Chicken Kiev
Recipes > Dinner > Poultry Dishes > Chicken Kiev

Are you a Smart Kitchen™ Chef?

Try it FREE or take a TOUR to explore Smart Kitchen!
Recipe Checklist:
Ingredients
  • 4 Chicken Breasts (Skinless & Boneless)
  • 8 tablespoons Kiev Compound Butter
  • 2 Eggs, (Whisked)
  • 2 teaspoons Whole Milk
  • 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil (Sunflower Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Corn Oil, etc.)
  • Kosher Salt (to Taste)
  • Black Pepper (to Taste)
Tools & Equipment
  • Cutting Board
  • Chefs Knife
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Large Sautoir or Skillet or Frying Pan
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Meat Tenderizer
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Cooling Rack
  • Tongs
  • Sheet Pan
Estimated Time
3 hrs
Yield
Serves 4-6
+ -

Chicken Kiev (also called Tsiplenokovo Po-Kievski in Russian) is a classic Chicken preparation that consists of a boneless and Pounded Chicken Breast that is rolled around a chilled Compound Butter before being Breaded and then Pan Fried, Deep Fried or Baked.

Because its name includes the Ukrainian city of Kiev, the dish is considered to be of Russian or Ukrainian origin. This is unlikely, since Russian cookbooks have long contained recipes for Côtelettes de Volaille, a French name which means “Poultry Cutlets” and describes a Chicken Breast rolled around a Compound Butter that is then Pan Fried or Baked.

The more likely story is that the dish was invented in France by Nicolas Francois Appert (1749 to 1841), who called it Chicken Supreme. By the way, Appert was a chef, brewer, pickler and confectioner who discovered canning food. Because the Russian Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (who ruled from 1741 – 1762) was a true Francophile, large amounts of French food was imported to Russia and many French cooking concepts were adopted during her reign. It is likely that the concept of a Chicken Supreme and similar dishes such as Chicken Cordon Bleu arrived in Russia during this period.

The name Chicken Kiev, though, is most likely a product of savvy marketers in New York City. As with Hamburg Steak, the name was used to lure newly arrived immigrants (in the case of Chicken Kiev, Russians) to their restaurants. The name was then widely adopted by Russians and Ukrainians after World War II.

Preparation

To complete the Chicken Kiev, you will need to first make your Kiev Compound Butter as part of your Mise en Place. Making the compound butter can be done a few days to a week or longer in advance. The recipe for the Kiev Butter can be found by following the Kiev Compound Butter link above.

Before you begin you should have pounded your Chicken Breasts individually to an eighth of an inch (⅛”) thick (3.18 mm) as part of your Mise en Place. If you are unfamiliar with Pounding, the link directs you to Smart Kitchen’s exercise on the technique.

You should also prepare the Eggs by Cracking the Eggs into a ramekin and then whisking them with 1 - 2 teaspoons of Milk. If you think it will take you a while to roll the Chicken Breasts in the second step below, consider storing the milk and egg mixture in the refrigerator. Reserve ¼ cup of the Panko Bread Crumbs for use in the chicken filling.

Method

Before you begin any cooking, season both sides of the Chicken Breasts with Salt and Pepper.

With the breasts seasoned, lay down a fresh piece of plastic wrap (about 1 foot long) (305 mm) on your work surface.

Lay a Chicken Breast on the plastic wrap. Place a quarter of the Kiev Compound Butter in the center of the first chicken breast and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Panko Bread Crumbs. Spread them around a bit. Use the plastic wrap (by holding it from below) to fold the chicken breast up around the compound butter and panko. Roll the whole breast like a log, similar to the method used to form the roll of compound butter in your preparation.

When you are done, the Kiev Compound Butter and panko crumbs should be completely encased in the chicken breast. Roll it tightly so that it will remain in place. Set the completed rolled chicken breast aside. Repeat the rolling process with the rest of the chicken breasts (2-4). When all of the chicken breasts are rolled, chill them in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or even overnight. Remember that the chicken is still raw. Place it low in the refrigerator to avoid any Cross Contamination.

When ready to continue with the preparation, place the Egg and Milk mixture in a shallow bowl like a pie pan, a shallow serving bowl, or glass bakeware. Pour 2 cups of Panko Bread Crumbs in a different but similarly shaped low bowl or dish. We will be breading the rolled chicken breasts in both mixtures, so they should have decent side walls but also be easily accessible.

Before doing the breading, it is a good idea to begin heating your sautoir, skillet, frying pan or saute pan. Pour the Vegetable Oil into your pan and set the burner to Medium High Heat. You will want to watch for the Visual Clue of the oil’s smoke to indicate that the oil has reached its Smoke Point before beginning the Pan Frying.

When the oil is approaching its smoke point, begin the breading process. You want to time it correctly so that the breading doesn’t sit too long get soggy before going into the pan. Unwrap the Chicken Breasts from the plastic wrap.

Dip the first breast in the egg mixture. Get them nice and moist before letting the egg wash drip back into the bowl/plate. Move the coated breast over to the bread crumbs. Roll the chicken breast in the Panko. Gently (and carefully) place the breaded chicken breast in the hot vegetable oil with the seam-side down. Push the Chicken away from you as you put it in to force the wave of displaced oil away from you, not towards you. 

Pan Fry the breast about 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. If you want to double check their doneness, use a meat thermometer to check the Internal Temperature. The thermometer should read 165° F to 170° F (74° C - 77° C).

When it is cooked, gently remove the chicken breast from the pan with tongs and place it on a cooling rack standing over a sheet pan (to catch any dripping oil). Repeat the same process with the remaining chicken breasts. Allow the final one to drip off excess oil for 5 to 10 minutes before plating them for service. Depending on how long your pan-frying takes, you may want to Hold the chicken breasts warm in the oven either as they drip dry on the cooling rack or after each has finished exuding excess oil.