Origin: Russian/French, European
Method: StovetopJump to Recipe
Chicken Kiev and Banoffee Pie may seem like an odd combination but that, along with a ridiculously small can of Coke and a crusty roll smothered in warm Boursin cheese, was my meal of choice for the better part of a year. I honestly can not think of a single other meal that I ate at the Cambridge cafeteria, though admittedly the fact that there was a pub in the dorm may have played into my lack of memory. Regardless, Chicken Kiev quickly went from a "what the heck is that" dish to one of my absolute favorites in short order. Honestly, what is not to love about chicken stuffed with herbed butter!
Despite being named after the capital city of Ukraine, the origin of the dish is a little murky. More that likely it originated by French chefs in Russia, similar to the backstory of Beef Strogonoff.
Making the Best Chicken Kiev
Chicken Kiev requires only basic ingredients, that are easily accessible. This version does have fresh tarragon in it which can be omitted if you can't find it.
Making the herbed butter
For the herbed butter you will need salted butter, fresh parsley and tarragon, garlic, and black pepper. You can substitute dried herbs, but it is just not the same. Fresh works a lot better in this recipe.
Finely chop the parsley and tarragon and place in a small bowl. Melt the butter and add to the bowl with the chopped herbs. Add the pepper and minced garlic and stir well to combine.
Add the mixture to ice cube trays and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours to solidify.
Making the breading for the Best Chicken Kiev
For the Chicken Kiev breading you will need Panko bread crumbs, flour, dill, and garlic powder. You can use traditional plain bread crumbs if you wish but Panko is SO MUCH BETTER!
Finely chop the dill and place in a bowl with the panko, flour, and garlic powder. Mix well and set aside.
Preparing the chicken for the Best Chicken Kiev
Lay out the chicken breasts and tenderize them with a Jaccard, or place between 2 pieces of parchment paper and pound them with a meat mallet until they are about ¼ inch thick. You want the chicken this enough and wide enough that you can enclose the butter in the center, so you don't lose all of your filling during the cook.
Forming the Chicken Kiev
Beat the eggs with the buttermilk in a small bowl. If you do not have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk.
Remove the herbed butter cubes from the freezer and take them out of the ice tray. Place a cube in the center of each chicken breast. Halve the pieces, if needed, to help the butter fit in the chicken.
Fold the chicken around the herbed butter. We have found it helpful to use a piece of plastic wrap to help form the chicken. Depending on the size of the chicken breasts, you may also find it helpful to use a toothpick to hold the chicken together.
Next, dip the chicken into the egg mixture. Allow the excess egg to drip off, then coat all sides of the chicken with the seasoned breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with the remaining chicken, then place the chicken in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Cooking the Chicken Kiev
Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet or heavy bottomed pan, then add 2 tablespoons of oil.
When the butter is beginning to foam add the chicken to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip the chicken.
Cook an additional 3-4 minutes then flip the chicken again. Cook to an internal temp of 165 degrees. This will likely take about another 3-4 minutes but it is best to check with an instant read thermometer.
When the chicken is nicely browned and cooked through, remove the chicken to a plate and let rest a few minutes before serving.
Serve with you favorite starch and veggies and enjoy!
If you are looking for more great chicken recipes be sure to check out our Taiwanese Night Market Spicy Fried Chicken and Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. For something a little less spicy take a look at our Grilled Souvlaki (Greek Chicken Skewers) and Italian Style Parmesan Wings.
Eat carefully, the butter mixture may be quite hot. Fun fact, some restaurants used to have a warning label for this dish to be careful not to burn yourself with the hot butter or cut it open to vigorously and spray yourself with the melted butter.
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- 4 Chicken Breasts
- ⅓ cup Butter
- ¼ tea Black Pepper
- 1 tea Garlic Squeeze
- 2 Tab Parsley finely chopped
- 1 tes Tarragon finely chopped
- ½ cup Bread Crumbs
- ¼ cup Flour
- ½ tea Garlic minced
- 1 tea Fresh Dill finely chopped
- 2 Tab Butter
- 2 Tab Olive Oil
Prepare the herbed butter
- Finely chop the parsley and tarragon and place in a small bowl. Melt the butter and add to the bowl with the chopped herbs. Add the pepper and minced garlic and stir well to combine.
- Pour the melted butter mixture into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours to solidify the butter.
Make the Breading
- Combine the panko, flour, garlic powder, and dill in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Making the Chicken Kiev
- Lay out the chicken breasts and tenderize them with a Jaccard, or place between 2 pieces of parchment paper and pound them with a meat mallet until they are about ¼ inch thick.
- Beat the eggs with the buttermilk in a small bowl. If you do not have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk.
- Remove the butter from the freezer and place a cube in the center of each chicken breast. You can halve the cubes if it helps them to fit better. Wrap the chicken breast around the cube and seal as best as possible. If necessary use a toothpick to hold the chicken together.
- Next, dip the chicken into the egg mixture. Allow the excess egg to drip off, then coat all sides of the chicken with the seasoned breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with the remaining chicken, then place the chicken in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Melt the 2 tablespoon of butter along with the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter is just starting to foam, add the chicken.
- Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook 3-4 more minutes. Flip one last time and cook to an internal temp of 165 degrees (typically another 3-4 minutes).
- When the chicken is fully cooked remove it from the pan and let it rest a couple minutes before serving. Caution the butter in the center may be extremely hot.