This Chicken Kiev Recipe Was Invented in Culinary Arts School

Published: 02nd May 2012
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Most home cooks would begin searching cookbooks for a Chicken Kiev recipe that met their tastes, cooking skill, and ingredients on hand. This is most often a time consuming task. Actually, it takes MORE time just to find the recipe that it would to cook this stuffed chicken entrée.

In today’s Elements of Entrée Production class at Baltimore’s culinary arts school, we have to prepare lunch for 35 diners in the next classroom. Their class deals with elements of dinner service, and our class provides the food. We’re the chefs, they are the servers.

An authentic Chicken Kiev recipe actually calls for the boneless breast to be stuffed with a heavily herbed compound butter. This is where the discussion begins among tomorrow’s chefs. We conclude that we don’t want the butter to melt and leave a hollow cavity in the middle of our chicken.

We decide we need a binding agent to keep the stuffing together, and agree on a variation of the Russian stuffed chicken. Perhaps we’re headed more into Italian cooking territory, but our interpretation of Chicken Kiev will be stuffed with spinach and cheese to hold the stuffing together.

When we consider that this dish is normally breaded, it poses a possible complication. In what method should we cook stuffed chicken breasts to assure that the filling doesn’t fall out during dinner service?

My culinary arts school class is very familiar with pan frying, as it was last week’s lesson. However, pan frying uses a lot of oil, could possible burn the bread coating before cooking the chicken, and means that our dish needs to be cooked in batches. This could be a headache if we were serving 150, 300 or 500 people.

We want to make production as problem-free as possible. The final decision to use a roasting method to cook the chicken is a good one because this type of cooking will allow us to compose the item in one large single batch and place them on sheet pans for the oven. We don’t have to mess with oil and we can cook them all at once.

After a simple sauté of spinach and onion, we add some sharp white cheese to create our stuffing. The chicken breasts are pounded thin, and filled with equal amounts of the cooled spinach mixture.

We don’t need any string or toothpicks to keep the stuffing in place, because we’ll use the natural cooking process to do that for us. Don’t you hate when you find a cooked toothpick in your food? It’s unnecessary. Coagulation of Proteins means that the chicken breast will stiffen and shrink, actually grabbing the stuffing and holding it in place for us.

Culinary Arts School Chicken Kiev Recipe:
Feeds 6

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
12 ounces fresh spinach leaves
¼ cup diced onion
1 cup shredded white cheese (Asiago, Cheddar, or Goat or Brie)

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup All Purpose flour
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten with 1 Tbsp Water

1) Saute diced onion in hot olive oil until translucent.
2) Add fresh spinach and saute until totally wilted
3) Remove to a strainer and let cool.

4) Pound chicken breasts with smooth-sided meat mallet to thin consistency
5) Squeeze all excess moisture from cooled spinach mixture
6) Add cheese to spinach
7) Place 2 Tbsp – ¼ cup of spinach/cheese mixture on each chicken breast
8) Fold all sides of the chicken over the spinach mixture and place seam-side down on a platter

9) Bread each stuffed chicken by dredging in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
Be careful to keep the stuffed breast together and not lose any stuffing. Be gentle.

10) Place each breaded stuffed chicken seam-side down on a baking sheet pan
11) Roast chicken at 350F to a finished internal temperature of 165F.
12) Let cool and slice on the bias for a nice plate presentation.

When our improvised Chicken Kiev recipe emerges from the oven, it’s brown and crispy on the outside and moist on the inside thanks to our spinach stuffing bound with cheese. This is a basic cooking method that you can use in your household; you don’t have to be in culinary arts school to cook like tomorrow’s chefs.

See Chef Todd’s live Chicken Kiev recipe video

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