You would assume that Chicken Kiev was typical Ukrainian food and this was the dish that put the Ukrainian capital on the culinary map. However, it is also claimed by Russians, as being invented in their country. In fact, as the story goes, it even has a French connection that goes back to the Romanovs and their fascination with the opulent lifestyle of the French court of the eighteenth century. Some historians believe that Empress Elizabeth sent her chefs to France to study its cuisine and they returned with a breaded chicken cutlet dish filled with herbs and butter known as Cotelettes de Volaille. The empress was impressed and the dish was a hit in St. Petersburg.
Its popularity spread across Russia and into many of the countries that once comprised the Soviet Union. It wasn’t until possibly the late 1940s, when the dish became known in the west, that it was labeled Chicken Kiev.
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 cups to bread crumbs
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp. sea salt (for garlic butter)
- 3 tbsp, parsley, stems removed, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp butter (for garlic butter)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. butter (for frying pan)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare a breading station: Add flour to a wide shallow bowl. Add eggs and milk to a second bowl and whisk to combine. To a third bowl, add the bread crumbs and mix in the paprika, garlic salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. With meat mallet or rolling pin, evenly pound to ¼-inch thickness.
- Prepare garlic butter: in a mortar or small heavy bowl, grind together, the garlic and the salt with a pestle; add the butter and parsley and stir with a fork to form a smooth garlic butter.
- Leaving at least a ½-inch border, spread the garlic butter in the centre of each chicken breast.
- Fold in the narrower sides, then using the plastic wrap, roll the longer sides around the filling. Make sure the filling is concealed completely. Secure with a toothpick.
- Dredge each stuffed chicken breast in flour. Then dip in eggs, allow excess to drip off. Roll in bread crumbs making sure they are completely coated.
- To a large skillet, add olive oil and butter and heat to medium. When oil is hot, add breaded chicken breasts. Fry until breading is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.
- Transfer chicken to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until chicken is cooked throughout, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken breast.
In winter, serve with a side of lemon rice and steamed vegetables; in summer, sweet potato salad goes well.