I love Italian food, but it can often be pretty heavy right? Fried chicken cutlets smothered in sauce and cheese, lots of oil and of course pasta!
It’s pretty easy, though, to make your Italian favorites lightened up a bit without sacrificing much flavor. The best part of Italian cooking is how many herbs, fresh ingredients, wine and olive oil go in to making a dish- and all of those are total flavor bombs! So you can skimp a bit on the bad stuff and up the ante on the healthy pretty easily!
I have always loved Chicken Francese. The savory, lemony sauce…the thin cut chicken so tender from the coating…the salty capers…the garlic and wine…I love it so much. I lightened it up a bit, using a lot less butter and egg white to cut some calories in the coating.
I made this a couple nights ago for dinner and we just polished off the leftovers yesterday for lunch. YUM. I served it with roasted broccolini and an arugula salad. This is a regular in our dinner rotation.
And the BEST PART: a two cutlet serving is less than 250 calories! SO light, low calorie, and high in protein!
“Skinny” Chicken Francese
2-3 large chicken breasts sliced thin in half lengthwise to create about 5-6 thin cutlets (photo below for reference!)
1/4 cup flour plus one tablespoon
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1 large lemon- juiced!
1 lemon sliced thin into rounds
1/3 cup white wine
15 oz low sodium chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped parsley (4 tablespoons for sauce, remainder for garnish)
1 tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
Beat the egg and egg white in a medium bowl, set aside. Place the flour in another bowl and set aside. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet on the stovetop and spray with cooking oil. Working one piece at a time, coat the chicken in the flour on both sides, shaking off excess, and then put it into the egg mixture and coat. Once hot, place coated chicken in the hot skillet and continue to work quickly like this, one piece at a time. I usually put no more that 3 pieces of chicken in the pan at a time…so you’ll probably need to do two batches. Cook the chicken for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned and almost cooked through (you will cook it more later in the sauce).
Once the chicken is cooked, set it aside on a plate. Next, add the 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet (do not clean out the skillet- the brown bits leftover help thicken and flavor the sauce!). Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant and lightly browned, 1-2 minutes or so. Next, whisk that one tablespoon of flour into the chicken stock (in a small bowl) and add it to the pan. Also add the lemon juice, wine, lemon slices, capers, parsley and butter to the pan and stir. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste (you can always do this later too once the sauce thickens a bit). Let the sauce simmer and thicken, scraping down the edges and stirring every so often. This usually takes about 6-8 minutes. Once the sauce looks thickened, but still liquid-y, add the chicken back in and continue to simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a large platter, pour the delicious sauce over the chicken, top with the remaining parsley and serve immediately!