Monday, June 10, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Chicken Francese - Fried Chicken in Wine Sauce, Italian Style

Further thoughts on Father's Day…
Sometimes a Dad thinks it's loads of fun to show off at the grill.
And sometimes a Dad has a 'Been there, done that' attitude about being the chef.
Either that, or he's figured out he was doing some actual work.

Humour him.
It is his day.

A simple main course for the family will be just fine.
And you don't have to spend all day in the kitchen, either.

In Artie's chapter Mia Cucina in The Sopranos Family Cookbook there's a handy recipe for events like this - Chicken Francese.
It's a good idea to have this as a back up, even if Dad does want to barbecue.
With the crazy weather we've been having, it could rain on Father's Day.

Look, plan ahead.
You couldn't find veal, so you bought chicken breasts.
It rains.
You go to plan B - Chicken Francese.
The mozzarella sticks from the Spiedini can go on the appetizer platter.

Are you the perfect hostess or what?

If you don't have a meat pounder or mallet, just use a heavy plate or a hammer.
You might want to give the hammer a quick wash first.
Plastic wrap does tear sometimes... especially when it's being whacked.

Cook the number of cutlets at one time that will fit in the pan without crowding.
You want them to get nice and crisp, not soggy and glued together.
Turn down the heat if the butter starts to smoke and burn.

                        Chicken Francese

Serves 4

Place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap
1 pound thin-sliced chicken cutlets
Gently pound the slices to a 1/4-inch thickness.
Sprinkle the chicken generously with
salt and pepper 

In a shallow bowl beat until well blended
2 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Spread on a sheet of wax paper
1/2 Cup flour

In a measuring cup mix together
1/2 Cup chicken broth
1/4 Cup dry white wine
2 to 3 Tablespoons lemon juice (to taste)

Place in a large frying pan 
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Heat over medium heat until sizzling.

Dip a few cutlets in the flour and then in the egg mixture.
Add them to the pan and brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
They should be golden brown.
Transfer them to a plate and keep them warm.
Repeat with the remaining cutlets.

When all of the chicken is done, add the broth mixture to the pan.
Raise the heat if it had been lowered.
Scraping the bottom of the pan, cook over medium heat.
The liquid should get slightly thickened.
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Return the chicken cutlets to the skillet.
Turn them twice in the sauce.
Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.

Would I make Chicken Francese again?
Sure.  Even if it's not a special event.
The sauce would be nice with rice or pasta.
Or some Italian bread if things are getting hectic.

One recipe down.  Two more to go.

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