In these crazy times, sometimes you just need a classic comfort dish from your childhood. Like many people, I grew up on the frozen version of Chicken Kiev, which mom would pop out of the freezer, onto a pan and into the oven for dinner. This classic Russian dish is chicken, filled with a buttery herb mixture, breaded and baked to a crispy perfection. When you cut into the chicken, it bursts with a stream of melted buttery wonderfulness! Who wouldn’t want chicken stuffed with butter? I’ll eat my left shoe if you stuff it with savory and salty butter!
I saw this on a show earlier this week, and was inspired to re-create this childhood favorite weeknight meal. I used ground chicken which I ground myself in a food processor, but you could certainly buy ground chicken (or turkey would work). I REALLY wanted to crust it in ground corn cereal flakes for that additional level of complexity and sweetness, but I decided to save the very little bit of corn cereal flakes I have left for breakfast! When we’re not in quarantine, I’ll try that, but the panko crust was perfectly crispy and delicious on it’s own. I served it with leftover take-out rice (which we’ve made last for about 3 meals as a side) and steamed asparagus, but it would be fabulous with buttered noodles or of course mashed potatoes. Bon Appetit!
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts, cut in large chunks (~2″)
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
2 cups panko breadcrumbs (you could use regular bread crumbs or corn cereal as a substitute)
1/2 cup flour
Salt & Pepper
In a small bowl, combine the butter, dill, parsley and garlic with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper until combined. Stretch a piece of plastic wrap on the counter, and using a spatula, place the butter in the middle of the plastic wrap. Using the wrap, fold the butter over and twist at the ends into a 2″ diameter log. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, place the chunks of chicken into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse 15-20 times until the chicken is ground, but not mushy. It should be in small pieces. Omit this step if using ground chicken.
In a large bowl, mix the chicken together with your hands with the Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Separate the chicken into two equal oval shapes, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Setup a standard breading station with a plate of the flour, a small dish with the eggs, beaten lightly, and a plate with the panko bread flakes.
Place a rack over a baking sheet and place into the oven. Heat the oven and pan to 375F. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 of vegetable oil in a 10″ skillet. Remove the chicken and butter from the fridge and freezer. Cut the butter lengthwise into quarters on the long end to form 4, long strips of frozen compound butter. Using your hands, create a divot in each of the chicken patties and place 1 stick of frozen butter into the middle. Cover the butter with chicken to seal it. Dip each piece of chicken in the flour to coat, then into the egg mixture, and finally into the panko. Repeat 1 more time into the egg and panko only so each Kiev is double breaded.
Place the chicken pieces into the oil and fry lightly on all sides until lightly browned and golden in color. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and place on the pre-heated baking sheet and cook at 375 for 30-40 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165F. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.