Chicken Kievs remind me of nights when my sister and I had to cook for ourselves when our parents were working. When I say ‘cook’, I mean I put a frozen chicken kiev with frozen potato waffles in the oven for half an hour and boiled some frozen mixed veg on the hob. Not very inspired, but we really liked it!
This is my method to make this nostalgic dish. I have used different recipes the few times I have made this and the recipe I share is a mixture of the best bits. I rarely buy chicken breasts mainly because I much prefer thigh meat for flavour and it is so much cheaper so i don’t see the point. This is one of those times when only the breast will do however. A large, free-range chicken breast with plenty room for stuffing in the butter is best. When the chicken is the star of the show as it is here I do think it’s worth spending a little more to get the best quality you can afford. The panko breadcrumbs are a recent find for me and I will never go back to homemade crumbs for something that benefits from the amazing crunch you get with panko – they are also becoming much more widely available in supermarkets.
There is just no competition between this homemade version and the days of the frozen kiev. Succulent chicken, crispy coating and garlicky herby butter oozing out of the centre… I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Ingredients – serves two
- two large chicken breasts (preferably free range)
- 50g salted butter
- handful of parsley, finely chopped
- handful of chives, finely chopped
- two garlic cloves, minced/grated
- zest of half a lemon (or lime)
- handful of plain flour
- one egg (preferably free range)
- 150g panko breadcrumbs
Method – takes 45 mins plus one hour fridging
Soften the butter with the back of a spoon then mash in the fresh herbs, garlic, lemon zest and season well.
Insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the chicken breast and poke around until you have created a nice large hole inside.
Use your fingers to stuff the butter into the two breasts equally, pushing as far inside as you can. I like to use a couple of cocktail stick to close the chicken securely at this point – just be careful you don’t forget about them when eating later!
Put the flour, egg (beaten) and panko crumbs into separate bowls and carefully roll each breast in each of them in order, covering them completely. For an extra crunch and for the best covering, redo the egg and panko crumbs a second time. Pop the chicken into the fridge for an hour to allow the butter to reset and help avoid leakages during cooking.
Meanwhile, I like to serve my kiev with some kind of potato and vegetable. This time I made roasted sweet potato chips and stir fried greens. For this I finely sliced one sweet potato and tossed it in olive oil and plenty of seasoning. I the roasted in the over for 45 minutes with a couple of garlic cloves. Towards the end of the cooking time remove the garlic cloves and squeeze out the centre – toss the chips in this for a lovely smoky garlic flavour. Just before the chicken was cooked I stir fried spinach and kale with a little butter, then served with a pinch of salt, plenty pepper and a drizzle of lime juice.
Back to the chicken. When it has set in the fridge, heat a frying pan on the hob to a high heat with a splash of olive oil, carefully place the chicken into the pan and brown on all sides. The pan MUST be hot otherwise your crumbs will just soak up the oil and go soggy – you want them to brown and stay crispy. Once browned, put into the oven (180 degrees fan) for 15 minutes on a pre-heated baking tray.
Serve your crispy chicken parcels with you choice of vegetable accompaniments, and get ready for the oozing goodness when you cut into them!