When I was a kid, trips to the supermarket always excited me. Not that it is any different now (ask my husband, he will tell you) but being a child, I was more interested in what treats my mother will load into our cart, or rather, what I can persuade my mother to buy for me (this comes in the manner of pleading, demanding and then a tantrum).
One of the things that I would often push my mother to buy (and she does not oblige. At all), and am unconscious with joy when she rarely does buy are cheesy chicken kievs. Because of the rarity of this purchase (my mother has never been too keen on processed food, a habit that she has passed on to a much older me), these supermarket chicken kievs are automatically placed n my mind in the state of a luxury food. It was our ultimate childhood treat – the afternoons on which they are served for tea
So it was with this sense of nostalgia mother had bought a packet of these things the other day. Now we know that processed meat is not good for us and all that but hey, one once in a blue moon never hurt anybody, just for old time’s sake. But when we broke open the packet, we were disappointed. Inside were 12 tiny little balls, nothing like what we remembered them to be. Let down by size, we nevertheless wet ahead with the preparation which involved hot oil and salivating aromas which has already gotten our tastebuds working. The familiar taste was there nevertheless, but in terms of a satisfactory bite, even three could not give a satisfactory mouthful. This is when I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I think the project was a grand success. A mix of minced chicken, breadcrumbs, herbs and spices and of course some melty cheddar combined, these homemade chicken kievs are ideal to be served at your next tea party or simply to be enjoyed hot hot, on a rainy afternoon. I think this is the ideal weather for these as well, along with a cup of hot, sweet tea.
Homemade chicken kievs
- Chicken - 300g, minced
- Bread crumbs - 100g
- Fresh Parsley - 6 tblsps, finely chopped
- Butter - 2 tblsp
- Garlic - 4 tsps, minced
- Oregano - 1 tsp, dried
- Cheddar - 16 cubes (about 1/3 an inch. you can use mozzarella for a stretchy, melty result)
- Salt - To taste
- Pepper - To taste
- Egg - 1, beaten
- For deep frying
- Egg - 2, beaten
- Bread crumbs - As appropriate
- Plain flour - As appropriate
- Oil - To fry (we use coconut oil)
- Lightly fry the garlic in a teaspoon of butter until just toasty and fragrant. (You will need to watch this carefully as it tends to burn easily) Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the minced chicken, the bread crumbs, the parsely, the oregano, the butter and the lightly fried garlic. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the egg. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Set aside for at least 1 hour.
- After an hour, make small balls of a desired size out of the meat mix. Make a small indent in the middle and place the cube of cheese. Cover it well with the meat mixture and round it into a ball. Repeat process with the rest of the mix.
- Roll the balls one at a time in the beaten egg. Next roll it in the flour and then the bread crumbs until well coated and firm. They need to be firmly packed into a ball. Make sure that the bread crumbs are tightly embedded in the ball.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours. I’ve found that the taste improves remarkably if you refrigerate it overnight.
- Heat oil in a deep vessel until very hot. The oil is ready if it hisses and bubble when you throw some bread crumbs into the oil. Lower the kievs into the hot oil one at a time. Fry till golden.
- Serve hot!
Crunchy, delicious outsides, soft and fragrant insides and a yummy cheese surprise in the middle of it all, this multi-layered treat is a universally loved favorite. The coconut oil gives the exterior a deliciously toasty flavor with a firm and crunchy outer cover enveloping a soft and flavorful inside. The fresh, green taste of the parsley raises its head in every bite with a kick of herb while the oregano fragrances and weaves its way around the mellow softness of the profile. All this plays upon a backdrop of toasted garlic, a crisp, fragrant note played ever so softly, brought together with the creaminess of the butter and the mild gamey flavor of chicken enveloping it all.
The cheese, oh the glorious cheese! This mellowness and the equilibrium of the herb and meat is suddenly, but pleasantly interrupted by a flow of satiny-smooth magic. This intensely flavorsome velvet is the salty sauce that brings it all together, the piquant pepper rising to dominance every now and then, making itself known. The herb, the chicken, the cheese, the crunch and the softness – what a complex combination of seemingly unassuming ingredients. And so very healthy too! Simple but so damn sexy, it’s as obvious as that!
Why buy the kievs when you can make it by yourself? You know exactly what goes in there and plus, it’s so much more healthier, without any of those preservatives either!
Tips and tricks
- Make large batches. This freezes wonderfully (before frying) and can be kept frozen for more than 2-3 weeks! You simply have to thaw, fry and serve! Also I find that freezing brings out more flavor too.
- I think this should work with curry leaves and dried red chilies as well. I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet. If anyone does, let me know.
- You can try this with as many herb combinations with as much variations of meat as you like. The beauty of this recipe is that it leaves a lot to the imagination and you can simply concoct your favorite version. There are no hard and fast rules.