Monday, November 7, 2011

Quick Eats: To Russia, With Love: Baked Chicken Kiev

I was taking a look at the stats for Mr. Onion's Neighborhood and was surprised to see that I have a large number of Russian visitors. While I'm sure many of these are spam bots (I can never figure out what the referral sites actually are) I'd like to give a shout out to my most frequent visitors! In their honor, I'll be trying out some Russian recipes throughout the month labeled as "To Russia, With Love".

We'll start this off with a Quick Eats post, since this is a pretty basic recipe for Chicken Kiev. I learned that this is typically referred to as a Ukranian recipe, but that some have argued it is Russian in nature.

Chicken kiev is simply a piece of flattened chicken, stuffed with butter, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried. I stepped it up, slightly, with the addition of some pancetta (of course) and chose to bake this rather than fry it. You can do it however you like, but traditionally it's fried in oil (although more likely some sort of rendered fat or butter). This recipe is, more or less, based off of Alton Brown's recipe from Good Eats. He fries; I baked.
  • chicken breast
  • butter (about 2 tablespoons for each breast)
  • herbs
  • egg
  • breadcrumbs
I made the chicken pictured using some cultured butter I had gotten from the New Orleans Food Swap event. Cultured butter is made the same way as regular butter (churned) except you use a cultured heavy cream. (To do this, mix a spoonful of yogurt into a pint of heavy cream and let it sit at room temperature, or use some kefir made with cream, then make some homemade butter.) This cultured butter already had some herbs mixed to it, but you could let some butter sit out until soft then mix in your own combination of herbs, a little salt, and maybe a little pepper. This is a good time to stimulate that inner creative spirit and make this dish your own! After mixing your own herbs, place in the fridge to let it set.

Pound the chicken breast flat, then place on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Form a small "log" of butter, using about two tablespoons for each chicken breast. Fold over the sides of the chicken breast, then roll it into a log shape making sure there's no openings. Wrap tightly with the plastic wrap in this log shape and set it in the fridge for a few hours to make sure it holds its shape. You can do this the night before.

If baking, preheat your oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat an egg with a splash of water. Unwrap the chicken, coat in the egg wash, then roll in breadcrumbs. As much as I love to make my own everything, I have no problem using store bought breadcrumbs. Panko might be an interesting change here, but that's entirely up to you!

To bake, place in a baking dish with the seam down and pop it in the oven for about an hour. I checked it every 20 minutes or so and basted it with some of the butter that had leaked out. Partway through I had topped it with some finely diced pancetta that I had lightly cooked in a pan. Purely optional. Internal temperature should be 165 F.

Remove from the baking dish, allow it to cool, then slice in delicious, buttery medallions.

To fry, you can just heat some oil in a pan and fry it on each side (I know, it's round, but consider it to have four sides for the sake of being thorough) for about 5 minutes or so.

This makes the best leftovers. I honestly don't remember what we served it with, but it really doesn't matter: I'd eat this all by itself.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gaaaaawd, I looooooooooove chicken kiev! This was one of the few cafeteria meals in college that I would get excited about. I always had it with garlic butter in the middle, and the more garlicky the better!

    I'm having such a craving right now.