Chicken Kiev

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Chicken Kiev
Chicken Kiev - Ukrainian East Village restaurant.jpg
Chicken Kiev cut open
Alternative names Côtelette de volaille, suprême de volaille à la Kiev
Course Main
Place of origin Russian Empire
Serving temperature hot
Main ingredients Chicken breast, garlic butter, herbs, bread crumbs
Cookbook: Chicken Kiev  Media: Chicken Kiev

Chicken Kiev (Ukrainian: котлета по-київськи, kotleta po-kyivsky, Russian: котлета по-киевски, kotleta po-kiyevski; literally "cutlet Kiev-style") is a popular dish of chicken fillet pounded and rolled around cold butter, then coated with eggs and breadcrumbs, and either fried or baked.[1][2] The dish is also known in Russian, Ukrainian and Polish cuisines as côtelette de volaille (Russian: котлета де-воляй, tr. kotleta de-volyay, Polish: kotlet de volaille).[3][4][5][6] The French de volaille means "of poultry" but denotes almost exclusively chicken dishes in French cookbooks.[7] The French name means thus simply "chicken cutlet". As fillets are often referred to as suprêmes in French cookery,[8] the dish is also named suprême de volaille à la Kiev.[9][10]


The history of the dish is not well documented, and various sources make controversial claims about its origin.

Côtelette de volaille[edit]

Despite the original French name, the recipe is unknown in French cuisine, where the term côtelette de volaille refers to chicken breasts in general[11] and is used synonymously with chicken fillet or suprême.[8] The French term also denotes a minced chicken cutlet-shaped patty.[12][13][14] The general Russian term for chicken cutlets, kurinaya kotleta (куриная котлета), refers predominantly to minced cutlets, whereas kotleta de-voliay is applied exclusively to the stuffed chicken breast dish. The latter name appears in the pre- and post-revolutionary Russian literature (in cookbooks,[3] as well as in fiction[15][16][17][18][19]) since the beginning of the 20th century and is usually mentioned as a common restaurant dish.[15][16][17][18][19]

The recipe in the classical Russian cookery textbook The Practical Fundamentals of the Cookery Art by Pelageya Alexandrova-Ignatieva (which had eleven editions between 1899–1916) includes a complex stuffing similar to quenelle (a mixture of minced meat, in this case the rest meat of chicken, and cream) but with butter added. It also points out that "the cutlets de volaille are made from whole chicken fillets, in the same way as the game cutlets à la Maréchale".[20] The recipe is preceded by a similar one for grouse cutlets à la Maréchale with a quenelle and truffle stuffing.[21]

The term à la Maréchale ("marshal-style") denotes in French cookery tender pieces of meat, such as cutlets, escalopes, sweetbreads, or chicken breasts, which are treated à l'anglais ("English-style"), i.e. coated with eggs and breadcrumbs, and sautéed.[22][23] According to the Russian food historian William Pokhlyobkin, dishes à la Maréchale were created in France during the reign of Louis XIV and were introduced to Russia after the victory over Napoleon in 1814.[24] Numerous recipes of such dishes, some of them with stuffings, are described both in Western and Russian cookbooks of the 19th century. Among the stuffed versions, on finds recipes for a rabbit à la Maréchale filled with duxelles[25] and a fowl fillet à la Maréchale stuffed with truffles and herbs in The Modern Cook (1859) by Charles Elmé Francatelli.,[26] and a similar filet de poulets à la Maréchale with herbs and forcemeat in La cuisine classique by Urbain Dubois (1868).[27] Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives, the most successful Russian cookbook of the 19th century, has included since its first edition in 1861 an elaborate recipe for grouse à la Maréchale stuffed with madeira sauce with champignons and truffles.[28]

The Russian Tea Room Cookbook notes that chicken Kiev was "most likely … a creation of the great French chef Carême at the Court of Alexander I."[29] Marie-Antoine Carême spent just several months of the year 1818 in St. Petersburg,[30] but made a profound impact on Russian cuisine at this short time.[31] The reforms carried out by his followers introduced in particular meat cuts, such as cutlets, steaks, escalopes etc. into Russian cookery.[31] However, it is unknown whether it was Carême who created the Russian côtelette de volaille.

