I think this Chicken Kiev is as festive as a Christmas or Easter dish, even if chicken is not a regular choice for special occasions. As the name of the recipe clearly indicates, chicken Kiev seems to come from Ukrainian national cuisine. Although historians claim that it was prepared for the first time in Moscow, early in the 20th century. Of course, for us all, this matters are less important. What really matters is that Chicken Kiev is a very successful combination of textures. Crispy breadcrumb crust, tender chicken meat and melted butter flavored with garlic and herbs, all this make it just amazing. Additionally, Chicken Kiev is a very quick dish, there’s no needed more than half an hour from the stage of the fresh meat from the refrigerator and up to plate.
Chicken Kiev Preparation
The flavoured butter
In a food processor, add the cold butter into small pieces. Add the crushed garlic, finely choped herbs, salt and pepper. I use tarhon and parsley, you may also use rosemary, thyme, sage etc. If you wish, you may add a little grated lemon zest and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. I always add some lemon zest and juice, it seems to me that they raise flavors to another level. Pulse until everything gets homogenuos. Taste and add some more seasoning, if desired, then pulse again. Place the flavoured butter on a plastic film and roll it up tightly. Place the flavoures butter in the freezer.
According to Larrousse Gastronomique, a chicken suprême contains the breast and wing of a chicken or game bird. Not to be confused to supreme of fish, which is a fine fillet! Suprêmes of chicken or game are usually cooked rapidly. They may be baked rapidly in the oven, with some butter and truffles. The also may be poached in a very little liquid or they may be coated in breadcrumbs and fried, as this Chicken Kiev is.
Of course, it’s perfectly fine to make a Chicken Kiev with some skinless, boneless chicken breast. However, making it of suprême of chicken it will be not just delicious, but also a way to get a new kitchen skill.
Thus, pull the leg of the chicken from the body. Slice down to where the thigh joins the carcass. Cut through the joint and remove the whole leg. Repeat with the other leg and place both legs apart for use in another recipe. Separate the flesh on either side of the breastbone, cutting down towards the wing joints. Then sever the joints of the wings of the body, without separating them from the breast meat. Cut through each wing at the second joint to remove the wing tip. Finally, ease off the skin as carefully as possible and these are our two suprêmes of chicken.
Now, remove the false fillet of each suprême. Butterfly the suprêmes, splitting the chicken breast meat horizontally and opening it like a book. That’s how we make room for our delicious butter stuffing. Pound the inner fillet to an even thickness and season the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper.
How to stuff the chicken breast and how to coat it in breadcrumbs
Divide the flavoured butter into two equal parts. Place each half in the pocket we made in our suprêmes.
Carefully wrap the butter with the false fillets. Roll up tightly the meat, so that the melted butter doesn’t pour in the pan during the frying. If needed, fix it with 1 or 2 toothpicks.
In a deep dish, beat the eggs with a fork and ½ tsps of salt. Place the flour on a plate and the breadcrumbs on another. Press each suffed chicken suprême into flour to coat. Insist to be coated all over and shake off excess flour. Dip into beaten eggs and drain of excess egg.
Carefully transfer the chicken kiev into bread crumbs and roll them to coat all over.
Chicken Kiev – how to cook it
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or a large, deep pan, over high heat. For properly frying, the temperature in the oil should reach 350°F (175°C).
Carefully lower the chicken suprêmes into the oil. Cook until golden brown, about 1½ minutes per side. Using kitchen tongs or 2 spoons, remove the chicken kiev from the hot oil and transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven, at a medium height, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Using kitchen tongs or 2 spoons, remove the chicken kiev of the baking sheet and drain on paper towels before serving.
Pierce each piece with a fork from one side to the other before serving, to avoid to sprinkle with hot butter when cut.