Côtelettes de volaille

Today I’m reviving a dish that was fairly popular in my country in the 70s and 80s but became long forgotten since then. Chicken Kiev, as it is otherwise called is often confused with Chicken Cordon Bleu. Key difference is the filling. Cotelette de volaille consists of a chicken breast filled with flavoured butter. Contrary to its name it is not an Ukrainian dish but possibly Russian, although different sources claim different things here, some stating it was a French chef who came up with the idea for this dish. If we trust Wikipedia, it was introduced in Britain in 1976 as a first ready-made meal at Marks&Spencer. Those of you who crave for more quirky facts about this dish should peek here.

As much as this is yummy it is also extra heavy with all that butter so for me it’s one of those things I put under “pamper yourself” category along with chocolate cake with whipped cream. So I think eating this today used up all my butter quota for this year.

Ingredients:

  • 300 gr chicken breast
  • 100gr unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 handful chopped parsley
  • juice from 1/2 lime (you can also use lemon for a sharper taste)
  • 1 grated clove of garlic
  • 1 handful Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • flour

Preparation:

You can start by preparing butter. Once it is at room temperature and soft enough you can incorporate other ingredients. Add the smashed garlic, chopped parsley, lemon or lime juice and spices. Finally add grated Parmesan cheese, some people add it to breadcrumbs so that the cheese melts on the outside of chicken breast but I prefer to add it inside with butter. Mix it all very well, you can use fork to do that but after that things get dirty. You will have to use your hands to form two rolls out of the butter. Once you’ve done that wrap your butter rolls in foil and put in freezer for about one hour.

Now it’s time to prepare chicken breasts. First of all wash and clean your chicken breast. Get rid of any parts of fat. Then you have to pound it, here’s a nice video illustrating how to do it most effectively. Be careful not to smash the breast completely or it will just fall apart. On the other hand if it does have a few holes it’s still not a disaster, you can just try to patch it up somehow by layering other parts over it. Once the breasts are flat you can season them. Next take your butter out from freezer and put the butter rolls one on each flattened breast. Roll the chicken breast so as to contain the butter very tightly inside and not allow it to flow out while cooking. Here’s another video and so far the only one I found which actually shows how to roll chicken correctly with ends tucked up so none of that filling goes out! If the situation is drastic and your chicken rolls are really falling apart you can still save the situation by using toothpick and just pinning it all back together.

Now time for coating. I didn’t give amounts of breadcrumbs or flour since you will use it according to needs. You need three plates. Put breadcrumbs in one, flour in second and finally in third one whisk two eggs to create egg-wash. If you really want you can season your egg-wash but remember both the butter and chicken breast were already seasoned. Coat the breast roll in following order: flour, eggs, breadcrumbs, eggs, breadcrumbs. Chicken rolls prepared like this will need to rest in fridge for about 30 minutes. And voila, chicken rolls are ready to be fried. I know some people deep-fry them and I know all the yummiest things are deep-fried but personally I try not to engage in deep-frying a lot so I just fried it regularly on a pan with a bit of olive oil. Fry until golden brown. Transfer your half-fried chicken rolls onto a baking tray and cover with alufoil so that they don’t burn on top but cook inside fully. Put into pre-heated oven for 20 minutes at 180C.

Serve with mashed potatoes, peas and carrots or a salad mix.

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