The Classic Chicken Kiev Recipe (2024)

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This classic chicken Kiev or chicken Kyiv is a scrumptious combination of chicken breast with an herb butter interior and browned breadcrumb exterior. It is simultaneously crispy and juicy in every bite!

The Classic Chicken Kiev Recipe (1)

You will love this dish for its full flavor, packed with seasoned tender chicken breasts and a buttery interior. The crispy texture from the fried panko breadcrumb coating gives a crunch that makes you come back for more. This dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser – both for taste and its good looks!

What Is Chicken Kiev?

Classic chicken Kiev (or chicken Kyiv) is made with seasoned chicken breast wrapped around a juicy compound butter center. The chicken breast is coated and rolled in a bread crumb crust and fried (or sometimes baked) to crunchy perfection.

The exact origin of chicken Kiev is hard to pinpoint (much like plombir ice cream), but most sources agree on its Eastern European, primarily Ukrainian and Russian, roots. Today, it is a common dish in Eastern Europe as well as all over the world.

Why is it called “Kiev”? Based on oral tradition from today’s city of Kyiv, Ukraine, the name is attributed to a signature restaurant dish. The signature dish was served in a popular luxury hotel in Kyiv in the beginning of the 20th century until later destroyed by the Nazi German invasion.

Looking for more Ukrainian dishes? Try these classic cabbage rolls, savory potato pieorogi, or our hearty braised potatoes.

How To Make Classic Chicken Kiev

The best way to guarantee a smooth cooking experience is to first review the steps in their entirety. Here’s the general process of making this wonderful meat dish.

  • Freeze the herb butter: In a bowl, combine butter, fresh herbs, and seasonings. Place mixture into a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a one inch thick log. Fully freeze.
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  • Cut chicken: Cut chicken breasts into about six even-sized cutlets. Tenderize.
  • Wrap chicken around herb butter log: Cut butter into six pieces and wrap chicken around each piece of butter. Wrap in plastic wrap and partially freeze.
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  • Prepare chicken coating: Combine flour, salt, pepper in one bowl. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.
  • Coat chicken: Dip chicken into flour mixture. Then dredge in the egg mixture, followed by Panko breadcrumbs.
  • Fry chicken: Fry chicken on all sides until golden brown and serve.

Hot Tip: To make sure your butter doesn’t leak out when frying, avoid skipping out on partially freezing the chicken. Also, double coat the chicken in the flour and egg mixture to help seal the butter in. Coat with breadcrumbs just before frying.

How To Cut Chicken for Chicken Kiev

There are a few different methods often used to cut chicken for chicken Kiev, but our preferred method is butterflying it. This cut helps to easily wrap the chicken around the compound butter inside and ensures the chicken cooks evenly and thoroughly.

  • Place the chicken breast on a cutting board.
  • Butterfly the chicken by cutting it horizontally without slicing all the way through, and then spread it open like a book.
  • Tenderize the chicken to the same thickness.

Prep Tip: The best way to tenderize and flatten meat is with a meat mallet. If you don’t have a mallet on hand, try a rolling pin or the back of a skillet. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap or wax paper, and pound until all the pieces are even in thickness.

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Tips and Tricks for Classic Chicken Kiev

For an unbeatable classic chicken Kiev, follow these simple tips.

  • Use appropriate oil: For frying the chicken, olive, avocado, or vegetable oil will work the best.
  • Freeze the butter log: As the chicken and frozen butter log cook, the butter slowly melts into the chicken. This creates the most perfect, juicy center.
  • Add additional herbs: To boost the flavor, add fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley, chives, or garlic to the butter before freezing.
  • Use unsalted butter: To prevent an overly salty dish, use unsalted butter. It’s easier to salt at the end to taste instead of dealing with over-salted chicken.
  • Tenderize evenly: For best flavor and to successfully wrap the chicken around the butter, butterfly and tenderize each piece of chicken to the same thickness. This will help each piece cook evenly.
  • Finish off with lemon juice: Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice on top of the cooked chicken to brighten up all the flavors.

Ingredient Substitutions in Chicken Kiev

The great thing about Chicken Kiev is that the ingredients are most likely already in your fridge or pantry. However, in case something is missing, here are some substitution ideas.

  • Chicken thighs: Instead of chicken breast, use chicken thighs. Boneless skinless chicken thighs tend to be more juicy and have more fat than chicken breast. If using thighs, still pound the thighs so they are the same in thickness.
  • Dried herbs: Fresh herbs will make for the most flavorful butter, but you can substitute with a smaller quantity of dried herbs.
  • Corn flakes: Panko breadcrumbs are the best option for coating chicken Kiev. However, many cooks use corn flake crumbs as a substitute for panko breadcrumbs. The taste and flavor may be slightly different, but is acceptable in a pinch.

Alternative Cooking Methods for Chicken Kiev

Chicken Kiev is customarily made by frying on the stovetop; however, it is easily made in the air fryer or oven with a few modifications.

