Chicken Kiev - reliable recipe?
For some reason I can't fully fathom, I agreed to prepare an upcoming meal featuring chicken Kiev -- a dish I've never made fully successfully in my opinion. I can't get the right combination of moist chicken, crispy exterior and a butter packet that stays sealed in until cut at the table.
I'm a little wary of the deep-frying technique in the Gourmet recipe, and Alton Brown's sounds like cigars of chicken. I can't seem to find Julia's (over half my cookbooks are sealed in boxes in the basement right now, and I just can't locate anything but "The French Chef Cookbook," which doesn't have it).
Who has a tried-and-true technique they can point me to?
Thanks much to everyone. I forged on with a hybrid of several recipes, browning them in butter on the stove top, then baking on a rack over a cookie sheet to finish. I par-froze the butter cylinder, and then chilled the wrapped chicken breasts till they were very, very cold. I think that's the key.
I made my breadcrumbs from the simple leftover dried white bread cubes I made for the Thanksgiving dressing. I left half of them only slightly crushed, and half pulverized. I kept the compound butter on the plain side as well: shallot, garlic and parsley only. Tarragon doesn't appeal to me in this dish for some reason.
Very, very successful, though my butchery was sloppy on one and it lost its butter pocket in the oven. No problem -- that's the one that went on my plate. Served with a wild mushroom risotto (with roasted chicken stock I made last night overnight in the crockpot) and steamed haricots verts, it was a post-holiday meal worth remembering. This was the meal I'd promised to christen our newly-remodeled kitchen. No, we don't have the cabinet doors on or the baseboards in yet, but it's close enough!
The resulting chicken was extremely juicy meat with delicious, garlicky butter inside. I'm looking forward to taking this project on as a dinner party entree soon.
my family is russian/ukrainian and i have been making chicken kiev successfully since the mid 70's. the best recipe/technique description that i have seen is in the old time-life cooking series on russian cooking. i don't know if this is available online, but if you are unable to find it, please repost and i will try to input it.
some hints: (1) try to use FRESH chicken. i have tried to use frozen and it does not seem to hold up as well to the pounding that needs to be done. i try to find the "chicken breast steak" cut, which is often available here at "von's markets", and i have found that the ideal size is 1/3 to 1/2 pound; (2) i use saran wrap (not waxed paper) to pound - seems to hold up better; (3) there is no reason to freeze the butter after you have added the seasonings - this simply creates edges that could then puncture your chicken. i mix the butter, then simply add a tablespoon or so before folding the chicken and sealing it; (4) don't simply fold the chicken and expect it to hold. after adding the butter i make the first fold (back to front, usually) and pound gently to seal, i then fold over the two sides and do the same. i then check to verify that there is no opening for the butter to leak out and then complete the folding and dipping before refrigerating prior to cooking; (5) i don't do the "fru-fru" thing of having the bone stick up with a frilly dress - waste of time; (6) i've decided that i will not cook this recipe for more than 8 because it is a lot of trouble
btw: here in southern california there is a small supermarket chain called "hows markets". they sell pre-made chicken kiev which is actually quite good, though my family says that the homemade is better. do NOT get the frozen stuff at "smart n final" - is terrible.
GOOD LUCK! let us know what happens.
ps: i just looked at the links posted above and they remind me of an important point - the kiev MUST be deep fried! cooking it slowly in the oven will not seal it quickly enough to maintain the sealed in butter. try to find the old time-life recipe, it is the most authentic.