Monday, 18 February 2013

Spring in my step...

The new week has started and having had some sunshine over the weekend, I feel energised and ready to go.  It's amazing just how much nature is starting to change now - in our park, the azaleas are starting to bloom and there are tiny buds on most of the trees now.  I wonder what it is like in your part of the world now?

I am excited about planning what will go in the vegetable patch this year.  Last year was a bit of a disaster but ever the optimist, I am hoping that this year's crops will be better.  So, today will be busy with planning and organising my seed collection.  And there will also be more baking and cooking - that goes without saying.  Which brings me to the latest recipe I have tried - chicken kiev.  I have had the ready-made version of this before but not made it at home, so another first for me. 

The first one I made was a bit fiddly but by the second one, I had got to grips with how to fold the meat.  We really enjoyed this one and I hope you will too.  With hindsight, I probably didn't add enough of the garlic butter filling (see photo) but it was tasty nonetheless. 

I will be back in a little while with a separate post with a couple of announcements...uh, sounds exciting :-)

Chicken Kiev (serves 4)

4 chicken breasts, skinless
100g plain flour
3 eggs, beaten
200g breadcrumbs
oil for frying

For the garlic butter filling:
2 garlic cloves, crushed
a small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
some dried tarragon
75g butter, slightly softened
a little lemon juice
salt & pepper

  1. To make the butter, tip all the filling ingredients into a bowl and season generously with pepper and a little salt. Beat until completely combined then tip onto a sheet of cling film and roll into a log. Refrigerate until hard. Can be made up to 3 days in advance or frozen for up to 1 month.
  2. One breast at a time, lay them smooth-side down and remove the mini fillet. Lay a piece of cling film over the breast and, using a meat mallet or rolling pin, flatten it out slightly. On another part of the board bat out the mini fillet slightly.
  3. Divide the butter into four and squash into flattish discs. Put the butter into the middle of the flattened chicken breast, then cover with the mini fillet, fold the sides of the breast over it and roll it up. Set aside.  The idea is to create a snug little parcel which covers the butter completely.
  4. Tip the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into separate shallow containers. Completely coat each breast in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then dip back into the egg and finally again in the breadcrumbs. Set aside. The chicken can be prepared the day before and left in the fridge or frozen for up to 1 month - defrost completely before cooking.
  5. To cook, heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat a decent layer of oil in a large frying pan and, once hot, turn the heat down to medium. Fry the Kievs for 2-3 mins on each side until dark golden. Lift them onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil then transfer to a roasting tin. Cook in the oven for 20 mins or until the Kievs feels firm when prodded at the widest part.
The chicken can be prepared the day before and left in the fridge or frozen for up to 1 month - defrost completely before cooking.
(recipe adapted from BBC Good Food website)


  1. Looks lovely! I've never made Chicken Kiev (we bought a few last year to support Jimmy Doherty when he tried to make ordinary processed meat products in Tesco free range) but I think I'll have to put these on my to do list now!

    1. Hi Hazel! I have always wanted to make these but thought it would be too difficult. This recipe is actually really straightforward and I am pleased I gave it a go. Great that you supported Jimmy Doherty - I think it's great that there are some fab people around trying to do the right thing with supermarket food.
      Kirsten x

  2. We love chicken kiev and your recipe is, as always, clear and no fuss. Over here in Victoria, Australia, it s hot, hot and hot!! Our garden is okay but I am over worrying about the heat and very much looking forward to the next season - Autumn. Tomorrow we have a delivery of wood for our wood heater. Lovely photos.

    1. Uh, it does sound hot where you are! I hope your garden will be ok and that autumn brings some cooler weather and rain. It's funny to think that we are just about to go into Spring :-) I hope Milly is better?
      Kirsten x
      PS: Glad you like the recipe :-)

    2. Last night it was md 20's, a terrible night's sleep! It is morning now on Tuesday, raining, overcast and 24 degrees celsius - perfect! Milly is much better thank you, the antibiotics and another visit to the vet have healed her, plus lots of love, yummy treats and being spoiled have helped her.

    3. Aw, I am glad the weather is a bit more bearable and that Milly is better - sounds like she was very well looked after :-) Our little Keith appears to have hurt one of his paws and is limping quite badly now, so it might be a trip to the vets for us as well :-(