Chicken Francese (and some rambling)


Things have been slow around here, I know. But things at home? Really, really busy. I’m having a hard time staying above water at the  moment. I’m hesitant to share this, since there are always things that could still go wrong, but we found a house and we’re officially under contract! It’s exciting, but it’s also really scary and it’s making me freak out JUST a bit. There’s the big change of life this will be for all of us (I’m pretty sure our car will get a few more miles on it annually than the 3k we’ve averaged the last 4 years), the selling of our condo that we just spent a lot of time getting ready to list (hey, anyone want to buy an awesome condo?), trying to find new daycares/schools, and the fact that all of this is happening right before the holidays. We close in December and as of now, I don’t even know where we’ll be spending Christmas and whether we’ll have a tree. And I won’t lie, I had a little cry about that this weekend—which was compounded by the emotion that comes with leaving the home where you started your family. Hormones, man.

First world problems to be sure, but problems that have kept me from having much free time, nonetheless. Add to it a family of sick people, a 7 month old who is going through some really awful phase where he is up screaming SO MUCH at night, and a 3.5 year old that flips his lid over something so simple as you asking him to put his shirt on for school, and I feel like I’ve been through the wringer. Plus, I need to make time to do very important things like surfing the internet for the bath mat that is that perfect shade of yellow for our new half  bath, obviously.

If there’s one thing I’ve gleaned from being so busy I can’t even update my blog, it’s that I still really love blogging. Nearly 7 years later (can you believe it!?), I still love sharing things with  you guys, visiting your blogs if you have them (though I’ve been admittedly terrible about commenting lately, I assure you I am still trying to keep on top of them!), and just having a general outlet. It’s definitely the longest-lasting hobby I’ve had, that’s for sure!

So, I’m going to try to update as much as possible (including doing a few giveaways for my aforementioned upcoming blogiversary!) but I hope you won’t mind if there are periods of slowness around here as we pick up and move, and do all the things in between.

If you read that diatribe, allow me to reward you with a quick and tasty dinner idea. I’ve been making a version of chicken Francese for years, but I guess I never really called in Francese and never used an actual recipe.

I don’t think I’ve ever coated chicken in flour and then egg (unless I was coating it with breadcrumbs or panko right after that), but clearly this has been a mistake, since it makes for a nice golden crust. I had hesitations about whether I would find this chicken lemony enough (remember, I’m Greek, so I like copious amounts of lemon ON ALL THE THINGS), but simmering the sauce with lemon slices and adding lemon juice definitely gave this the perfect amount of tartness. And Zachary, who as of late has basically been a mini Top Chef trying to guess the ingredients in dinner, did guess there was lemon in this, so obviously the flavor pulled through enough. 🙂


Chicken Francese (and some rambling)

19 thoughts on “Chicken Francese (and some rambling)

  1. Good luck with the process. It totally sucks and I can relate to the tears. Now that we’ve been in our new house for a few weeks, things are finally settling down and I am feeling so happy we made the change. But the process is hard, especially when all of it is happening over the holidays!

  2. Hi Elly!

    Congrats on buying the house! I know you are in Chicago and were looking in the burbs. We live in the northern burbs, Wilmette, and have a 4 year old. So, if by chance, you bought near there, I would be glad to give you suggestions on schools, daycares, restaurants, etc. Good luck!!

    1. Thanks, Sara. We actually bought in the western ‘burbs, but thanks! (Of course if you know anyone in Downers/La Grange/etc. with recs, then I’ll take them. ;))

  3. Congrats on your new house! Hope things go well and that your holiday season isn’t terribly stressful. And gosh darn it, this recipe looks amazing even if I don’t eat chicken.

  4. YAY on the house! I remember talking to you about it in August ’12 and all the things you were looking for and having trouble finding. You know, back when you were 3 minutes pregnant with Ian. And a little over a year later, you’re making the move! It’s going to be so great for you and the boys!

  5. This chicken looks awesome. I know things are crazy right now and can totally relate to the holiday uncertainty. I was there two years ago, which I’m sure you remember. We didn’t have a tree the first year, but the one we had last year made up for it. This craziness will be over soon, and you’ll have a sweet house where you can celebrate! Hang in there, friend!

  6. Hang in there! We’ve moved a lot (thanks, air force) but the moves around the holidays were always more stressful-it will be over more quickly than you expect and be so worth it in the end though! Good luck!

  7. Congratulations on having the chance at a new house. I can totally sympathize about moving in December; I have done it three times. The first time we moved in December, we got into our house on December 23rd. We went straight from closing to the house and put up our new Christmas tree. The second time we moved, we had to take down the Christmas tree right after the kids got through opening their presents because we had to be out of the house two days later. I don’t think the kids have ever forgiven us for that one. The third time around, we moved into a house in December. My youngest daughter made me promise that I would decorate the house as soon as we moved in. Soooo, with the living room piled high in boxes, I scouted out the Christmas decorations on our first day in the house and had them all up by nightfall. It actually made unpacking fun for the next few weeks with the house already looking like Christmas. I know that buying a house and moving can be stressful, but everything is going to work out. I promise.

  8. Hey Elly,
    First time commenter, longtime reader. Saw that you bought in the Western ‘burbs. I’m from Western Springs, which is right between La Grange and Hinsdale. Western Springs has the BEST butcher shop, Casey’s. It is amazing. A real small town feeling where they learn your face and name. I highly recommend checking it out. People come in from all over just for Casey’s. We also have Kirschbaum’s Bakery, and they have amazing chocolate covered cake doughnuts and glazed doughnut holes — people get there early on Saturday mornings to make sure they don’t run out — and phenomenal cinnamon coffee cakes. The Fruit Store (locations in WS and Hinsdale) has amazing guacamole. I try to make my own, but theirs is just unbelievable. If you like Indian food, La Grange has Kama Bistro, and it is really good, though a tad pricey. The Grapevine in La Grange is AMAZING and fast. They do a great commuter carryout business with their delicious Mediterranean food. Avgolemono soup, unbelievable, and their bread is worth the calories. I’m not sure where in the western ‘burbs you’re moving to, but these are all places that my grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins, who all live in Downers, think worthwhile to make the [15 minute] trip.

    1. Thank you, Meg! We actually are moving to Downers. We also looked at houses in La Grange and Western Springs so I am semi-familiar with the area. Can’t wait to check some of those places out!

      1. Downers is a great town! One place I forgot to mention is The Standard Market on Ogden Avenue in Westmont. It’s an interesting place to check out. Inspired by the setup of European markets and staffed by professionally trained chefs, they have a great deli selection, wide variety of produce, and a lot of ingredients that are harder to find elsewhere. They even have Jeni’s Ice Cream, swoon!

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