Chicken Kiev - or Kyiv to give it its correct Ukrainian spelling - always seems like one of those impossibly sophisticated dishes that you only eat in restaurants. But it's really not difficult and, if you prepare the fillets beforehand, they're quick enough to cook for a weekday supper - the most important ingredients for success are a very sharp knife, and fresh garlic! You only need two garlic cloves in this recipe, as the flavour remains very punchy, thanks to the garlic being encased by the chicken fillet throughout cooking.
Ingredients to serve two
2 free-range skinless chicken breast fillets, roughly 175g each
100g butter, at room temperature
20g parsley, chopped
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
150g plain flour
2 beaten eggs
100g fine breadcrumbs
Sunflower or rapeseed oil
1. Blend or thoroughly mash the butter, parsley, garlic, sea salt and cayenne pepper together.
2. Use a very sharp knife to cut a long incision through each chicken breast, with the aim of creating a 'pocket' in which to tuck the garlic butter. Start at the fattest part of each fillet, and work the knife gently through the meat - ensuring you don't cut all the way through, or the butter will leak out during cooking.
3. Fill this cavity with as much of the garlicky butter as you can fit in, then close the 'pocket'.
4. To breadcrumb your chicken, set up three bowls: weigh the flour into one bowl, mix two beaten eggs in another, and put the breadcrumbs into a third bowl. Then dip each chicken fillet into the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in turn. Place on a plate, cover, and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 200 C
6. Fry the chicken breast in a little oil, for 3-4 minutes on each side so that the breadcrumb coating turns golden.
7. Transfer the chicken to a roasting dish and cook in the pre-heated oven for 15minutes.
8. Serve with greens such as broccoli or green beans, or a crisp green salad.
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