The Flaky Chef - Week 3
Updated: Sep 20, 2021
Between working and bragging I haven't had time to write about my amazing feat yet this week...until now.
This week, I wanted a challenge: something that I could really impress people with. I wanted something daring, different and delicious. I wanted to make something that I loved, a classic. I succeeded. My challenge this week was to make a chicken kiev - from scratch.
A bit of back story for you: when I was in my second year of university, we had just moved into our first house. My pal Tez, a legend of a man, would stand in the kitchen meal prepping while I was usually sticking in a pizza and sleeping all the time. I look at him and feel ashamed, so I get myself down to Asda and buy myself some chicken kievs and potatoes, because cooking that will turn me into an adult. I turn on the oven, put the chicken in, sit there smuggly "Oh I'm just waiting for my chicken kiev to cook look at me". All is going well, until I cut into the chicken kiev to find it raw. I had put the oven on heat rather than cook (why don't ovens have clear instructions on them?!). From that day forward, I swore to never cook again, and honestly I didn't really cook at all until 3 weeks ago.
Fast forward to last Monday, and I come across the recipe you'll see below. It feels like I have come full circle, and I have to at least have a go. So I did.
EmDog's Kiev Masterpiece
8 skinless, boneless chicken fillets
225g dried breadcrumbs - as anyone who has read my blog before knows, I hate supermarkets and always get something wrong. This week, I couldn't find readymade breadcrumbs...so I made them myself (hence why you'll see big lumps of bread on the chicken. It was actually alright to be fair: it's just bread isn't it.
75g parmesan, grated - I found it this week yay me!
5 eggs, beaten
100g plain flour
4 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying
For the garlic butter:
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley - I had no clue what to do with parsley so I picked off all the leaves and tried to do some chef-style chopping.
200g butter, softened
juice ½ lemon
The night before:
I chopped up my garlic cloves (it made no difference to the butter but if you can crush it, crush away), and added a bit of lazy garlic for good measure. Worked my magic with the parsley (see above) and put all the garlic butter ingredients in a glass bowl. Using a fork, mash it around in the bowl until it is all mixed and lovely. Warning: it'll probably taste a bit rank right now (I found this out the hard way).
Using a spoon, split mixture onto 2 square pieces of cling film/ sandwich wrap. Attempt to make into two sausage-shaped butters. I channelled Nessa from Gavin and Stacey when she is cleaning her bowling ball, and when the mixture was grouped together in the centre of the cling film, I folded down the edges and spun the tinfoil to close the ends - it's difficult to describe but treat it like a skipping rope. When they look like the picture below (or preferably prettier), stick them in the fridge. This can actually be done like 3 days in advance but I was not that prepared, and was actually impressed I had pre-prepared at all so cut me some slack.
3. If, like me, you could not find pre-made breadcrumbs in the silly supermarket, now is the time to make your breadcrumbs! I toasted the end pieces of my bread and crumbled them in my hands. I then got bored and started cutting it up with scissors, I tried to do it with knives... it was a long night. Once you've done all that, cover over the bowl with cling film and leave out until you're ready to go tomorrow.
The morning of eating:
Get out your garlic butter, and slice into 8 disks. Get out your chicken, and prepare a plate for the chicken to go (you may need two as 8 chicken breasts is a lot!!
Grab a trusty knife - not too big or this won't work! Hold your chicken with the fat end facing up, and stick your knife into the fat end, being careful not to break the skin on any other area to prevent butter loss! Once you have made the incision, grab your disk and stick it into the hole. This gets messy so prepare yourself. If you've really chilled your butter you may find this easier - I got very messy and was finding parsley under my nails for the rest of the day. Do this to every breast.
Prepare your surface. You need to crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk them with a fork, then pour them onto a place. Get your flour and pour that on a different plate, adding in a pinch of paprika and salt. Bring out the breadcrumbs, add in your parmesan. Each breast goes into the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs, before being laid on a final plate. To make them extra crispy you can do this process twice but I am Flaky Chef not Thorough Chef. Once you've done all that, stick the breasts in the fridge and do some washing up for gods sake. Chill for at least 1 hour.
It's cooking time:
Stick your side dishes in the oven or whatever - I had jersey royal potatoes (40 mins of boiling) and corn on the cob (10 mins of boiling). You could have these with rice, mash, peas, beans - whatever you fancy!
Pop your oven on to pre-heat at 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.
Get out a frying pan and pour in the oil. Each breast needs to go in there for 3 mins on each side, until golden, and try to fry the garlicy entrance too just for good measure - you only need to fry the ones you want to eat each time - the others can stay in your fridge or be put in your freezer.
4. Stick the breast(s) on a baking tray and put in your oven for 20-25 mins. Pro tip: pour the oil that they have been fried in over the breasts for extra juiciness!
5. Set out on a plate (with extra butter for your potatoes and corn if those were your sides of choice), and watch as everyone is in awe of what a culinary genius you are. You won't get that big pop of butter that you get from a shop-bought kiev, because the butter has been absorbed by the whole breast, and it is so so good. It may not look aesthetically pleasing, but it tasted so so good (and I have had to eat them for every meal because I live alone and made 8 chicken kievs).
Let me know if you give this one a go! It looks more complex than it is - you just need to take time and follow the steps carefully. I was a breaded-chicken noob, but I imagine there are lots of ways you can bread a chicken - if you have any hints and tips let me know! And finally, if you have any recommendations for dishes I should cook, pop me a message! Thanks for all the messages I have had so far - there are so many choices out there!