People, it's not possible to do Chicken Kiev justice without forcing a warm, buttery piece into each of your mouths and letting you understand for yourselves. However, because that's unrealistic and I don't want to share my breaded wonders, I'll attempt to do the dish justice with words. Imagine a gently-pounded chicken breast wrapped lovingly around a slab of compound butter full of tarragon, parsley, shallot, salt and lemon juice. This precious package is then dipped in an egg-Dijon mixture, dusted with flour and dredged in crisp breadcrumbs before being placed on a rack set in a rimmed sheet pan.
You must then wait an interminable 40 or 45 minutes while these beauties bake and crisp, but each step and the time needed to do them are critical. The wait makes the reward that much more special because when you finally apply fork and sharp knife to the golden exterior, a stream of steaming, fragrant butter rushes toward you, pleading with you to hurry, swirl a cut of chicken in the glistening pool and take a bite already.
If only this photo were better, and if only I'd make extra Kievs. They are a sublime creation, and T and I savored every morsel.
To go alongside, I wilted some fresh purple mustard greens, sauteed some gorgeous, just-shucked English peas with celery and tarragon, seared some blood orange slices, seasoned the mess and plated it lovingly. It was a delicious mix of flavors and textures.
And then on to that marvelous pie. Of which, by the way, there is one measly bite left.
Tonight, French onion soup.