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Chicken French

Chicken French

Chicken French, a Rochester classic.

Rochester, New York has several claims to fame: George Eastman and the Kodak company, Genesee Brewing Company, Xerox, the Erie Canal, Hill Cumorah, Mount Hope Cemetery, the Lilac Festival, Susan B. Anthony... the list goes on and on. Perhaps one of my most favorite is Chicken French! 

Fresh chopped parsley and garlic are simple additions for big flavor.

Fresh chopped parsley and garlic are simple additions for big flavor.

An inexpensive substitute for veal (in the original recipe), chicken cutlets are pounded thin and given a breading of flour, egg and cheese, then lightly fried for a perfect golden crust. They are bathed in mixture of dry white wine, butter, broth and lemon juice until the meat absorbs the flavors and the sauce thickens slightly from the flour. The silky texture and intoxicating aroma are part of what make this an unmistakable Rochester comfort food! 

Making the flour & egg batter for Chicken French.

Making the flour & egg batter for Chicken French.

 Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless) butterflied
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
The key to perfect breading is not moving the chicken until it's crispy.

The key to perfect breading is not moving the chicken until it's crispy.

Directions:

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, mix together the eggs, cheese and parsley. Set aside. Put the flour seasoned with salt & pepper in another pie plate and set aside.  Place the butterflied chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper and season each side with salt and pepper; pound thin with a meat mallet. Preheat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and warm the oil.

Chicken French, a Rochester classic.

Dredge each chicken piece first in flour, then in the egg/cheese mixture. Place gently into the skillet. You may need to work in 2 batches depending on your skillet size. Fry on each side for about four minutes; do not move until browned and crisp. Transfer the chicken to a platter and lightly tent with foil. 

Dry white wine is key to a great sauce.  I used this favorite varietal "Evolution".

Dry white wine is key to a great sauce.  I used this favorite varietal "Evolution".

In the same skillet, sauté the garlic; be careful not to burn. Then add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the broth and lemon juice, reduce the heat to a simmer (medium-low). Stir in the butter and add the chicken (with any remaining juices) back to the wine liquid. Simmer for about three minutes until warmed through and the sauce thickens  slightly.

The best way to ensure a tender chicken... lemon, wine, butter and broth!

The best way to ensure a tender chicken... lemon, wine, butter and broth!

Serve over brown rice or thin spaghetti. Sprinkle with additional fresh chopped parsley for garnish.

Yield: 4-6 adults

Perfect Chicken French!

Perfect Chicken French!

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