  • Air fryer: Air frying is often considered a “healthier” alternative to pan-frying. To air fry chicken Kiev, follow stove-top instructions as written. Instead of placing chicken in a pan, place chicken in the air fryer. Spray the chicken thoroughly with olive oil. Air fry at 350°F for about 20 min, turning every six minutes or so. Cook until chicken reaches 165°F.
  • Oven: Baking chicken Kiev in the oven is easy and tasty; however, the breadcrumb exterior may not become as crispy compared to frying methods. To bake chicken Kiev, follow stove-top instructions as written. Instead of placing chicken in a pan, place chicken in an oven-safe dish. Lightly spray the breadcrumb coating with olive oil to add crispiness. Bake chicken in the center of the oven at 400°F for approximately 35 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165°F.

Best Dishes to Serve with Chicken Kiev

Chicken Kiev is a savory meat dish that pairs well with any starch, vegetable, and salad. Our favorite starch pairing are Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Basmati Rice, or Homemade Pasta. For a perfect salad pairing, try our Purple Cabbage Salad, Quinoa, Kale, and Avocado Salad, or another Slavic classic: Olivier Potato Salad. Or, if you simply want vegetables, try some easy roasted broccolini like we did above. Air Fryer Asparagus, Broccoli, or Brussel Sprouts are all solid options as well. You won’t go wrong with either of these sides!

Making Chicken Kiev In Advance

To make chicken Kiev in advance, follow instructions as written up to the frying step. Instead, freeze raw coated chicken on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a ziplock bag. Thaw fully in the refrigerator before cooking. Avoid freezing after fully cooking the chicken Kiev. Doing so can change the taste and texture of the dish.

How to Store Chicken Kiev

Chicken Kiev will have the best flavor and texture when freshly cooked. However, if you do have some extra chicken Kiev on hand, here are some ways you can store the dish for later.

  • Refrigerator: To keep the leftover chicken fresh for up to four days, store it in a refrigerator, in an airtight container. Keep in mind that the crispy breading does become less crispy the longer it is kept in the fridge.
  • Freezer: Avoid freezing cooked chicken Kiev as this can greatly affect the flavor and texture. Instead, freeze the raw coated chicken on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a ziplock bag. Thaw fully in the refrigerator before cooking.

Best Ways to Reheat Chicken Kiev

Let’s be honest – chicken doesn’t necessarily like to be reheated. It tends to result in a slightly drier variant, compared to the freshly cooked option. However, if you do have some pre-cooked chicken stowed away in your fridge, we have a few methods to help you reheat it in the best possible way.

  • Air-fryer: To reheat the chicken in an air fryer, place it into the air fryer basket. Spray olive oil to help re-crisp the exterior, and fry for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is 165°F. Air-frying will re-produce the crispiest exterior.
  • Stovetop: To reheat on the stovetop, heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into a pan and reheat, flipping halfway to heat evenly.
  • Oven: To reheat in the oven, place chicken Kiev in a baking dish in the oven at 350°F until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Microwave: Reheat chicken Kiev in a microwave in a covered container for maximum distribution of heat. However, keep in mind that while this method is easy, it’s likely to produce the driest results.


What is the difference between chicken Kiev and chicken cordon bleu?

The difference between chicken Kiev and chicken cordon bleu lies on the inside. On the outside, both dishes consist of pounded chicken breast coated in breadcrumbs. However, chicken Kiev is stuffed with a compound butter mixture, whereas chicken cordon blue is stuffed with sliced ham and cheese.

How do I know when chicken Kiev is cooked through?

Chicken Kiev is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F and the exterior is golden-brown.

What is compound butter?

Compound butter is softened, unsalted butter that is creamed together with a mixture of herbs, spices, and a variety of other ingredients. The ingredients can be either savory or sweet, depending on the recipe. In classic chicken Kiev, the compound butter is a mixture of unsalted butter, fresh parsley, fresh dill, salt, and ground pepper.

Other Chicken Recipes to Try

  • Parmesan Crusted Chicken – Tender chicken breaded in nutty parmesan and breadcrumbs
  • Marry Me Chicken – Tuscan-inspired chicken with cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and a creamy parmesan sauce
  • 5 Ingredient Chicken Cutlets – Versatile crispy chicken great for sandwiches, pasta, or salad
  • 30 Minute Honey Chicken Skewers – Juicy chicken with the easiest marinade, ready in 30 minutes
  • Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan – Chicken with breadcrumb exterior, topped with marinara and cheese
  • Low Carb Chicken – Seasoned chicken breast in a creamy cheese sauce


The Classic Chicken Kiev Recipe (13)

The Classic Chicken Kiev


6 servings

Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 40 minutes mins

Total Time 1 hour hr

Recipe contributed by: Natalya Drozhzhin

This classic chicken Kiev is a scrumptious combination of stuffed chicken breast with a herb butter interior and browned breadcrumb exterior. It is simultaneously crispy and juicy in every bite!


