My daughter is quite fond of the Fancy Nancy books. Nancy likes to put a little fancy into everything she does. Her fashion sensibilities favor feathers, bangles, and beads. A tiara perched atop curls can complete any outfit. Parties aren’t just parties, they’re extravaganzas. She likes to fancify words as well. Nothing is ever just ‘good’ – it is magnificent, extraordinary, or superb.
I can surely turn a phrase when moved to do so (and goodness knows I am not at a loss for words, fancy or not). But, alas, that is where Fancy Nancy and I part ways. I am not fancy. I don’t wear feathers (they make me sneeze). I do not own a Bedazzler. My hair is more often than not in a ponytail. And, while I can pass for ‘professionally dressed’ when required, my outfit of choice is jeans paired one of 7 hoodie sweatshirts, all sporting the same logo (Boston Ski and Sports Club). If I dared show up at the schoolyard in anything but this usual attire, never mind nicely showered and coiffed, my friends would assume I was heading to either an interview or jury duty.
When it comes to cooking my favorite fowl, however, I don’t mind getting a little fancy, depending on my mood and tastes. But fancy does not have to mean complicated! Chicken Francais might sound a bit shi-shi for a low-maintenance girl like myself, it has everything I like in a recipe. It is quick, healthy, and made with common ingredients easy to come by. The prep is simple and the flavor is fantastic. It is pretty enough for company, but simple enough to serve anytime.
I will definitely make this again. The sauce alone is worth an encore.
Keep it simple by serving with veggies and a starch or whole grain that don’t require much attention, as the chicken is quick but hands-on for the 15 minutes that it takes to get it done.
Adapted from All New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
4 egg whites ( or 2 whole eggs)
1 T. dried parsley
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
8 thinly sliced chicken cutlets (no more than 1/4 inch thick)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1) Whisk together first 6 ingredients, and pour into shallow dish.
2) Combine flour and Parmesan cheese. Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture, and dip in egg mixture.
3) Cook chicken in batches. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add four chicken breasts, and cook about 4 minutes on each side, until fully cook and no longer pink in the middle. Remove to platter to keep warm. Wipe drippings from pan with paper towel. Repeat this procedure with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and remaining chicken breasts. Once cooked, remove chicken from pan.
4) Melt butter in pan; add 1/4 cup wine and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 seconds. Pour some sauce over chicken immediately, reserving the rest in a serving bowl. Serve immediately.