I was first introduced to Chicken Kyiv [Kiev] when I was in my 30’s. I associate it with special occasions. What is Chicken Kyiv and did it originate in the Ukraine?
What is Chicken Kyiv [Kiev]?
What is Chicken Kyiv? This dish is simply a pounded chicken fillet that is rolled around cold butter and coated with egg and bread crumbs. It can be fried or baked.
I always assumed that Chicken Kyiv was created in Kyiv, Ukraine, but I recently learned that there is there is not documentation that proves that is the case.
The authentic recipe for Chicken Kyiv most likely originated from France.
In the late 1840s, the royalty of Russia sent chefs to Paris to learn. They returned from Paris with a dish called “Mikhailovska Cutlet”. In Paris the dish was made with veal, but in Moscow it was made with Chicken. Back then, chicken was more expensive than veal, and therefore, was considered to be more fancy.
Chicken Kyiv was served in elegant restaurants back then. American immigrants deserve credit for making this dish well known. After WWII, some American restaurants started putting this dish the menu. In order to attract Russian and Ukrainian immigrants it was renamed “Chicken Kiev [Kyiv]”.
This dish did not become common in Kyiv until tourists started asking for Chicken Kyiv in the late 1960s.
Authentic Chicken Kyiv
It is my understanding that the “official” Ukrainian version of the dish only has butter inside. Cooking to perfection includes ensuring that a small amount of butter is not melted inside. Cheese, garlic or parsley are not considered to be “authentic”.
The Ukrainian way of serving Chicken Kyiv is with a small bone sticking out (it keeps the butter inside).
So, the recipes below would likely not be considered authentic Chicken Kyiv [Kiev}, but they they still taste great!
Support for Ukraine
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