Chicken kiev

Ah, the much beleaguered chicken kiev. One of those things people don’t necessarily like to admit they like, but what is there not to like…juicy chicken, garlic sauce (everything tastes good with garlic sauce, fact) and crispy breadcrumbs. It’s a winner.

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However, for those of us who find the idea of reconstituted meat from dubious sources not particularly palatable, making your own is a sure fire winner. There’s something about eating a dish from your childhood that instantly evokes happy memories and feelings of nostalgia. It’s also easy to make, delicious and for a treat, relatively cheap.

I also think this would be a fun dish to do with children you’re trying to get into cooking and understanding where food comes from. There’s nothing too complicated and it uses the ‘flour, egg, breadcrumbs’ method, which can be applied to various breaded delicacies!

The recipe I’ve given you is for a classic garlic-packed kiev, using whole chicken breasts. I’ve made these multiple times now and you can let your imagination go wild on the filling; another tried and tested variation is goats cheese mixed with butter, garlic and seasoning. YUM!

Once you make these you’ll never look back – and if you’ve never tried a kiev, why not give these a whirl. You might be surprised!

Ingredients

1 chicken breast per person
½ a pack of Le Roule (garlic and herb French cream cheese – you could use Boursin, Philadelphia or whatever you prefer)
25g butter (roughly)
1 garlic glove, crushed (if it’s not very big, use two)
½ tsp dried thyme
1 egg
Seasoned flour
Breadcrumbs
Mashed potatoes, salad, vegetables etc. to serve – it’s your choice!

Method

1) Take your chicken breasts out of the fridge and put your oven on at 180-190 (this is roughly gas mark 4-5).
2) Make the filling for your kievs by combining the cream cheese, butter, garlic, thyme and some seasoning in a bowl. Make sure you taste it – if it doesn’t taste garlicky enough add more, best to start with less as you can’t take it away. The Le Roule I use is really tasty, so doesn’t need much adding to it.
3) Put the filling in the fridge (or freezer if your stretched for time) to chill. You need it to become firm so you can easily pop it inside the chicken.
4) Prepare what you’re having with your kievs – put potatoes on to boil for mash, trim your green beans etc.
5) Take out three wide shallow bowls. Put some flour (any white flour will do) with some salt and pepper in one, beat an egg in the next one and put breadcrumbs in the last one. You can make your own breadcrumbs, but the slightly more expensive shop bought or Panko ones work really well.
6) Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket into the thickest bit of the chicken breast. Take your chilled garlicky filling and stuff in as much as you can; you can ‘seal’ it off with the thin, flappy bit from underneath the breast.

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7) Now you’re ready to coat the chicken – first the flour, make sure it’s fully coated then shake off any excess, dip into the egg and then into breadcrumbs. Repeat with all the chicken breasts.
8) Place on a baking tray (I put foil down first in case any of the filling escapes!) and cook for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken breasts.
9) You’ll know when the kievs are cooked as they should be golden all over and if you place a skewer into the thickest part of the breast, it should feel hot when touched to your lip/tongue.
10) Enjoy!

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