Homemade is Better—Chicken Kiev

As I’ve mentioned before, I challenged my wife and kids to come up with recipes from other countries.  This past week it was my oldest daughter’s turn.  She had chosen Russia, so we researched a few items to make.  She decided to make cabbage rolls and Herring salad.  None of us have ever had herring before; it was an interesting combination.  A recipe she did not choose, to my surprise, was Chicken Kiev which is one of the dishes I view as inherently Russian, if not eastern European for sure.  It’s up there with Borscht or cabbage rolls.

For my family, I made it the traditional way where you pound out the chicken breasts, add a garlic compound butter.  You then roll it, bread it, and fry it.  It’s a lot of work, but it pays off when you do it right.  For this week, I thought I’d give two ways of making Chicken Kiev.  One method is traditional while the other is a deconstructed version that’s much faster.  The ingredients are the same, but the methods vary.

Next week it is my turn to cook from a country.  I chose Brazil, so watch for my article for a favourite dish from there.

Chicken Kiev

Compound Butter


½ cup unsalted butter softened
2 TBSP Garlic
2 TBSP Parsley (fresh is best, but dried is just fine too)
1-2 tsp Kosher salt to taste


Compound butter is simple to make, and you can use the leftover butter for garlic bread later.

  • Add the softened butter to a mixing bowl. A stand mixer works too, or an electric beater.
  • Add in the garlic, parsley, and 1 tsp of salt. And mix until well incorporated. Taste it for enough garlic.  If you think it needs more salt, add the other tsp.
  • Put the butter on to a 9”x9” sheet of parchment, leaving about 2” at the bottom. Pull the bottom end and press the mound into a roll, or as close as possible.
  • Place in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  • Once it has cooled down some, cut the butter into eight equal slices. And set aside for a few minutes.

Breaded Chicken


4-5 chicken breasts (fresh is going to best, frozen will not work for the rolling, but will work for the second method)
1½ cups of all-purpose flour
2-3 eggs
1 cup of breadcrumbs (I used Panko, but any type will work)
4-5 tsp kosher salt
3-4 tsp pepper
5-6 toothpicks
½ cup canola oil


I’m going to explain the traditional method first because the simple approach is faster.

  • Heat your oven to 350F.
  • Put your flour into a mixing bowl large enough to accommodate the chicken breast. Add one teaspoon of salt and mix.
  • Crack the eggs into another container and beat them.
  • Put the breadcrumbs into a flat container.
  • Pull out your chicken and cut off the tenders, set those aside.
  • Start pounding out your chicken until it is close to ¼ inch thick.  Great therapy if you’re stuck inside with children who are going stir crazy, like us.
  • Place all the breasts on to a plate for holding.
  • Grab one breast and place it smooth side down. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper on the inside.
  • Grab one slice of the butter and roll it in your hands to get a football shape. Place it onto the broadest end of the chicken.
  • Fold the right and left side into the center and start rolling. Stick a toothpick into the seam to hold it.  Continue doing this with all the chicken breasts.
  • Meanwhile, grab a frying pan and pour in enough oil to come up about one inch. Turn the burner heat to med-high.
  • Once the oil is hot enough, place one breast at a time into the flour and cover it lightly. Then move to the eggs and cover again, then put into the breadcrumbs.
  • Place each roll into the frying pan and fry it while turning until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Then remove to a sheet pan with a wire rack on it.
  • Continue this process until all the breasts are golden brown on the outside.
  • Place the sheet pan into the oven and cook until the meat is 165F, about 10 minutes.
  • Plate up; if you did it right, the garlic butter will flow ooze out when you cut into the center.

Fast Chicken Kiev

To speed up the process, we are going to skip a few of the instructions previously written.  We are not going to be breading, and our butter will be a sauce.


4-5 chicken breasts
Compound butter
1 TBSP canola oil


  • Heat the oven to 350F.
  • Place an ovenproof frying pan on the stovetop and add the canola oil to the cold pan. Turn the heat to high.
  • Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken.
  • Place three slices of the compound butter into the frying pan and allow it to melt.
  • Place the chicken in breast side down and sear in the pan until it comes loose, and you need very little force to turn it.
  • Once you’ve turned them, add one more slice of butter and place the pan into the oven.
  • Cook for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160F.
  • Every five minutes, open the oven and baste the chicken with the melted butter.
  • Once the thickest breast reads a temperature of 160F, remove the pan from the oven and place the chicken on a plate to rest for 10 minutes, covering with foil.
  • Add two more slices of butter to the frying pan and cook until just slightly browned. Remove from the heat, plate up your chicken and spoon the butter sauce over it, getting all the parsley and garlic.
  • Enjoy!!