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What is Chicken Kiev?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Chicken Kiev is a popular chicken dish which was, oddly enough, invented in France and named in New York, despite what the Ukrainian name might suggest. The dish has been made for several hundred years, and may have been named in New York to appeal to immigrants from Eastern Europe. It is made by stuffing a boned chicken fillet with butter, breading it, and frying or baking it. The end result is a rich, moist stuffed chicken dish which is traditionally served with potatoes, peas, and a lemon garnish. Some restaurants offer chicken Kiev, and the dish can also be made at home relatively easily.

The base of the dish is, of course, chicken. Typically chicken breasts are used, and they are often beaten so that they are tender. In one variant of the recipe, a sharp knife is used to create a pocket in the chicken breasts for the filling. Some cooks prefer to roll flattened and butterflied chicken breasts around the filling. In both cases, the chicken is secured with toothpicks to ensure that the filling does not leak as it cooks.

The filling of chicken Kiev is made with seasoned butter. Parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper is a classic combination, although other herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, and sage may be used. As a general rule, approximately two tablespoons are used for each chicken breast being prepared. Any seasonings are finely chopped for uniformity, and the mixture is thoroughly blended before being spooned into a pastry bag for easy use. The filling can also be scooped directly into the chicken, but a pastry bag is much easier.

After the chicken breast has been filled, it is dredged in flour, egg, and bread crumbs. Most cooks chill the chicken Kiev at this point, to solidify the butter so that it will be less likely to leak. After chilling, the chicken Kiev can be baked in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) for approximately one hour, turning halfway through. It can also be fried in a frying pan on medium heat, cooking six to eight minutes on each side.

Once cooked, the chicken Kiev may be drizzled with a sauce such as a lemon dill sauce, or it may be served plain. A wide variety of accompaniments in addition to the traditional potatoes and peas may be served, although the chicken Kiev is usually the focal point of the meal. Alternates on chicken Kiev can be made with fillings like goat cheese, Brie, or ricotta.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By pinkandred — On May 08, 2011

My wife and I like chicken stir fry. After a busy day, my wife throws the ingredients together in a wok. She then cooks it on high heat, and we have a meal in around 20 minutes. The meal is good for us too, because she uses just a small amount of peanut oil. Since the veggies are cooked quickly, they hold on to more of their nutrients too.

By mandydances — On May 07, 2011

Chicken Kiev is probably one of my favorite chicken recipes. I also like Chicken Cordon Bleu. There are so many things you can do with chicken. In fact, it seems like you can do more with chicken than hamburger.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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