
Chicken Francaise can also be spelled chicken francese. Both are considered correct.
This is not a dish from France or from Italy. It was created in America in Rochester, New York in place of the Italian Veal Francese. It is considered an Italian American creation, either in protest to veal or that chicken was more affordable.
How is Chicken Francaise Different from Chicken Picatta?
While both dishes use chicken and lemon, they are different, and I have a chicken picatta recipe here.
- Both recipes use boneless chicken breasts.
- Chicken Francaise is dredged in flour, then egg finish whereas chicken piccata often skip egg altogether and dredge in flour, sometimes with additional parmesan cheese. My keto friendly recipe for chicken piccata does use egg and almond flour.
- Chicken piccata is always is served with squeezed lemon and capers.
- Chicken francaise is served with lemon wine butter sauce, capers optional.
Traditional Chicken Francaise is made with boneless chicken breasts, dredged in flour and then dipped in egg. Unlike other dishes, it is not dipped back into flour or breadcrumbs, but immediately put into a pan with hot oil. The egg batter browns in a most unique and crispy way. The chicken is then topped with a lemon wine sauce.
Various Ways To Make Grain Free Chicken Francaise
- No flour, just egg finish with some optional pecorino romano
- Coconut flour, egg finish
- Almond flour, egg finish
- Flour dredge, egg finish
- Salt, Pepper
I’ve tried all various ways and believe it or not, I liked it with just the egg batter, first dipped into grated pecorino romano cheese, making this nut free, grain free, and very clean keto.
You can prepare the traditional way with a flour dredge before the egg battle, or try the other options. The key is to make sure the oil is hot and not to turn the chicken until the first side is done or it may stick. When done, set chicken aside while making the lemon wine sauce.
When is the Chicken Done?
The Chicken is done at 165 F. I always use a meat thermometer to be sure. Some recipes return the chicken back into the sauce. I prefer to cook the chicken all the way through on top of the stove, remove to warming platter, make the sauce and pour the sauce over the chicken.
Lemon Wine Sauce
- Lemon Juice
- White Wine
- Chicken Broth
- Heavy Cream (optional)
Chicken Francaise is always topped with a lemon wine sauce, which is fairly easy to make. Sliced lemons are placed in hot pan with butter, white wine, lemon juice and chicken broth. Some recipes will add heavy cream or flour to thicken. I will either add heavy cream or a very small amount of xanthan gum to thicken.
See my recipe here for how to make a xanthan gum gel. This is very useful flour substitute for thickening sauces without grains.
This is a dish that should be eaten immediately once the sauce is finished. However, I have refrigerated left over chicken francaise and it was still good heated up.
Sides for Grain Free Chicken Francaise
In keeping with a grain free dinner, good sides could include cauliflower mash and or a good green salad.
Chicken Francaise with Lemon Sauce
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup pecorino romano see notes for options
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lemon thinly sliced in rounds
- 1/2 lemon for juice
- 1/2 lemon for thin lemon slices.
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or see notes for option
- Pound chicken to flatten cutlets. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place pecorino and half parsley in a dish for dredging.
- Beat eggs. Season with salt.
- Heat avocado oil in large frying pan.
- Dip chicken into cheese, followed by egg.
- Place into frying pan. Cook about four minutes each side. Turn when chicken easily moves. Chicken needs to be at 165 F. Place on paper towels. Make sauce.
- Using same pan, add lemon slices, cook for a minute. Add broth, lemon juice. white wine and simmer until the alcohol burns off. Add butter and xanthan gum or xanthan gum gel and stir continually until sauce is thickened.
- At this point, you can return the chicken to the sauce or pour the sauce over the chicken. Serve with lemon slices, salt, pepper and parsley
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