Chicken Kiev is a simple and classic recipe mixing chicken, butter, and chopped herbs. It takes a bit of practice to stuff the chicken correctly but once you master it, you’ll have a fantastic and easy recipe in your arsenal.
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 handful Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 8 fresh basil leaves, finely chiffonaded
- 8 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- Extra lemon juice for sauce
- 8 lemon wedges
Use a mallet or rolling pin to pound and flatten the chicken breasts. I place each breast between pieces of plastic wrap. Make the breasts as thin as possible, but try not to tear the breasts – 1/4-inch is a good thickness to aim for. You are going to slice each flattened breast in half.
With the “smooth” side of the breasts down, lightly season the breasts with salt and pepper. Then, divide the garlic and herbs into eighths, and sprinkle each breast half with an eighth of the garlic and herbs.
Shape each tablespoon of butter into a cylinder, and place in the center of the breasts The butter should be placed like this: ( – ). The goal is to wrap up the breasts so the Kievs are as airtight as possible to keep the butter from leaking out during cooking. I fold over the breasts on the sides first, and then top and bottom.
Dust the Kievs in flour, very lightly, and then place them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so they can firm up. You may want to use toothpicks to keep the Kievs intact. Take them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to brown them.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using tongs, place the Kievs in the skillet and brown nicely on all sides, including the tops and bottoms of the Kievs. I find that some of my Kievs have 3 sides; others – 4 sides – in addition to a “top” and “bottom”. The browning may take about 15 minutes.
Place the Kievs in a 300°F oven while you make the sauce.
If you find that some of the Kievs have released their butter, that is fine – it happens all the time. To the skillet, add the wine and scrape all the good bits into the wine. If you need to add butter to the sauce, just a small pat will do. Reduce the sauce until it is nicely brown and shimmering.
Taste and for a little brightness, you may want to add a tiny bit of lemon juice.
Plate the Kievs and pour the sauce over them. Serve with lemon wedges.