Since my husband is Italian, we enjoy our share of Italian food (healthy alfredo, yum!). Chicken Francese is another Italian dish I’ve come to love (and it sounds much fancier than “breaded chicken”!).
This Italian-American dish is thought to have originated from Italian immigrants. It was likely a variation of veal Francese since veal was likely too expensive for immigrants in the early U.S.
This recipe is a delicious and easy meal for anyone who loves the flavors of Italy.
How to Make Gluten-Free Breaded Chicken
Traditional Italian cooking can be heavy on grains (like pasta and bread) as well as breaded and fried foods. Chicken Francese is traditionally cooked with all-purpose flour, but I wanted to find a way to make this dish grain-free.
I found that cassava flour works well as a replacement for all-purpose flour. It creates a crispy coating that feels a lot like old-fashioned fried chicken.
Cassava flour comes from yucca (cassava) root, which is a root vegetable, not a grain. It is very starchy, so if you’re looking to avoid starches and carbs it may not work for you. However, there is very little flour used for dredging, so I think this recipe can work for those trying to eat lower carb as well.
I also fry in olive oil or other healthy fats (instead of rancid vegetable oils) so this dish is only made with ingredients I feel good about feeding my family.
How to Make Chicken Francese
This dish is so easy to make it has become one of our favorite weeknight meals!
First, I dredge the chicken in cassava flour and then give it a quick dunk in beaten egg. Next, I pan fry the chicken until it’s browned. Finally, I add the other ingredients to the pan to create a lemony white wine sauce, return the chicken to the pan, and put the whole thing in the oven to finish cooking.
Then all there is left to do is serve and enjoy!
Tasty Sides for a Delicious Entree
Here are some ideas for sides to serve along with your Chicken Francese:
- Herb Roasted Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes – These are simple to make and can be seasoned however you like.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Roasted veggies are always a great side dish. These Brussels sprouts are the reason I starting eating Brussels sprouts to begin with (they’re that good!).
- Carrot Coulis – This side dish is great alongside chicken or beef and can even be used as a dip or sauce. I often make this when cooking for a crowd when carrots are in season. Here is the recipe.
- Mashed Cauliflower “Potatoes” – I don’t often eat white potatoes but I do make this cauliflower-based substitute. It’s great along with chicken or beef dishes and is tasty enough that the kids enjoy it too.
- Steamed Broccoli – Basic steamed broccoli (or another vegetable) is a quick choice for a side dish. I love to add garlic oil or butter for added flavor.
- Sauteed Greens – One of the most nutrient-dense vegetables we can eat is greens. I love sauteing some onion and garlic (maybe add some herbs and spices), and adding whatever greens I have available. I get a large serving of greens this way.
- Garlic Roasted Romanesco – This fun-looking vegetable is very similar to cauliflower (but much more interesting!) and is a great choice for adding a gourmet feel to a meal. Here’s how to make it.
- Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto – This easy risotto makes a great side dish for chicken and can be made quickly in the Instant Pot.
- Roasted Asparagus – Easy and delicious, asparagus always makes a plate look extra special. Try it roasted.
Throw out convention and try making more than one vegetable side! Let’s aim for piles of green on our plates!
Chicken Francese Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Put the cassava flour in a small bowl or shallow dish.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs.
- Pat the chicken dry and coat it with cassava flour.
- Dip it in the beaten eggs.
- Heat the oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
- When hot, brown the chicken on both sides.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- To the skillet, add the wine, broth, parsley, salt, pepper, butter, and lemon juice and zest.
- When the butter has melted, stir in the arrowroot or cornstarch and whisk until just starting to thicken.
- If the skillet is oven safe, add the chicken back and turn to coat both sides. If not, place the chicken in a 9X13 baking dish and pour the wine sauce over it.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
What is your favorite homemade Italian dish?