Chicken Kiev is a retro dish that is having its moment.
It’s a bestseller in Bob Bob Ricard, one of London’s most fashionable restaurants, and a favorite of many chefs.
Carl Clarke, whose recipe this is, is far from being our average chef. He’s a former DJ who fed his love of food for a decade while traveling around the world to gigs before returning to London and opening his own restaurant after cooking at pop-ups.
That restaurant,Chick ‘n’ Sours in East London, attracted the attention of chefs and the East London hipster crowd for its full-on flavors. Carl has since started a funky fast-casual chainChick’n with his friend and business partner David Wolanski.
David’s new book, The Whole Chicken (Hardie Grant £22/$35), showcases his creativity and his love of unconventional flavors, with dishes such as tempura chicken tenders with blueberry hoisin, and cherry cola chicken legs.
“I wanted to have some fun in this book and put my own spin on a couple of classic dishes,” he says. “Not that there’s anything wrong with the original recipe, it’s just the way my mind works when looking at food. My imagination runs wild and a million ‘what ifs’ pop into my head.”
This recipe has a Thai twist, adding shrimp paste, palm sugar, lime juice and chilies to the butter for some heat. I say it is a simple recipe, but I failed to seal the butter correctly inside the bird and it leaked instead of spurting out as you might hope. Carl says you really need to press down the flesh to seal. If you have a piping bag, you can add the butter that way. Oh, and I forgot to add the coriander until the end, so I am sure you can do better than I did. Good luck.
4 large boneless chicken breasts, skin on
200 grams (7 ounces) plain (all-purpose) flour
200g panko breadcrumbs
1 liter (35 fluid ounces) rapeseed (canola) oil
For the garlic butter:
1 teaspoon shrimp paste, roasted
1 bird’s eye chili, deseeded (optional)
1 garlic clove
1 large banana shallot, finely diced (ordinary shallot or even onion can substitute)
1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar (dark muscovado or other sugars can work)
2 tablespoons lime juice
250g good-quality unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro)
To make the garlic butter, blend all the ingredients, except the coriander, together in a food processor until smooth, then mix
in the chopped coriander. Set aside.
Using a sharp knife, make an incision in the side of the chicken breasts without going all the way through to the other side.
Divide the garlic butter into 4 portions and pack each portion into the chicken pockets. Pull the flesh over the butter to seal and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 4).
Beat the eggs in a bowl, then place the flour in a second bowl and add the panko breadcrumbs to a third.
Dip each chicken breast first into the flour, shaking off excess, then dip into the egg and finally dip into the breadcrumbs until the chicken is evenly coated on both sides. Return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a wok or deep saucepan to 160°C (320°F), or until a cube of bread dropped in sizzles in 30 seconds.
Deep-fry the chicken in pairs for 3–4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Remove and place the chicken Kievs on a baking tray and bake for 8–10 minutes until cooked through.
Serve with a crunchy green salad or fries.
Richard Vines is Chief Food Critic at Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter@richardvines and Instagram@richard.vines.
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