Chicken Kiev

IMG_3284Slightly lighter implementation of Kotlet de Volaille, just as tasty.. Will go very well with fresh spring greens (fresh young cabbage, bok choy) just quickly steamed.

For 4 people you will want

  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 120g butter at room temperature
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • handful of chives, finely chopped
  • handful of fresh tarragon (option)
  • Zest and juice of  a small lemon
  • 4  chicken breasts, skinless (somewhat around 120g each?)
  • 200g plain flour
  • A branch of rosemary, washed and chopped
  • 3 eggs,
  • 250g finely ground breadcrumbs
  • Sunflower oil for drizzling
  • Some spring greens
  • Salt and pepper

First make the garlic butter:IMG_3276

  1. Smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife, then finely chop them.
  2. In a bowl, mix the butter with the parsley, chives, garlic, tarragon (if using), lemon zest and juice and some salt and pepper seasoning.
  3. When mixed well, divide the butter into 4 parts.
  4. Wrap each loosely in a foil then roll each blob of butter into a log approximately 2cm x 6cm and put into the freezer until hard – about half an hour.IMG_3280

Prepare the wrappers:

  1. Place meat fillets between layers of foil. I often use the medium size plastic bag – works just as well.  Pound each of the chicken breasts with a wooden mallet  into a thin wafer-like cutlets… If you’d rather be an unbroken loyalist to Ukrainian tradition, do not flatten the fillets; instead cut out a narrow and deep pocket in each breast, long and wide enough to accept the butter log and more (to enable the closing trick – i find it hard, but some people can, apparently..)

Wrap and chill:

  1. When the butter is hard, roll each meat fillet around the butter; try to close the short edges tightly, so as to minimize the flow of butter when heated.
  2. Roll each individual breast in clingfilm, twisting it tightly at each end (like a Christmas cracker). If you are concerned for the ability to maintain the shape of each roll you can pin the rolls with toothpicks or tie them with cotton string.IMG_3283
  3.  Put ready rolls into the freezer for half an hour. This allows everything to get hard, which will make the next stage much easier.

Set up your bread-crumbing station: This is a small conveyor belt like operation involving three shallow bowls.

  1. In the first bowl put the flour with a healthy crack of black pepper and a good pinch of salt.
  2. In the second, the eggs, lightly beaten with half a tbsp of water.
  3. And in the third bowl the breadcrumbs and chopped rosemary.

Final cosmetics:

  1. Take the chicken from the freezer and unwrap. It should be semi-solid.
  2. First, roll the chicken in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
  3. Then go back to the egg and dip breasts in it for the second time
  4. Finally a second roll in the breadcrumbs. This is to ensure that you have a thick, even coating.
  5. Put in the fridge while you pre-heat the oven.


  1. Set the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Put a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray, lay the breasts on it and drizzle a little sunflower oil over each one.
  3. They will take about 25-30 minutes to cook. Generally when the breadcrumbs are a deep golden colour, the chicken is done and the butter melted.

For the greens, trim the bottom of the cabbage stem and take off any manky leaves. Cut the head in half through the core.
When the kievs have cooked for 20 minutes, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the cabbage, stir well and cover for three to four minutes until it is just tender but has not lost its supreme nutritional value.

Of course, some of us steam the stuff – just as well..

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