Chicken Kiev – The History of This Dish and How to Make It


Chicken Kiev is a classic dish and this combination of pan-fried, breaded, thinly pounded boneless chicken and herbed butter is wonderful with mashed potatoes and green beans. Perhaps you have wondered about this history of this famous boneless chicken recipe.

Russian aristocracy became very interested in French cuisine in the 1700s and they would send their Russian chefs to France to train or bring French chefs into Russia. A French chef called Nicolas Francois Appert invented Chicken Kiev in the early 1800s. He also invented canning and the method of sealing food in airtight bottles.

Kiev is the capital of Ukraine but Chicken Kiev did not get its name from there. Appert’s invention became famous and Russian chefs tried to imitate Chicken Kiev, calling the dish “cotelettes de volaille” instead of Chicken Kiev. Early restaurants in New York City changed the name back to Chicken Kiev, in an attempt to attract the new Russian immigrants and this name stuck.

Chicken Kiev was a classic dish by the 1900s and it was served in Russian restaurants both in Europe and the United States, as well as in Russia. It is served with fried julienne potatoes and fresh peas in Ukraine.

Types of Herbed Butter

There are lots of variations of herb butter and you can use any herbs you like. Thyme and rosemary make a nice herbed butter for pork or chicken, basil butter is good with a Mediterranean recipe and tarragon butter is beautiful with salmon. Herbed butter is normally refrigerated after you make it, to let it set.

If you want to roll it into a log for easy cutting, like chefs do, put it in plastic wrap and roll it like a cigar. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap and refrigerate it. When it is chilled, you can slice off rounds to make Chicken Kiev or to serve with another dish.

An Easy Recipe for Chicken Kiev

This delicious recipe serves four people. Try to pound the chicken as thin as possible, using the smooth side of a mallet. If you pound it too thin or use the pointed side of the mallet, the herbed butter will leak out, so be careful.

You will need:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 package fine breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Oil, to pan fry
  • Flour

For the Herbed Butter:

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chervil or tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to Make it:

Combine the herbed butter ingredients using a fork, and then chill it for a couple of hours. Put the chicken breasts between layers of plastic wrap, one at a time, pounding them until they are thin. Season them with salt and pepper. Divide the chilled herbed butter between the chicken breasts, and then fold the left and right sides of each chicken breast up, like you were rolling a burrito. Roll them from end to end, so the butter is sealed inside. Secure them with string or toothpicks if necessary.

Roll the Chicken Kievs in the flour, and then shake off the excess. Dip each one in beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Half-fill a skillet with oil and heat it to 375 degrees F. Cook the Chicken Kievs in the oil until it is browned on one side, then flip them over and cook the other side. Serve hot with potatoes and vegetables.


Source by Christine Szalay Kudra