Friday, February 15, 2013

Chicken Francais

Here's my attempt to veganize a classic French restaurant dish known as chicken francais, or "French chicken," a floured and battered chicken cutlet in lemon sauce.

  • 6 Ener-G eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegan Parmesan sprinkles (such as Galaxy Foods)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup vegan dry white wine, divided
  • 5 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 8 Gardein Tuscan chicken breasts (without sauce)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
1. In a shallow dish, combine the Ener-G eggs with the Parmesan sprinkles, parsley, 1/4 cup wine, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, salt, hot pepper sauce, and garlic.  Set aside.

2. Place the chicken pieces between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and pound gently with a meat mallet until about 1/4-inch thick (use a gentle pounding motion, as otherwise the Gardein may pull apart).

3. Place the flour in a second shallow dish.  Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour and then dip in the Ener-G mixture.

4. Heat 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.  Add 4 of the chicken pieces and cook for 4 minutes on each side.  Remove from the pan and wipe the pan with a paper towel.  Repeat the procedure with the remaining 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and remaining chicken pieces.

5. Melt the butter in the pan.  Add the remaining 1/4 cup wine and 3 tablespoons lemon juice.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 10 seconds.  Drizzle over the chicken and serve immediately.

To round out an elegant French supper, serve with the leftover white wine from the bottle you used for cooking, haricots verts, and white rice sprinkled with a touch of parsley.

If you want more pronounced lemon flavor, serve lemon slices on the side and squeeze over the chicken just before serving.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1 chicken breast, 2 teaspoons lemon sauce), Calories 211

Tasting Notes:
Absolutely, unexpectedly beautiful, far more so than I imagined during prep. The Parmesan sprinkles, white wine, and lemon juice combine into the best cheesy but not overpowering coating over the chicken. The sauce is full of bright lemon and just a hint of silky butter. This dish would do for company for sure. If you are just making it for a simple family dinner, however, I recommend halving the recipe, so you don't need to worry about cooking 2 batches in the skillet. The only reason I'm withholding a "5" is that a touch of breadcrumbs added to the flour coating would take this dish over the top.


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