Chicken Kiev is such a guilty pleasure, with its deep fried, or at least intensely fried, breaded chicken breasts, oozing out melted butter. But perhaps not as much melted butter as I might hope, or perhaps the fact that it oozes out at all says something about my ability to close up and contain the butter, for I am not, in my opinion, the best Chicken Kiev chef! I find it tremendously difficult to ensure that they are properly sealed, and I feel guilty about the butter that leaks out. This raises the question... what if this butter could not simply not be wasted, but actually put to a use? It is a somewhat common technique in cooking to put meat, particularly dark meat chicken, to cook over either vegetables or potatoes, so that the fat renders out onto the delicious foods below. I wanted to copy this with Chicken Kiev, and I think it worked splendidly! The chicken still has its wonderfully rich flavors of herbs and the moistness of the butter, but the butter which leaks out flavors the vegetables below, making them savory and complex. Furthermore, it is less messy, without the need to fry the chicken for a long time, or even to fry it at all - although still, the process of breading the chicken alone tends to be a terrible chore! Don't let that deter you from making this excellent, holistic meal, whose parts work together so well to make a great high quality meal which uses every scrap.
This recipe is my own, and is based on a previously published recipe for Chicken Kiev of mine.
- 1 stick butter, (8 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1 cup flour
- Vegetable oil, (if one does light frying)
- 3 carrots, chppped
- 2 broccoli, chopped
- 1 cauliflower, chopped
- olive oil, for seasoning
- salt, for seasoning
- pepper, for seasoning
- Blend together the butter, dill, thyme, lemon juice, black pepper, minced garlic, and cilantro. Shape these into 4 2 inch long finger-looking bars. Then cover the plate with plastic wrap, and proceed to refrigerate until firm, which should take 2 hours (freezing can cut down this time process).
- Cover the chicken pieces with plastic wrap, and using the flat side of a metal mallet, pound them out as thin as possible, trying as best as possible to not tear them. Tears will allow the butter to leak out when it is fried. I find that butterfly cutting the, tends to make them too thin and so there will be holes and punctures. Sometimes a heavy rolling pin can come in handy. This is by far the hardest part in my opinion, so don't feel discouraged if it is difficult! Salt and pepper them once they are rendered flat.
- Place a finger of butter into each one, and roll them up around the butter, tucking in and securing the ends with toothpicks. Proceed to roll each first in flour which is itself mixed with the paprika, then in a beaten egg wash, and then in bread crumbs, thoroughly coating them in the alternate solutions. Leave to refrigerate for several hours on a platter, covered with plastic wrap. If you have extra flour left over from this process, I find that mixing them with some water, the bread crumbs, and egg yolks, as well as seasonings like paprika, garlic salt, and thyme, makes for some easy dumplings which can be either fried if you are frying the Chicken Kiev, or boiled.
- At this point, one can decide whether one wants to lightly fry them, which will make them crispier on the edge, but some of the butter will leak out, or go directly to cooking. if lightly frying them, fill a wok or a large saucepan with a small amount of oil on the bottom, and sautée the chicken, turning it around to make sure it is evenly browned, for a short period of time. Then place it onto a sheet of oven vegetables which have been seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. If not browning them, put into the oven under the broiler for a brief time, perhaps 5 minutes, before putting them on top of the vegetables.
- After this, cook on the vegetables for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are done. Eat immediately.
Ryan Thomas (author) from Eureka, California on April 23, 2021:
Thank you, I hope that if you make it it lives up to your hopes!
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 23, 2021:
RyanCThomas, Wow! This is a wonderful idea to bake chicken. Your recipe has everything of goodness and taste in it. I like this recipe.