Many years ago I attempted to expand my recipe base using Alice’s Restaurant Cookbook as my guide. Alice was so casual with her approach, and I was attracted to some little line drawings she made showing how to wrap up a Chicken Kiev.
I have deviated from her recipe – I don’t dip the Kievs in egg, and I make a little sauce to pour over them. Two Kievs per person is really a very ample portion. —Bevi
TEST KITCHEN NOTES
WHO: Bevi is a mother and avid home cook, who grew up working at her family’s hotel. She lives in Vermont.
WHAT: Chicken breasts, classed up.
HOW: Pound your chicken breasts until they’re thin, roll a generous amount of herby butter inside — then sear, bake, and make a pan sauce.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Bevi’s Chicken Kievs have all of our favorite things going on: herbs, garlic, lemon, white wine, and, of course, lots of butter. The chicken breasts stay moist when they’re cooked this way — and the sauce lightens it all up. We can’t wait to make this for our next dinner party.
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 handful Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 8 fresh basil leaves, finely chiffonaded
- 8 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- Extra lemon juice for sauce
- 8 lemon wedges
- Use a mallet or rolling pin (or Amanda’s favorite pounder!) to pound and flatten the chicken breasts. I place each breast between pieces of plastic wrap. Make the breasts as thin as possible, but try not to tear the breasts – 1/4-inch is a good thickness to aim for. You are going to slice each flattened breast in half.
- With the “smooth” side of the breasts down, lightly season the breasts with salt and pepper. Then, divide the garlic and herbs into eighths, and sprinkle each breast half with an eighth of the garlic and herbs.
- Shape each tablespoon of butter into a cylinder, and place in the center of the breasts The butter should be placed like this: ( – ). The goal is to wrap up the breasts so the Kievs are as airtight as possible to keep the butter from leaking out during cooking. I fold over the breasts on the sides first, and then top and bottom.
- Dust the Kievs in flour, very lightly, and then place them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so they can firm up. You may want to use toothpicks to keep the Kievs intact. Take them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to brown them.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using tongs, place the Kievs in the skillet and brown nicely on all sides, including the tops and bottoms of the Kievs. I find that some of my Kievs have 3 sides; others – 4 sides – in addition to a “top” and “bottom”. The browning may take about 15 minutes.
- Place the Kievs in a 300°F oven while you make the sauce.
- If you find that some of the Kievs have released their butter, that is fine – it happens all the time. To the skillet, add the wine and scrape all the good bits into the wine. If you need to add butter to the sauce, just a small pat will do. Reduce the sauce until it is nicely brown and shimmering. Taste — and for a little brightness, you may want to add a tiny bit of lemon juice.
- Plate the Kievs and pour the sauce over them. Serve with lemon wedges.