Pozharsky cutlet[edit]

The main difference between the old time côtelette de volaille and the modern chicken cutlet Kiev-style is that the elaborate stuffings of côtelette de volaille are replaced by butter.[32] The use of butter for chicken cutlets has been known in Russian cuisine at least since the invention of the Pozharsky cutlet in the first half of the 19th century. The Pozharsky cutlets are breaded ground chicken patties for which butter is added to minced meat. This results in an especially juicy and tender consistency. The dish was a widely appraised invention of the 19th-century Russian cuisine which was also adopted by French haute cuisine and subsequently by the international cuisine.[33][34][35][36]

While the roots of chicken Kiev can thus be traced back to the French haute cuisine and the Russian cookery of the 19th century, the origin of the particular recipe known today as chicken Kiev remains disputed.

Novo-Mikhailovsky cutlet[edit]

The entree has traditionally been considered Ukrainian in origin since its name comes from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. However, William Pokhlyobkin claimed that chicken Kiev was invented in the St. Petersburg Merchants' Club during the early 20th century as Novo-Mikhailovsky cutlet, and was subsequently renamed kotleta po-kiyevski by a Soviet restaurant.[37]

Convenience food[edit]

In the middle of the 20th century, semi-processed ground meat cutlets were introduced in the USSR. Colloquially known as Mikoyan cutlets (named after Soviet politician Anastas Mikoyan), these were cheap pork or beef cutlet-shaped patties which resembled industrially produced American beef burgers.[38] Some varieties bore names of well known Russian restaurant dishes but they had little in common with the original dishes. In particular, a variety of a pork patty was called "Kiev cutlet".[39] In modern (post-Soviet) times, "real" chicken Kiev cutlets are offered in Russia as convenience food.

Introduced in Britain during 1976, chicken Kiev was Marks & Spencer company's first ready-made meal.[40][41][42] As a whole, chicken Kiev remains very popular in the UK, being readily available in supermarkets and served in some restaurant chains.


Chicken Kiev is made from a boned and skinned breast which is cut lengthwise, pounded and stuffed with butter. Western recipes usually call for garlic butter, while in Russian ones regular butter is used. Herbs (parsley and dill) can be added to the butter.[1][2]

In the classical preparation of French côtelettes de volaille, the humerus bone of the wing is left attached.[8] This also holds for their Russian versions[3] and in particular for chicken Kiev.[2] For serving, the bone is usually covered with a frilled paper napkin. However, industrially produced pure fillets are often used nowadays, and the cutlets are served without the bone. A spherically shaped version was developed by English chef Jesse Dunford Wood.[41]

In popular culture[edit]

Similar dishes[edit]

