Chicken Francesca Recipe from Italy - Deliciously Savory Dish

Chicken Francesca

Chicken Francesca Recipe from Italy - Deliciously Savory Dish
Region / culture: Italy | Preparation time: 25 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Servings: 4


Chicken Francesca
Chicken Francesca

Chicken Francesca is a delicious and flavorful dish that features tender chicken breasts coated in a crispy Parmesan crust and topped with a tangy lemon and white wine sauce. This dish is perfect for a special dinner or a weeknight meal that will impress your family and friends.


Chicken Francesca is a popular Italian-American dish that is believed to have originated in the United States. It is a variation of the classic Chicken Francese, which is a dish made with chicken cutlets that are dipped in flour and egg, then sautéed in a lemon and white wine sauce. The addition of Parmesan cheese in Chicken Francesca gives it a unique and delicious flavor.


How to prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Cut each chicken breast half into one or two fillets, depending on thickness. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and pound with a meat tenderizer hammer until they reach a uniform thickness. The fillets should not be too thin for this dish.
  3. Soak the chicken in the milk and egg mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, turning several times.
  4. In a flat dish, mix together flour, parsley, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
  5. Shake off excess milk from each piece of chicken and dredge them in the flour mixture, pressing to coat thoroughly. Place each piece on a plate until all pieces are coated.
  6. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
  7. Brown the chicken on both sides.
  8. Spray a large, heavy oblong or oval baking dish liberally with cooking spray. Place the chicken in the dish in a single layer, trying to avoid overlapping too much.
  9. Slice the lemon very thin, removing any seeds. Place the lemon slices on top of the chicken.
  10. Add the white wine and broth to the skillet; scrape up any tasty bits over high heat. Boil until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add orange marmalade and lemon juice to the skillet and boil for about five minutes more, or until somewhat thickened.
  12. Pour the sauce over the chicken, then drizzle with the liqueur. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  13. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is bubbly.
  14. Serve with rice or pasta.
  15. Recipe from the Sneaky Kitchen.


  • Substitute chicken breasts with chicken thighs for a more flavorful and juicy dish.
  • Add capers or sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Use different herbs and spices in the flour mixture for a unique twist on the classic recipe.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness to ensure they cook evenly.

- Soaking the chicken in a milk and egg mixture helps to tenderize the meat and adds flavor.

- Browning the chicken before baking helps to seal in the juices and adds a nice crispy texture to the dish.

- Be sure to use a heavy skillet to brown the chicken and make the sauce, as it will help to distribute heat evenly.

- Serve the Chicken Francesca with rice or pasta to soak up the delicious sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Chicken Francesca with a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh green salad for a complete and balanced meal. You can also pair it with crusty bread or garlic bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Cooking Techniques

Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness for even cooking.

- Soak the chicken in a milk and egg mixture to tenderize the meat.

- Brown the chicken before baking to seal in the juices and add a crispy texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use Pecorino Romano cheese instead of Parmesan for a sharper flavor.

- Substitute white wine with chicken broth or vegetable broth for a non-alcoholic version of the dish.

- Use gluten-free flour for a gluten-free version of the recipe.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the chicken breasts and sauce ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, simply assemble the dish and bake in the oven until heated through.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the Chicken Francesca with fresh parsley or lemon zest for a pop of color and flavor. Serve it on a platter with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a wedge of lemon for an elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Chicken Francesca with a crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc to complement the flavors of the dish. You can also serve it with a light and refreshing salad or a side of roasted vegetables.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Chicken Francesca in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the dish in a preheated oven at 350°F (177°C) for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving



- Total Carbohydrates: 24g

- Dietary Fiber: 1g

- Sugars: 3g


- Total Fat: 18g

- Saturated Fat: 5g

- Trans Fat: 0g


- Protein: 38g

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin A: 8%

- Vitamin C: 20%

- Calcium: 20%

- Iron: 10%


Contains dairy (Parmesan cheese)

- Contains eggs


Chicken Francesca is a balanced meal that provides a good source of protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. It is relatively low in carbohydrates and calories, making it a nutritious option for a satisfying meal.


Chicken Francesca is a delicious and flavorful dish that features tender chicken breasts coated in a crispy Parmesan crust and topped with a tangy lemon and white wine sauce. This dish is easy to make and perfect for a special dinner or a weeknight meal that will impress your family and friends. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

I can still picture the first time I came across this recipe for Chicken Francesca. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Italy. My grandmother, Nonna Maria, was known throughout the village for her incredible cooking skills. She had a way of taking simple ingredients and turning them into the most delicious dishes you had ever tasted.

One day, as I was helping Nonna Maria in the kitchen, she pulled out a tattered old cookbook from the bottom of her pantry. As she flipped through the pages, she stopped on a recipe for Chicken Francesca. She told me that it was a family recipe that had been passed down for generations, and that it was one of her favorites.

I watched intently as Nonna Maria gathered the ingredients and began to prepare the dish. She explained each step to me in detail, making sure I understood the importance of each ingredient and technique. I could see the passion and love she put into every dish she made, and it was truly inspiring.

As the Chicken Francesca cooked in the oven, the aroma filled the kitchen and my mouth watered in anticipation. When it was finally ready, Nonna Maria plated the dish and we sat down to enjoy it together. The flavors were incredible – the tender chicken, the creamy sauce, the hint of lemon – it was a dish unlike anything I had ever tasted before.

From that moment on, Chicken Francesca became a staple in our household. Nonna Maria would make it for special occasions, family gatherings, or simply when she wanted to treat us to something special. Each time she made it, she would pass on her knowledge and techniques to me, ensuring that I would be able to carry on the tradition for generations to come.

Over the years, I have made Chicken Francesca countless times, each time bringing back memories of that first time I learned to make it with Nonna Maria. I have shared the recipe with friends and family, and it has always been met with rave reviews. There is something truly special about this dish – the way it brings people together, the way it tastes like home.

As I sit here now, reflecting on that first time I learned to make Chicken Francesca, I am filled with gratitude for my grandmother and the legacy she has left behind. Her love for cooking, her passion for food, and her dedication to preserving our family's traditions have shaped me into the cook I am today.

I may have learned to make Chicken Francesca from Nonna Maria, but in reality, I have learned so much more from her. I have learned the importance of family, of tradition, of love. And for that, I will always be grateful.


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