Ok. We didn't really go to Kiev. But we had chicken kiev. And it's almost the same thing, isn't it?
Chicken kiev is one of those "20 minutes of active prep, 20 minutes of baking, tastes like it takes hours to make" dishes. My mom used to make it, when I was a kid, out of this cookbook that went out of print in the late 80's, that she used for lots of things. I always see it come out when Thanksgiving rolls around, when she needs to roast a turkey. In 2006, I mentioned that I might like a copy of that book. My mom had to break a few ankles, threaten a few lives, and eventually she found it on Amazon, for way more than she'd paid for it in the early 80's, because it's out of print now.
So I got it for Christmas, and I've been cooking from it and using it as a reference book ever since. Chicken Kiev is one of my favorite recipes from it - something that my mother made exceptionally well when I was a kid. Or at least, that's how I remember it.
I'll give you the recipe, although pretty much, you've heard this song before. It's too good not to share, in case you haven't.
Chop 1 shallot, 1 clove of garlic, three springs' worth of thyme leaves, and one big sprig of rosemary leaves.
Smush them into about half a stick of softened butter. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the freezer while you complete the next steps.
Melt 5 tablespoons of butter (I know, it's a weird amount, but still, it's right).
Pound out as many chicken breasts as people you're feeding. You want them thin. About a quarter of an inch. I use my rolling pin and sandwich the chicken breasts between plastic wrap.
Season one side of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Cut off a piece of the compound butter (If you're feeding 3 people, cut it into thirds, 4 people, cut it in fourths, and so on. If you're feeding more than 4 people, use more butter) and smear it on the bottom of the chicken breast. Sprinkle this with shredded gruyere cheese.
Roll up the chicken breast like a burrito, and place on a plate to hang out. If you want to, you can use toothpicks. If you don't want to (I never do), just put the seam down, to wait.
When all the chicken breasts are done and rolled up into little packages, roll them in the melted butter, and roll them in bread crumbs. I'd say about a quarter cup of breadcrumbs. Season with salt, pepper, and shredded cheese if you want to. I'd say shredded parm is good. Freshly shredded is excellent. It's a good way.
Put them seam-side down in a baking pan, and drizzle with the remaining melted butter.
Bake in a 425 oven for about 20 minutes, until they're not pink and the juices are clear.
The cheese will be gooey, the butter will be runny, and if you've rolled them up right, you'll have a little buttery, cheesy sauce when you cut into the middle of them. Gorgeous.
I served this with a salad of spinach, salt, pepper, olive oil, Cassis Balsamic Vinegar, and shredded parm. It was lovely.
There, you harpies. See? Dinner.
I had a Riesling with this, which is my favorite white wine. I've recently become an Albino Wino. Heh. When I told Jesse that, he said that his brain had been broken. But, honestly - I have! We definitely haven't bought red wine in a few weeks.
Ok, so here's the deal. Until next time:
In which we go south of the border... for tacos. Heh.