Chicken Kiev is a breaded chicken breast that’s similar to the Ukrainian or Russian Cotelette De Volaille, or the Polish Kotlet De Volaille. The garlic butter stuffing makes this chicken dish exceptional!
History of the Chicken De Volaille
Chicken Kiev may have been an invention of Russian chefs who adopted French techniques or French chefs who served the Russian aristocrats. According to the 1899 cookbook The Practical Fundamentals of the Cookery Art by Pelageya Alexandrova-Ignatieva, this recipe started off in the 18th century as the Cotelette De Volaille that included elaborate stuffings of quenelle (cream and minced chicken) and butter.
In the early half of the 19th century, the stuffings were simply replaced by butter, and the dish called kotleta de-volyay po-kievski or cutlet de volaille Kiev-style. The dish also made its way to Poland where it’s called kotlet de volaille or dewolaj.
To this day, the Chicken Kiev is known as Cotelette De Volaille in Ukraine and Russia.
Cutlet de Volaille versus Julia Child Supremes de Volaille
In her books Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child made French cooking more accessible to the masses in the US, and in turn the world. Her recipes take French home cooking to new heights.
And Julia’s Supremes de Volaille makes simple chicken breasts taste decadent.
But what’s the difference between the Polish Cutlet de Volaille and the Julia Child Supremes de Volaille?
A few things really!
The French term ‘de volaille’ means ‘from poultry’, and ‘suprême de volaille’ refers to the boneless chicken breast being used. So the Supreme De Volaille made by Julia Child simply refers to the chicken breasts used in cooking that recipe.
Julia doesn’t butterfly or stuff the chicken breast. Instead, she cooks the whole chicken breast aka supreme and covers it with a sauce. In her book, Julia proffers different sauce recipes. For example, Supremes de Volaille a Blanc is chicken breast with cream sauce; Supremes de Volaille Arcbiduc is chicken with paprika, cream, and onion sauce; Supremes de Volaille a I’Ecossaise is chicken with veggies and cream; Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons is chicken with mushrooms and cream; and Supremes de Volaille aux Brun is chicken sauteed in butter.
On the other hand, the chicken breast for the Chicken Kiev is pounded thin, a cold stick of butter is added to the middle, and the chicken is rolled and coated with eggs, breaded, and fried or baked. The original Russian recipe uses regular butter while Westernized versions of this recipe use garlic or herbed butter.
Recipe Pointers For Cutlet de Volaille
- Pound the chicken to less than half a cm thickness.
- There should not be any holes in the chicken breast.
- Do not use garlic powder. It’s important to use fresh garlic to get more flavor!
- If you do not want to prepare the garlic and butter mixture, you can buy garlic butter or herbed butter.
- The trick is to make the chicken breast look like it’s not been cut at all.
- Deep frying is important for that crispy exterior!
- Sprinkle with lemon juice before serving.
- Serve with mushroom sauce, peas, rice, or mashed potatoes!
FAQs about Cutlet de Volaille
What are the different names for the Chicken Kiev or De Volaille?
The Chicken Kiev is called a côtelette de volaille in Ukrainian or Russian. It’s also often called a suprême de volaille à la Kiev.
What is the difference between a supreme and a cotelette?
If the upper part of the wing bone is left on, the breast piece is called a cotelette. If the breast piece is boneless, it is a supreme.
What is the process of flattening the chicken breasts called?
To flatten the chicken breasts is to butterfly it.
Can I use the pocket method instead?
Yes, you can use the pocket method if you want to, but it is difficult to seal and often results is a leaky chicken cutlet. The butterfly method is easier and does not result in any butter leakage.
What’s the difference between Chicken Kiev and Chicken Cordon Bleu?
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a Swiss dish in which the chicken breast is pounded thin and rolled with a slice of ham and cheese in the middle before being breaded and fried.
On the other hand, Chicken Kiev is a Russian dish in which the chicken breast is pounded thin and rolled with herbed butter in the middle (there may be other ingredients as well) and then coated with eggs, breaded, and fried or baked.
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of dill
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 4 slices of cheese
- oil to fry
- Chop or mush your garlic, then mix with the softened butter along with dill. Separate in 4 portions.
- Wash your chicken and tapping gently with a pestle flatten it into thin pieces. Sprinkle some salt on both sides.
- Spread the butter in the center of the chicken and cover with a slice of cheese. Then roll it making a shaped oval cylinder tapering at the ends to form a cutlet.
- On 2 plates spread flour and breadcrumbs. Then beat the eggs in the third deeper plate.
- Sprinkle the cutlets with flour and coat with the beaten egg, then finally coat in breadcrumbs.
- Fry in deep oil (or flipping constantly) for about 6 minutes. Then put them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes at 375 F.
- Serve with sides of your choice. I like serving mine with a mushroom sauce.
Alternatively, you can also add some mushrooms inside the cutlet.