Chef John's Chicken Kiev


This chicken Kiev with homemade garlic and parsley butter might take a bit more time but the delicious results are well worth the effort. You'll enjoy one of the greatest chicken experiences of your life, as well as one of the greatest garlic butter experiences of your life.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 (8 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Grind garlic and pinch of salt together in a mortar and pestle until smooth; add parsley and mix well. Pound butter into garlic mixture with the pestle until well combined. Wrap butter mixture in plastic wrap; refrigerate until cold, at least 15 minutes.

  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place 1/4 of the butter mixture in the center of the wider end of each chicken breast. Fold the narrower end of each chicken breast up over the butter to form a tight pocket around the butter; gather the sides of each chicken breast to the center to form a round ball. The top of each chicken ball will be smooth and the bottom will be gathered. Tightly wrap each chicken ball in plastic wrap; transfer to a plate and chill in the freezer until the gathered bottoms hold together and are slightly firm, about 30 minutes.

  3. Whisk flour and 2 teaspoons salt together in a shallow bowl. Whisk eggs together in another shallow bowl. Pour panko bread crumbs into a third bowl.

  4. Remove chicken breast balls from plastic wrap. Gently press them into the flour mixture to coat; shake off any excess flour. Dip into beaten eggs, then press into bread crumbs. Place breaded chicken on a plate; cover with plastic wrap, and return to the freezer to chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

  5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  6. Working in batches, place chicken, gathered-side down, in the hot oil and cook until lightly golden, about 1 minute per side. Transfer chicken to the prepared baking sheet; sprinkle salt and cayenne pepper over the top.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until you can hear the butter start to sizzle on the baking sheet, 15 to 17 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

    Golden-brown chicken kiev split in half to reveal the herb stuffed center.
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of breading ingredients. The actual amount of breading consumed will vary. We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

790 Calories
38g Fat
62g Carbs
60g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 790
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 268mg 89%
Sodium 1656mg 72%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 23%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 60g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 479mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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