The hallmark of great chicken Kiev is the rich butter filling that melts into a sauce inside the chicken bundles and contrasts perfectly with the crisp bread crumb crust.
Popularized during the heyday of Manhattan’s now-shuttered Russian Tea Room, chicken Kiev became one of the restaurant’s premier offerings in the 1960s. The well-heeled were quite familiar with this elegant dish of pounded, breaded, and fried chicken breast stuffed with an herb butter that melted into a sauce. Although chicken Kiev’s Ukrainian roots remain unclear, its current fate is hardly in dispute: It has become a greasy bundle of poultry with a sandy, disconcertingly peelable exterior and a greasy, leaky center. Commonly found in banquet halls and at catered events, this once highbrow dish has become a self-parody. But after preparing several cookbook versions, we realized that pairing a crisp-fried coating with a delicately flavored butter sauce was a great idea that deserved a revival. A dish as special as chicken Kiev deserves a side dish with equal dazzle. We settled on broccoli and turned to pan-roasting, because it works well with many vegetables, imparting a toasty, caramelized flavor. Broccoli, however, can be fussy because the hardy stalks and delicate florets require different handling. We’d need to find a way to get around those issues.
Pan-Roasted Broccoli with Lemon Browned Butter
Pan-Roasted Broccoli with Spicy Southeast Asian Flavors
Pan-Roasted Broccoli with Creamy Gruyêre Sauce
Tasting Lab: Sandwich Bread
Equipment Center: Cookbook Holders