There are other entrees similar to chicken Kiev. Particularly popular is Chicken Cordon Bleu with a cheese and ham filling instead of butter. The recipe of Karađorđeva šnicla, a Serbian breaded veal or pork cutlet, was inspired by chicken Kiev.[45]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Volokh (1983), p. 320.
  2. ^ a b c Cookery (1955), p. 442.
  3. ^ a b c Alexandrova-Ignatieva (1909), p. 425.
  4. ^ Watt (2014), p. 99–100.
  5. ^ Strybel (2003), p. 86.
  6. ^ Strybel (2005), p. 303.
  7. ^ Escoffier (1907), p. 473.
  8. ^ a b c Escoffier (1907), p. 507.
  9. ^ Leto & Bode (2006), p. 130.
  10. ^ Cracknell & Kaufmann (2012), p. 452.
  11. ^ Vintcent (2004), p. 50.
  12. ^ Dubois (1868), p. 160–161.
  13. ^ Meyer (1903), p. 192–193. See recipes for côtelettes de volaille à la du Barry, côtelettes de volaille à la Montglas, and côtelettes de volaille à la Lucullus.
  14. ^ Escoffier & (1907), p. 526.
  15. ^ a b Averchenko (1914). "Ладно. Выберу. Сделайте ей котлеты де-воляй. — Только не котлеты де-воляй! Это все шансонетки едят — котлеты де-воляй." – "Make cutlets de volaille for her. / Anything but cutlets de volaille! It's what chanteuses eat, cutlets de volaille."
  16. ^ a b Bulgakov (1928–40), p. 58, online parallel text. "В самом деле, не пропадать же куриным котлетам де-воляй?" – "And, really, can one let chicken cutlets de volaille perish?"
  17. ^ a b Stepun (1947). In his memoirs Fyodor Stepun recalls in particular his school graduation in May 1900 and mentions: "Обедали мы совсем как взрослые: закуска, котлеты «de volaille», Гурьевская каша и к ней две бутылки шампанского..." – "We were dining like adults: zakuski, cutlets de volaille, Guriev porridge and two bottles of champagne..."
  18. ^ a b Vorobyov (1947), p. 88. "Котлеты «де-воляй» готовятся на два вкуса, — поучал Бондарин. — Есть котлеты «де-воляй» по-киевски и котлеты «де-воляй жардиньер»." — "Cutlets de volaille are cooked for two tastes," tutored Bondarin. "There are cutlets de volaille Kiev-style and cutlets de volaille jardiniere."
  19. ^ a b Sologub (1926), p. 42. "И породисты, и горды, // В элегантных сюртуках, // В лакированных туфлях, // Лошадиные две морды // Ржут в саду Шато-Гуляй, // Жрут котлеты де-воляй."
  20. ^ Alexandrova-Ignatieva (1909), pp. 421 (ingredients for côtelettes de volaille), 425 (recipe for côtelettes de volaille). The recipe for côtelette de volaille reads: "Котлеты де-воляйль приготовляются из цельных куриных филеев, как котлеты марешаль из дичи (см. по оглавлению); из одной курицы получается всего две котлеты. Отделив филеи курицы от костей с плечевыми косточками, снять с них пленки, отбить слегка тяпкой, чтобы филей имел везде одинаковую толщину; маленькие филейчики также отбить, чтобы были шире и тоньше. Из всей остальной мякоти приготовить фарш, как для кнели, но только с прибавкою сливочного масла, которое кладется в фарш при толчении его в ступке. Приготовив все указанным образом, нафаршировать большие филеи кнелевым фаршем, положить внутрь по кусочку чистого льда, накрыть маленькими филейчиками, запанировать в яйце и тертом белом хлебе и изжарить на отколерованном сливочном масле, как и прочие котлеты. Гарниры и соуса подаются самые разнообразные." A somewhat similar recipe in English is given in Watt (2014), p. 100.
  21. ^ Alexandrova-Ignatieva (1909), p. 415(recipe for game cutlets à la Maréchale)
  22. ^ Escoffier (1907), p. 512.
  23. ^ Supertoinette. "À la Maréchale se dit de petites pièces de boucherie (côtes ou noisettes d'agneau, escalopes ou côtes de veau, ris de veau, suprêmes de volaille) panées à l'anglaise et sautées."
  24. ^ Pokhlyobkin (2006), Марешаль.
  25. ^ Francatelli (1859), p. 357 ("1060. rabbit, à la Maréchale").
