Posts Tagged ‘herbs de provence’

Chicken Kiev

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

I have liked Chicken Kiev ever since I was a little kid. We used to get these frozen Chicken Kiev pieces from Market Day or Sam’s Club, and I was always excited to have them for dinner. There were other versions of the same product stuffed with cheesy broccoli or ham and swiss cheese, but for me, Chicken Kiev, with its crunchy outside and tender, buttery inside, was the best out of all of them.

It’s kind of surprising that I haven’t tried to make it more often. I came across this recipe through Photograzing, and decided to try it. Other recipes I’ve seen have used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded them thin, and then wrapped them around pieces of herb butter. The problem with that approach is that not only is it a little on the messy side, but it’s very hard to make sure that the chicken is sealed up properly–and if it’s not, you just get chicken baked in a pan of butter, which is not the same at all real Chicken Kiev, which bursts with a warm herb-butter sauce as soon as you cut into it.

The other problem with those recipes is that they require a long stay in your fridge–most want you to chill the stuffed chicken breasts overnight before cooking, to help that butter stay inside the chicken where it belongs. This recipe, however, used ground chicken formed around cold pieces of butter. It worked perfectly, and was both easier to work with and much more fool-proof. Every one of my Chicken Kievs came out perfectly.

IMG_2108

Chicken Kiev
Adapted from The Five Star Foodie, via Photograzing.

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 to 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de provence, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 stick chilled butter
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil

1. Put chicken and onion through a meat grinder, according to manufacturer’s directions, and place and in a large bowl. Add egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and 1 tablespoon of herbs to the bowl. Mix well by hand until the mixture is smooth. This part feels a lot like making a meatloaf, and really–that’s the texture you’re looking for. Form four equal-sized patties, place on plate or cutting board and flatten them.

2. Cut the stick of butter in half and roll each half into a thin log. Work with the butter quickly, so that it stays as cold as possible. Sprinkle a small plate with remaining teaspoon of herbs de provence and roll the piece of butter so that it is coated on all sides. Place one butter log in the middle of each patty, and shape the chicken into a small loaf around the butter so that the chicken mixture covers the butter completely.

3. In a shallow dish, mix panko breadcrumbs, garlic, and Parmesan. Coat the chicken patties with breadcrumbs. I thought I might need to batter the chicken pieces with egg before dipping in the breadcrumbs to get the mixture to stick, but the chicken loaves were plenty moist enough. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

4. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add one to two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. You need enough to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot (the surface will start to shimmer), brown the chicken loaves quickly. It doesn’t take long–maybe one or two minutes per side. Turn carefully with tongs (you don’t want to puncture the chicken as you turn it!).

5. Bake in a 375 degree oven, in an oven-safe dish lined with parchment paper, for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. I used a 9 x 13 pyrex dish.

Note: I’ve always liked to have Chicken Kiev with rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes, since each of those options gives you something to soak up the delicious herb-butter sauce from the chicken.

I had to make several changes to this recipe, because the ground chicken that I had was super-moist–much too wet to stick together–so I added the breadcrumbs and a little more egg to that mixture.

I was perfectly content to grind my own chicken, since I have a meat grinder attachment for my kitchen-aid mixer that doesn’t see as much use as it should. I also always have boneless, skinless chicken breasts on hand. That being said, I think you could probably use a store-bought package of ground chicken without too much difference. You might not need as much of the breadcrumbs in that case, because I don’t think the mixture would have anywhere near as much moisture.

If you know anyone that received a food grinder attachment (for Father’s Day, perhaps?) recently, this would be a good recipe for them to start with.

French Bistro Steaks with Provencal Butter

Monday, June 8th, 2009

I’ve had my eye on this recipe since I first got the Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook for Christmas. I think I even pointed it out to David while I was skimming through it around the Christmas tree at Grandma’s house.

Looking for something to make on a lazy Saturday, I flipped through Back to Basics and noticed this recipe right away. I was surprised I’d never gotten around to making it, because really, it was one of the first recipes I earmarked in this book.

When it came time, though, I ended up skipping the whole steak part. We had some good quality New York Strip steaks on hand, so I didn’t feel justified going out and buying the hanger steaks that the original recipe calls for. Plus, we don’t have a grill at our apartment (yet, anyway). So basically, I borrowed Ina Garten’s recipe for Provencal Butter to melt over the steaks, and stuck with our usual method for cooking steaks: Alton Brown’s, shown in this post.

Even so, I have to say that I was impressed. Dave and I were both unsure about the butter on steak thing. I know it’s traditional, I know it’s common, and I know people like it, but it just never sounded that great to me. I’ve been converted. This herb butter brought such great flavor to the steak. When you sliced into the meat, the butter just melted down into every piece. It was really fantastic.

I also got to use my herbes de Provence from The Spice House!

steak

Barefoot Contessa’s French Bistro Steaks with Provencal Butter
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook

For the butter:

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence

For the steaks:

  • 4 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • kosher salt and coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 hanger steaks, 8 to 10 ounces each

For the butter, put the garlic, capers, chives, thyme, zest, and pepper in the small bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until completely mixed. Transfer butter mixture to a piece of parchment and roll it into a log, twisting the ends (like an old-timey piece of candy). Store in the refrigerator.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill.

Drizzle the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle each one with herbes de Provence and salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to take the chill off of the meat.

When the grill is hot, grill the steaks for 4 to 5 minutes on each side (for medium rare). Place the steaks on a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice the meat crosswise diagonally and serve hot with one or two pats of the prepared butter on top.

Note: I’m sure this was not the last time that I’ll make an herb butter like this. We used the leftover butter on baked potatoes, crackers, and slices of bread–it was very versatile. I can imagine 100 different flavor combinations, too!