Ingredients (serves 6)
For the butter
- 6 heads of garlic
- 200g soft unsalted butter
- 60g flat leaf parsley, chopped
For the chicken
- 4 skinless chicken breasts – but make sure it is at the very least free-range, preferably organic too. None of this battery business please. That would be so 1990s
For the panne
- 70g plain flour – seasoned with salt and pepper
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 150g breadcrumbs, panko is best
Prep time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Roast the garlic whole on a tray in the oven for 30 minutes or so until soft inside. When cool, cut the top off and squeeze out the garlicky goodness.
- Chop it finely into a near purée, and then add to the softened butter and parsley and mix well until smooth.
- Season it well – the Kiev gets little other seasoning, so the butter should be beautifully salty. Put in a tub and chill. When ready, ball out portions with a warm ice cream scoop (or garlicky hands), about 70g or so.
- The size of the butter balls determines the size of your Kiev. For best results, freeze the garlic butter at this stage.
- Top and tail the chicken breast, removing the fillet from underneath, until you are left with a square chunk, about 3in x 3in.
- The trimmings can be used to make chicken nuggets or the beginnings of a curry or something.
- Stretch out a double layer of cling film, put the trimmed chicken on one side of it, and fold over the cling film, so it is well covered.
- With a rolling pin, smash the breast into a flat and fairly even round shape. It needs to be around 5in round; big enough to wrap around the (pre-prepared) ball of garlic butter.
- Peel back one side of the cling film, so that the garlic butter ball can be put into the centre of the flattened chicken.
- Close the chicken around it by bringing the cling film together and twisting it together, making a round, stuffed garlic chicken breast ball.
- To be considered a Kiev, the chicken needs breading: for this to be done easily, pop it into the freezer for a few hours (you could leave it overnight – or even for weeks).
- When firm, unwrap the Kiev from the cling film and roll in seasoned flour, then in an egg wash (a few eggs broken and whisked serves as the glue for the crumbs) and then roll in breadcrumbs. Japanese panko is best for an even finish.
- The egg and breadcrumbs part should be done a second time to make for a better seal. This is called a double panne.
- The breaded chicken can then be left to defrost in the fridge for a few hours or even for a day or so, and then it will be ready for cooking.
- Best not to cook from frozen if you can help it.
- Fry in vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer (set at 180°C) until golden for a minute or so, then transfer to a hot oven (200°C) for 12 to 14 minutes.
- When ready, the butter will be melted inside ready to burst and dribble down your chin.
- Serve immediately with rainbow coleslaw and a hash brown.
And to drink?
A rich, buttery white wine such as a Chablis can hold its own against the garlic of the Kiev.
For beer fans, Meantime’s IPA’s earthy, floral and bitter herbal flavours match well with this dish.