Cooking For One

Healthier chicken kiev

Serve with a lovely light salad and some boiled spuds.

Chicken kiev is one of those delicious dishes you can keep coming back to time and time again without ever really getting sick of it. The combination of the moist and tender chicken with a crunchy outside and that herby, buttery sauce in the middle is a true classic. While it certainly is tasty, it’s also filled with a few naughty ingredients that make it more of a once-in-a-while dish than an every night occurrence. That’s what makes this version so great! It cuts out a lot of the fat and still produces an amazing flavourful meal that will have you going back for round two in no time. Serve with a light, fresh salad and a couple of boiled spuds and you’re good to go!


For the garlic filling

  • 2 ½ tablespoon unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 ½ tablespoon light soft cheese
  • 2 teaspoon rapeseed oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

For the chicken

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  • 50g Japanese panko crumbs
  • 4 teaspoon self-raising flour
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (500g/1lb 2oz total weight, preferably organic)
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil, plus 1 tsp
  • lemon wedges and watercress, to serve


1. Make filling: Mix butter, cheese and oil in a small bowl, then stir in the garlic and parsley. Season with a pinch of cayenne and salt, and generously with black pepper. Cover with cling film and chill in the freezer for 30 mins while you prepare chicken.

2. Mix together the panko crumbs and flour in a small bowl. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan, tip in the crumb mix and toast in the dry pan for a few mins or until turning pale brown – stirring regularly so it doesn’t burn. Tip crumb mix into a bowl, season with pepper and set aside.

3. Butterfly chicken breast without cutting all the way through, so you can then open them out flat. Lay each breast between two pieces of cling film and bash with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 5mm. Peel off and discard the top piece of cling film and season each breast with pepper. Place a quarter of the filling in the middle, then bring both the shorter ends of the chicken in slightly so they cover each side of the filling. Now bring a long side up and carry on rolling up to make a tight package – use the cling film to help, and keep the ends tucked in as you go. Wrap each Kiev tightly in the cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 mins.

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3. Heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Tip half the crumb mix onto a large plate. Put buttermilk in a shallow dish and season with pepper. Remove cling film from two of the Kievs, coat each in the buttermilk, then roll in the crumbs to evenly coat all over. Repeat with the remaining two Kievs.

4. Heat 11/2 teaspoons of the oil in a small nonstick frying pan. Add two of the Kievs and fry for 1 1 / 2 mins over a medium-high heat, without moving them, adjusting the heat if necessary so they don’t burn. Turn them over, pour in another 1 / 2 tsp oil to cover the base of the pan and fry for 1 min more to brown the other side, carefully turning so all sides are becoming golden. Remove from pan and place in a shallow baking tray lined with baking paper. Wipe pan clean, then repeat with the rest of the oil and chicken.

5. Bake kievs in oven for 15 mins until cooked and crisp. Drizzle any juices in the baking tray around the chicken when serving.

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