Challenge No. 6 – Chicken Kievs

I can’t quite believe we’ve made it to Challenge No. 6 already! 2015 is flying by.  Anyway, on with the Challenge 🙂 This dish was suggested by my other half and I think it is a great mid-week dinner.  I’ve made chicken kievs once before but they didn’t really turn out as I had hoped and so, whilst this is not technically a new dish, it is one I had a lot of room to improve on.

I’ve recently watched a cooking program where chef Tom Kerridge made chicken kievs and they looked delicious.  So when I started looking for a recipe for this week, I knew it had to be this one.

The recipe calls for the following ingredients:-

  • 100g/3½oz butter, softened
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large skinless chicken breasts
  • 150g/5½oz plain flour*
  • 2 large free-range eggs*
  • 150g/5½oz Japanese panko breadcrumbs*
  • vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • pinch sea salt flakes

Edited - ingredients

*I found I ended up wasting lots of the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs by using these quantities.  I’d recommend using just 1 egg, 50g flour and 50g breadcrumbs.  If you find you need more, simply add extra to the dipping plates.  You can always add more but you can’t re-use what you’ve put on the plates once the chicken has been dipped in it.

The last time I tried to make chicken kievs, I used chicken breasts bought from a supermarket and I felt they were a bit too small.  Personally, I think you need quite big bits of chicken to make kievs and so, this time, I decided to take a trip to my local butchers.  The result was some humungous bits of chicken and super sized chicken kievs.

With all my ingredients ready to go, I started by combining the butter sauce ingredients and mixed them with my handheld mixer until well combined.

Edited - butter

I then filed a piping bag with the butter sauce and got my chicken prepared.  Now most chicken kiev recipes say to slice the chicken in half (but not all the way through) so as to create a top and bottom which are connected on one side.  You then normally spoon in the butter and fold the top back over to create a chicken parcel.  However, Tom Kerridge recommends a different approach and I thought it was just brilliant. I don’t think the online recipe is overly clear about what needs to be done but the TV program showed it really well and I’ll do my best to explain it here for you! 

With the the TV program fresh in my mind, I tried to replicate Tom’s approach.  I got my knife and pushed it tip first into the thickest end of the chicken, pushing along the length of the chicken to make a pocket.  Using this approach helps stop the butter just melting and spilling out of the kiev.

Practical Tip: you need to make the pocket as deep as possible but be careful not to push the knife through so that it comes out the other side of the chicken.  The pocket should have only one exposed area, being the point where the tip of the knife went into the chicken.

I then got my piping bag, pushed the nozzle into the split in the end of the chicken and pipped in the butter.  The result was a very strange feeling!  I could feel the chicken breast expanding in my hand as it filled up with butter.  I piped in as much as possible, however, I found the pocket on one of the breasts wasn’t quite deep enough to fill it fully.  I therefore made a second pocket from the other end of the chicken and piped in a bit more.

Edited - filled chicken2 Edited - filled chicken

Once the chicken was filled with the butter, I got my flour, eggs and breadcrumbs ready.  I placed the eggs in a shallow bowl and the flour and breadcrumbs onto a plate.  As I’ve said above, the quantities ended up being a bit too much for just 2 chicken breasts.  I made the mistake of trying to use the full amounts and this ended up being a bit of a waste.  It was also really messy as loads of the breadcrumbs ended up falling off the side of the plate as I tried to cover the chicken!

Edited - coating ingredients

So with my coating ingredients ready. I dipped the chicken breasts in turn into the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.  I placed them onto a plate, covered them with cling film and popped them in the fridge and set the timer for 20 minutes.

Edited coated chicken

After the 20 minutes was up, I got my frying pan out and heated the oil.  The recipe says to use “a little of the vegetable oil”, however, when I watched it on TV it looked more like the chicken was shallow fried.  I therefore added quite a lot to my pan and got it nice and hot.

Practical Tip: to test whether the oil is hot enough, just drop some of the breadcrumbs into the oil and if they sizzle, the oil is hot enough to fry the chicken. 

 Edited in the pan 1Edited - in the pan 3

I fried the chicken in the oil for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and then popped it in the oven for 15 minutes.  I still found some of the butter ran out of the pocket but it was a lot better than when I used the other technique of creating a chicken parcel.

 Edited - out the oven

Once the chicken was cooked, it was time to serve up.  Now, I had really good intentions of serving my kiev up with salad but I ran out of side space to prepare the salad (terrible excuse I know!) and so I ended up just giving in and having homemade chips which I was already making for my other half.

Edited - on the plate

My boyfriend and I both really liked the flavour and texture (the panko breadcrumbs worked really well!), however, we both said there was actually too much chicken.  I like my kievs to be really buttery and I felt I didn’t quite get the ratio of butter to chicken quite right.  I think this is simply because my butchers chicken breasts were so big –  so big in fact, neither of us could finish them.  Overall I would say my second attempt at chicken kievs was a success and it was definitely a lot better than my first!

Coming up next week, Challenge No. 07 – viennese fingers.