It’s not a commonly known fact that Marks and Spencer introduced the chicken kiev to the UK. It was the first chilled ‘ready meal’ available back in the days when dinner was usually made from scratch in every home. There’s something about it that brings back memories of childhood and for me, my Mum working long hours but still wanted to cook ‘something nice’ when she came home. They are fun to make but try and make the butter logs the day before and form the chicken an hour before cooking.
For 4, you will need:
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- 120g unsalted butter, softened
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Pinch of dried thyme
- 30g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 80g dried breadcrumbs
Soften the butter in a small bowl and add the garlic, herbs and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Mix well. Make four small pieces of clingfilm and divide the butter into four equal pieces. Place a piece on the clingfilm and roll it into a log around two inches long, then fully wrap the clingfilm round it. Repeat so you have 4 butter logs. Place in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
Make the chicken at least an hour before cooking. Take a chicken breast, remove any white bits and cut off any veins. With a sharp knife, put your hand on top of the breast and cut through the middle to create a ‘butterfly’ breast. Try not to cut any holes into the meat.
Open up the breast and place it on clingfilm with another sheet of clingfilm on top. Bash the breast with a rolling pin until it is around ½cm thick. Take off the top piece of clingfilm, add one of the butter logs at one end and roll the breast, tucking in the sides as you go, over the butter log until you form a tight fat sausage. Use the clingfilm to wrap the breast tightly. Repeat with the others and then chill all four in the fridge for an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees.
Beat the egg in a large dish, put the flour on one plate and the breadcrumbs on another. Get a large frying pan ready on a medium to high heat with a good glug of oil.
Roll the breasts in the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, moving them immediately to the frying pan. Turn the kievs regularly, you are only sealing and browning the crumb, not cooking them. After a minute or two, transfer to a large roasting tin.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.