This Chicken Kiev Recipe Was Invented in Culinary Arts School


Most home cooks would begin searching cookbooks for a Chicken Kiev recipe that met their tastes, cooking skill, and ingredients on hand. This is most often a time consuming task. Actually, it takes MORE time just to find the recipe that it would to cook this stuffed chicken entrée.

In today’s Elements of Entrée Production class, we have to prepare lunch for 35 diners in the next classroom. Their class deals with elements of dinner service, and our class provides the food. We’re the chefs, they are the servers.

An authentic Chicken Kiev recipe actually calls for the boneless breast to be stuffed with a heavily herbed compound butter. This is where the discussion begins among tomorrow’s chefs. We conclude that we don’t want the butter to melt and leave a hollow cavity in the middle of our chicken.

We decide we need a binding agent to keep the stuffing together, and agree on a variation of the Russian stuffed chicken. Perhaps we’re headed more into Italian cooking territory, but our interpretation of Chicken Kiev will be stuffed with spinach and cheese to hold the stuffing together.

When we consider that this dish is normally breaded, it poses a possible complication. In what method should we cook stuffed chicken breasts to assure that the filling doesn’t fall out during dinner service?

My culinary arts school class is very familiar with pan frying, as it was last week’s lesson. However, pan frying uses a lot of oil, could possible burn the bread coating before cooking the chicken, and means that our dish needs to be cooked in batches. This could be a headache if we were serving 150, 300 or 500 people.

We want to make production as problem-free as possible. The final decision to use a roasting method to cook the chicken is a good one because this type of cooking will allow us to compose the item in one large single batch and place them on sheet pans for the oven. We don’t have to mess with oil and we can cook them all at once.

After a simple sauté of spinach and onion, we add some sharp white cheese to create our stuffing. The chicken breasts are pounded thin, and filled with equal amounts of the cooled spinach mixture.

We don’t need any string or toothpicks to keep the stuffing in place, because we’ll use the natural cooking process to do that for us. Don’t you hate when you find a cooked toothpick in your food? It’s unnecessary. Coagulation of Proteins means that the chicken breast will stiffen and shrink, actually grabbing the stuffing and holding it in place for us.

When our improvised Chicken Kiev recipe emerges from the oven, it’s brown and crispy on the outside and moist on the inside thanks to our spinach stuffing bound with cheese. This is a basic cooking method that you can use in your household; you don’t have to be in culinary arts school to cook like tomorrow’s chefs.

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About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.

4 Comments

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  • Chef Todd Mohr
    Chef Todd Mohr
    9:14 PM - 1 February, 2015

    Hi Ari!
    Pan frying means covering the product 75% with oil. It's not recommended to submerge something in oil and then roast it.

  • ari-free
    ari-free
    6:40 AM - 29 January, 2015

    I would have picked pan fry and then bake in the oven at a lower temperature to finish it. My concern with just roasting is that while the breading would be crunchy, it may be very dry and I think the oil from pan frying would keep it moist

  • cheftodd
    cheftodd
    5:32 PM - 24 April, 2012

    Hi Kathleen!
    You can also thank Stratford University who has allowed me to film these live classes. While I AM teaching tomorrow's professionals, I find that the information is the same that I've taught to home cooks. Understanding the HOW and WHY behind cooking is so much more important than finding a new recipe, whether in the home or business of cooking.

  • Kathleen
    Kathleen
    7:14 PM - 19 April, 2012

    Hi, Chef Todd!
    I want to thank you so much for opening up this classroom experience to all of us. It's a great experience for those of us who would like to attend culinary school, but for some reason, can't. I especially like how you take your students through the thought processes that a professional chef would, in preparing a dish. Thanks for remembering we wee folk. Too bad we can't sample...

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