A fail, I wouldn’t consider this dish to be because the flavor was phenomenal. For someone who doesn’t eat much meat at all and has slowly been eating less and less chicken over the years, this brought me back. It was so tender, so flavorful and seasoned so well I almost didn’t care that the presentation was….a bit off.

Chicken Kiev has a long history and a distinct rolled look to achieve. Between user error and perhaps the shape of the chicken breast used, it didn’t quite meet the mark. That aside, I would 10/10 recommend making this dish. It’s a classic, it’s old school, it’s a conversation dish and truly, I love it.

Having a meat tenderizer is pretty key here but if you don’t your fist will work. Any stress? Beat it out on the chicken! The chicken needs to be flattened out to roll better (but obviously on this part I am no expert) but do what you can!

Jacque says his version is a bit lighter and after doing some reading on the history of Chicken Kiev – he isn’t kidding. Tourists used to be warned about “splattering their clothes with butter” when cutting into the Kiev. This recipe uses none but still tastes like it does.  Dipping the chicken in the yolks, then in the breadcrumb and parsley mixture, set it on your baking tray lined with parchment paper. Add a bit of salt on top to taste.

In the meantime, chop and cook down your onion on the stove until browned then add your chopped white mushrooms. Stir and let marinate. Once they are done, spoon into the middle of your breaded chicken. Here is where things get dicey or at least they did for me. Chef Pepin recommends to fold over the chicken and create a pocket.

He didn’t mention any sticks or skewers so I had to assume his magical chef fingers just knew what to do. I tried and tried and a pocket would not be made. I folded it over as best I could and into the oven they went. I almost didn’t include the photos but unlike my European recipes, these are not meant to be “perfect”, these are meant to be made to show you (and myself) that it can be done! That it may not turn out like the cover of Chrissy Tiegan’s Cookbook but that is OKAY. That’s not what cooking nor this is all about.  I think Julie Powell might agree.

What did happen was that the chicken tasted like a dream. It was tender and juicy and damn delicious! The Russians (and Jacque) know their stuff.