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It’s Chicken Kiev Time

Easily one of my all-time favorite preparations of chicken is Chicken Kiev.  Yes, even those overly processed ones that can be found in the freezer section.  So imagine my surprise and delight when I found a recipe in My New Favorite Cookbook™!  That’s The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook by the way.  This is great on another level too.  My wife, Lindsay, LOVES Chicken Kiev as well, especially with a side of wild rice and cottage cheese.  So this was a complete win for a recipe.

A quick note before I delve into the cooking.  There are aspects of this recipe that are fairly tricky.  I will try to explain what I did, and what I will do differently next time.  Trust me.  There will be a next time.  Also there is a lot of prep work and waiting involved, so plan accordingly.  We didn’t eat that night until 10:30, but it was worth it.  Even with turning the entire kitchen into a hazmat zone:

I can be messy when I cook

Once again this is adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook (p. 67-68) and I will type it out the way I did it.  I still strongly suggest purchasing the book because it is well worth it.

Ingredients – Herb Butter

  • 8 Tbs unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 Tbs Lemon juice
  • about 1 Tbs white Onion, minced
  • 1 Tbs Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp  Tarragon
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt (or 3/8 tsp table salt)
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
Ingredients – Chicken
  • 4 slices white Sandwich Bread, torn into quarters
  • Table Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
  • 4 (8 oz) boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, trimmed
  • 1 C unbleached all-purpose (AP) Flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Mustard

For the Herb Butter:  Mix the ingredients in a medium sized bowl with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined.  Form into a 3″ square on a sheet of plastic wrap.  Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

For the Chicken:  Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees.  Add half of the bread to a food processor and pulse until it is coarsely ground, about 16 pulses.  Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining bread.  Add 1/8 tsp table salt and 1/8 tsp pepper to the crumbs.  Add the oil and toss until evenly coated.  Spread the crumbs on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown and dry, about 25 minutes.  Make sure you stir the crumbs a couple of times to prevent burning.  Cool to room temperature.

Starting on the thinnest side of a chicken breast, butterfly it by slicing lengthwise halfway up.  Do not cut all the way through!  Open up the breast to create a single flat cutlet.  Put the cutlet between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound, starting in the center, to 1/4″ thickness.  The outer edge, pound to an 1/8″ thick.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  Be very careful when you do this.  I ended up getting tears and holes in the breasts which just caused a lot of unnecessary headache when I was trying to stuff the butter.  Place the chicken on a work surface and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper.  Now unwrap the butter and cut into four rectangular pieces.  With the chicken cut side up, place a piece of butter in the center of the bottom half of the breast (a quarter of the way up from the “tip” of the breast).  Roll the bottom edge of the chicken over the butter, then fold in the sides and continue rolling to form a nice tight package.  Press on the seams to seal everything together.  Repeat with the remaining breasts and refrigerate for an hour to allow the edges to seal.

This is what I ended up with:

Looks pretty

They look a lot better in the picture than they did in real life.

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350 degrees.  Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate plates.  Season the flour with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Season the bread crumbs with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add the mustard to the eggs and whisk to combine.  Dredge a chicken roll in the flour, shaking off the excess, then coat with the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off.  Coat all sides of the chicken with the bread crumbs, pressing gently so the crumbs adhere in an even layer.  Place on cookie sheet.  Repeat with remaining breasts.  ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE:  I placed the chicken into individual aluminum foil boats because I was certain that they would leak and I don’t have a rimmed baking sheet.  This worked great.  My mom suggested using a cake pan as another approach.

My aluminum boats

My aluminum boats

Bake until the center of the chicken registers 160 to 165 degrees, about 40 to 45 minutes.  Let rest for 5 and serve!


Roasted acorn squash with butter and brown sugar, wild rice, and chicken kiev.  Everything tasted great, but the kiev ended up being a bit salty.  I’m pretty sure I over salted the chicken after I butterflyed it.   Also, I really only needed about a half cup of the AP flour for the breading.  All in all, it was a fun challenge that I look forward to tackling again.

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