Like many of you, Chicken Kievs are one of my guilty pleasures. It also happens that my fiancé adores them and as it was his birthday this evening I decide to knock them up from scratch. I know, it’s true love.
Now I’ve had Kievs in Kiev, Supermarket Kievs, diner Kievs, Bernard Matthew mini kievs and I have loved them all, but I can safely say that these Kievs could arm-wrestle them all into submission. Easy to make, no doubt difficult to burn off, so don’t think about the saturated fat; just tuck in.
Makes enough for two, in about half an hour.
*2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts *50g plain flour *1 large free-range egg *100g panko breadcrumbs (regular breadcrumbs will be fine if you prefer) *olive oil
For the butter: *2 garlic cloves *large handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped *a sprig of tarragon leaves, finely chopped (or a big pinch of dried tarragon) *25g butter *squeeze of lemon juice. *A tonne of tomato ketchup to serve (if you’re my boy)
1. Begin by making the butter. In a bowl, mix the softened butter, season with salt and pepper, stir in the finely chopped garlic, parsley, tarragon and a squeeze of lemon juice if you like.
2. Beat the butter really well then tip onto a sheet of cling film, roll into a log and refrigerate until hard.
3. One breast at a time, lay them smooth side down and remove the mini fillet. Make an incision down the middle of the fillet, half way into it and make a pocket. Don’t cut all the way through.
4. Lay a piece of clingfilm over the chicken and use a mallet or a rolling pin to flatten slightly.
5. Divide the butter into two and squash into flattened discs. Stuff into the pockets you’ve made in the chicken – this can be tricky and you may find the pockets don’t seem quite big enough, don’t fret – and then cover with the mini fillet, before folding the sides of the breast over it.
6. Now, tip the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three shallow dishes or on plates. This will get messy, almost certainly, but working carefully, totally coat the chicken in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs, the egg once more and finally in the breadcrumbs.
7. The Kievs can be made the day before you scoff them or frozen.
8. When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200oC or 180 fan. Meanwhile, heat a big glug of oil in a frying pan and turn up reasonably high. Fry the Kievs for a few minutes on each side until nicely golden brown.
9. Pop them on a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes.
10. The kitchen will smell gorgeously garlicy before you know it and soon after the chicken will be cooked. They will be firm and buttery good.
11. I served tonight’s Kievs with home-made spicy sweet potato chips but hankered after coleslaw and sweetcorn too.
Josh positively drowns his Kiev in ketchup but I know you’re all far too civilised for that. Right?