  26. ^ Francatelli (1859), p. 37 ("996. Fillets of fowls, à la Maréchale"). The closely related recipe for "fillets of fowls, à la Maréchale" reads: "Trim the fillets of three of four fowls, and with the minion fillets form three or four large ones; make a slight incision down the centre of each fillet, so as to hollow it out a little: this must be done on the rough side. Then, chop a truffle, one shalot, and a little parsley very fine, and simmer these for five minutes in a small stewpan, with a bit of butter, pepper and salt, nutmeg, and a small piece of glaze, add the yolks of two eggs, and with this preparation fill the hollow made in the fillets, and then mask them over on both sides with a little stiffly reduced Allemande sauce, when this has become firmly set upon them by cooling, bread-crumb the fillets twice over: having once after dipped them in beaten eggs, and again after they have been sprinkled over with clarified butter; put them gently into shape with the blade of a knife, and place them upon a dish in the larder. Twenty minutes before serving to table cover the gridiron with a piece of oiled paper, place the fillets upon this, and broil them (on both sides) over a clear coke fire, of a bright-yellow color; when they are done, glaze them lightly, and dish them up in a close circle; fill the centre with a white Toulouse ragout, pout some reduced essence of fowls under them, and serve."
  27. ^ Dubois (1868), p. 178. The recipe for fowl fillets à la Maréchale reads: "Parez 14 filets de poulets sans moignons; fendez-les sur leur épaisseur, fourrez-les avec une petite partie d'appareil aux fines herbes cuites, liées simplement avec un peu de glace; soudez les deux parties avec un peu de farce crue. Assaisonnez les filets, trempez-les dans des œufs battus pour les paner; 20 minutes avant de servir, trempez les dans du beurre fondu; rangez les sur un gril pour les faire cuire des deux côtés à feu modéré; dressez-les ensuite en couronne sur une mince couche de farce, pochée sur plat; emplissez le puits avec une garniture de petits pois cuits à l anglaise, liés avec une cuillerée de bon velouté, un morceau de beurre fin. Envoyez en même temps une saucière de velouté."
  28. ^ Molokhovets (1861), 495. Марешаль из рябчиков; (1113. Марешаль из рябчиков in the 1901 edition; 863. Hazel grouse à la Maréchale in the English translation). The recipe for "hazel grouze à la Maréchale" reads: "Remove both fillets from the hazel grouze, cutting off the wings at the first joint. Make a slit lengthwise on the underside of the fillets. Stuff them and sew them up. Dip the fillets in egg and deep fry, or dip them in eggs and crumbs and fry on gridiron. Stuff with the following: Prepare a brown sauce using 1/8 lb butter and 1/2 glass flour and dilute with 1 1/2 glasses bouillon. Add salt and bring to a boil 2 or 3 times. Add a wineglass of Madeira, 6 chopped raw field mushrooms, and 1-2 truffles. Bring to a boil 4 more times, cool, and stuff the fillet pieces with this mixture. Arrange the hazel grouse around a platter and fill the center with the following ragout: Prepare a white sauce using 2/3 glass flour, 2 spoons crayfish butter made from crayfish shells, and 2 glasses bouillon. Add 12 washed, raw field mushrooms and 25 crayfish tails. Boil together thoroughly about twice and add 1-2 chopped truffles."
  29. ^ Steward-Gordon & Hazelton (1981), p. 74.
  30. ^ Goldstein (1995).
  31. ^ a b Pokhlyobkin (2004), p. 21.
  32. ^ Compare Alexandrova-Ignatieva (1909), p. 425 and Cookery (1955), p. 442
  33. ^ Syutkin (2015), Котлетная история.
  34. ^ Alexandrova-Ignatieva (1909), p. 317.
  35. ^ Escoffier (1907), p. 513.
  36. ^ MacVeigh (2008), pp. 218, 233.
  37. ^ Pokhlyobkin (1997).
  38. ^ Tanner 1964.
  39. ^ BTHF (1952), p. 164.
  40. ^ Moran (2005).
  41. ^ a b Salter (2010).
  42. ^ Cloake (2012).
  43. ^ Washington Times (2004).
  44. ^ Åslund (2009), pp. 29–30.
  45. ^ Dejanović (2004), p. 25.


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