Chicken kiev, otherwise known as a ‘chicken pocket filled with joy’

Chicken kiev

I don’t think I know anyone that doesn’t love chicken Kiev, it’s garlic butter oozing out of tender juicy chicken breast. Well that’s what is supposed to happen anyway. The reality is a dry reformed piece of grey that acts as an ancillary for a passable garlic and herb butter, that just so happens not be swimming inside your chicken as you anticipated but on the bottom of the oven tray. The times I have gone shopping and seen cardboard boxes lined up proud in the freezer cabinets with images offering you moist chicken and herb infused bliss, luring you into a false sense of security with its apparent crunchy coating. I say no more!

Ok I may have gone a bit overboard but you get the point. I can tell you now if you have never made them yourself then do so, they are way way way better than anything you could ever buy from a supermarket and although a little fiddly they are worth the effort. You can also make a big batch of them and freeze.

The origins of the Kiev are still in debate, it’s said to originate from Kiev in the Ukraine, but some claim it was created in Moscow and even the french have laid claim to its origins, it’s delicious nonetheless. The chicken Kiev was marks and spencers first ever ready meal, a fact – whilst interesting, acts as a message that cutting corners and creating below par offshoots of culinary magic is not a good thing. Put down the box now, get yourself some chicken breasts and make this!

Chicken kiev, otherwise known as a ‘chicken pocket filled with joy’
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Russian
Author: Adam Garratt
Serves: 4
The chicken was one of those things I used to always look forward to as a kid. These though are a far cry from the dry rubbish ones you buy.
  • 100g butter at room temperature
  • 4 medium sized chicken breasts
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Good handful freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 100g Panko crumbs (available in chinese stores and larger supermarkets)
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 4 dessert spoons plain flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. First make the garlic butter by mashing together the butter, chopped parsley, minced garlic and lemon juice until well combined. Season with a little salt and pepper. Place to one side until needed. If you have some of this butter left over don’t throw it away, it will keep in the fridge for as long as normal butter and is great on new potatoes, fish, steaks or mixed in with some pasta.
  2. To prepare the chicken breasts for filling take each breast and lie it breast meat side down on a chopping board. You should now see a loose piece of breast meat, this is called the mini fillet. Slice this off each breast and put to one side. Now take a really sharp knife and slice a pocket in the side of the breast aiming the knife slightly down towards the chopping board. Be very very careful not to cut right through the meat and make a hole as all the butter will leak out. Once all your breasts are done put to one side.
  3. Now take each of the mini fillets and place in between 2 sheets of cling film, take a heavy based pan and beat each mini fillet flat until it’s thin but not too thin, you don’t want it to rip or have holes in it.
  4. Now take your chicken breasts and season inside the pocket with a little salt and pepper, take some of your garlic butter and fill the pocket until it’s nice and snug, not too much or too little. Now take one of the flattened mini fillets and tuck inside the pocket so it seals in the garlic butter like a chicken blanket 🙂 repeat with each breast. Hopefully you should now have 2-4 chicken breasts filled with garlic butter with no exposed butter at all. If you have then pinch a bit out and re seal.
  5. To crumb the chicken breasts get 3 plates for the flour, panko crumbs and beaten egg. Dust each breast in the flour first and pat off the excess, then the egg, then coat liberally in panko crumbs, dip back in the egg again and roll in the panko crumbs a second time for extra crispness. Do this with all the chicken breasts and place on a plate and chill in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.
  6. Put a deep frying pan on a medium heat with about 1 ½ inches of vegetable or sunflower oil, you want to shallow fry them basically. Once the oil is hot enough fry the breasts for 5-7 minutes each side until golden brown, be careful not to burn the breadcrumbs. Serve with buttered new potatoes and some crunchy green beans, Bliss.



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