Chicken Kiev

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

When was the last time you cut through a crisp, golden crumbed chicken breast and a stream of garlic butter oozed out? Chicken Kiev used to reign supreme on restaurant menus around the country, but now it's almost become an endangered species in restaurants, though you can find it in the freezer compartment of most supermarkets. Properly done it can be dreamy - there's a reason why this dish was once so popular. But if it's prepared without any care you will end up with a hollow dried up bit of chicken and no gush of garlic butter. And that is probably why it went out of fashion. Time then to bring it back and show how good it can be.

When was the last time you cut through a crisp, golden crumbed chicken breast and a stream of garlic butter oozed out? Chicken Kiev used to reign supreme on restaurant menus around the country, but now it's almost become an endangered species in restaurants, though you can find it in the freezer compartment of most supermarkets. Properly done it can be dreamy - there's a reason why this dish was once so popular. But if it's prepared without any care you will end up with a hollow dried up bit of chicken and no gush of garlic butter. And that is probably why it went out of fashion. Time then to bring it back and show how good it can be.

4 chicken breasts with the wing bone on, skinned
120g butter, softened
1tbsp finely chopped new season fresh garlic or 4 cloves of ordinary garlic peeled and crushed
2tbsp chopped parsley
3tbsp flour
1 large egg, beaten
80-100g fresh white breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or corn oil for frying

Lay the chicken breasts on a chopping board with the small loose fillets facing up. Remove these fillets with your fingers and put to one side. Using a very sharp filleting knife or similar, cut up (but not right through) and inside from the centre on either side of the breast to form two flaps you can fold open and then back again, over the filling (see top photograph above).

Mix the softened butter, parsley and garlic together and season. Put the mixture in the middle of the opened up breast, and using the palm of your hand flatten the little fillet that was removed and lay it over the butter. Fold the flaps back over the fillet to reform the breast and make sure it is perfectly sealed. Leave to rest in the fridge for 30-40 minutes.

Have three dishes ready, one with the flour spread out on it, one with the beaten egg and the third with the breadcrumbs. Season the stuffed breasts and coat them in the flour, dusting off any excess, then put them through the egg and finally through the breadcrumbs. Pre-heat about 8cm of vegetable oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan or electric fryer to 160-180°C. Deep fry the chicken for 6-7 minutes until golden. Serve with a vegetable such as creamed or leaf spinach or a mixture of seasonal vegetables.

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