I love chicken. But there are a few ways that I typically end up cooking it - and get stuck in a rut. So I decided to branch out and try something I'd never had before - chicken kiev. As soon as I saw there was butter involved - I knew that it couldn't be too bad. The initial prep is a little bit of work - but the chicken turned out so moist, tender and full of flavor it was worth every pound of the meat mallet.
Taken from America's Test Kitchen 2001-2011.
8 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1 TBSP juice from lemon
1 small shallot minced (about 1 TBSP)
1 TBSP minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp minced tarragon (or if you want a different flavor - use oregano)
3/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup bread crumbs finely processed
salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1. Herb Butter: Mix the ingredients in a medium bowl with a rubber spatula until well combined. Form into a 3 inch square on a sheet of saran wrap, wrap tightly and refrigerate for about 40 minutes.
2. Chicken: Preheat oven 300 degrees. Add 1/8 tsp of salt and pepper to bread crumbs. Add the oil and toss until the crumbs are evenly coated. Spread the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown - approximately 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
3. Butterfly each chicken breast and place in a ziplock bag. Pound the chicken with a meat mallet (smooth end) until the meat is 1/4 inch thickness. Remove from bag and repeat with other chicken breasts.
4. Unwrap herb butter and cut into four even pieces. For each piece of chicken, place a piece of the herb butter in the middle and fold the chicken around it so that it's completely covered - and place the chicken seam side down on a plate. Season with salt and pepper. Place in fridge, uncovered, for for 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 350. Place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate plate or shallow dishes. Season the flour and breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. Whisk the mustard with the eggs. Dredge chicken in flour, dip in egg, and evenly coat with breadcrumbs.
6. Place in oven safe dish and bake for 40-45 minutes until instant-read thermometer reads 160-165 degrees. Serve with your favorite style of mashed potatoes or green veggies.