Herb Butter

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper

Chicken Seasoning

US UnitsMetric


  • In a medium size bowl, combine butter, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Place the butter into a plastic wrap, roll it into a one inch thick log. Let the butter fully freeze.

  • Butterfly and then tenderize each chicken breast. You should have around 6 or so.

  • Cut butter log into 6 equal pieces. Place a piece of butter into each chicken piece and wrap it tightly. Wrap chicken with a plastic wrap and let it freeze partially.

  • In a shallow dish, combine flour with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs.

  • Preheat a pan with oil. While oil is preheating, coat chicken by dipping it into flour, followed by the egg mixture and then fully coating it with the panko crumbs.

  • Fry chicken on all sides for about 6-10 minutes or until the temperature reaches 165F and chicken is golden brown. Serve right away!

Nutrition Facts

The Classic Chicken Kiev

Amount Per Serving

Calories 634 Calories from Fat 342

% Daily Value*

Fat 38g58%

Saturated Fat 21g105%

Trans Fat 1g

Polyunsaturated Fat 3g

Monounsaturated Fat 10g

Cholesterol 260mg87%

Sodium 2686mg112%

Potassium 700mg20%

Carbohydrates 31g10%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 40g80%

Vitamin A 1476IU30%

Vitamin C 7mg8%

Calcium 81mg8%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The Classic Chicken Kiev Recipe (2024)


How is a chicken Kyiv traditionally produced? ›

Chicken Kiev, also known as chicken Kyiv, is a dish made of chicken fillet pounded and rolled around cold butter, then coated with egg and bread crumbs, and either fried or baked. Since fillets are often referred to as suprêmes in professional cookery, the dish is also called "suprême de volaille à la Kiev".

What's the difference between chicken Kiev and Cordon Bleu? ›

The primary difference between Chicken Cordon Bleu and Chicken Kiev is the filling. Chicken Kiev is stuffed with chilled butter, while Chicken Cordon Bleu is stuffed with ham and cheese. Otherwise, the preparation and ingredients for these two recipes is almost identical.

What is the difference between chicken Kiev and Kyiv? ›

At least that's how they'll tell you to pronounce it in Ukraine. Because in Putin's homeland, they call it “Kiev”, a transliteration from the Russian. So if you're pro-Russia, it's Kiev; if you're backing Ukraine, it's Kyiv. “I'll have the salmon tartare and then the chicken Kyiv, please,” I asked demonstrably.

Was chicken Kiev invented in Ukraine? ›

The Russians view the dish as theirs and claim it was invented in the Muscovy region of the Soviet Union in the 19th century by a chef from Kyiv. Another pro-Russian theory suggests it was invented in the 1800s in a Moscow restaurant called 'Kiev'.

Why is my chicken Kiev pink inside? ›

Color does not indicate doneness. The USDA further explains that even fully cooked poultry can sometimes show a pinkish tinge in the meat and juices. This is particularly true of young chickens whose bones and skin are still very permeable.

What are chicken Kievs called now? ›

UK supermarket Sainsbury's adopts spelling preferred by Ukrainians – but not everyone is doing likewise. Sainsbury's is renaming chicken Kievs to match the Ukrainian spelling of their capital city Kyiv in the wake of the Russian invasion.

Why have they changed the spelling of chicken Kiev? ›

The style for the food dish remains chicken Kiev. “We are making a significant change in our style for the Ukrainian capital city Kiev. It will henceforth be written in text, captions and datelines as Kyiv. “The change is in line with the Ukrainian government's preferred name and transliteration.

Is chicken Kiev still pink after cooking? ›

Is it OK for chicken Kievs to be pink..... Undercooked poultry can pose serious health risks. However, pink chicken can still be safe to eat if reaches the right temperature. The meat of safely cooked chicken can stay pink for a number of different reasons.

Why did Kiev switch to Kyiv? ›

Spelling of Kyiv prior to KyivNotKiev

Transliterations based on Russian names became common practice because of aggressive Russification policies from the Russian Imperial and later Soviet governments. The transliteration Kyiv was legally mandated by the Ukrainian government in 1995.

What is the chicken Kiev head? ›

The Chicken Kiev is a community-created cosmetic item for the Heavy. It replaces the Heavy's head with that of a team-colored Red Army Robin.

Why is it not called Kiev? ›

Kiev is the traditional English name for the city, but because of its historical derivation from the Russian name, Kiev lost favor with many Western media outlets after the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014 in conjunction with the KyivNotKiev campaign launched by Ukraine to change the way that international ...

Where does chicken Kiev come from? ›

Chicken Kiev: a Russian speciality that had become a staple in supermarkets around the world. According to the Russians, chicken Kiev originated in the Muscovy region of the old Empire.

Are chicken Kievs processed? ›

Not all chicken kievs are made form processed chicken meat. You get loads these days which are just whole chicken breast filled with garlic butter and covered in breadcrumbs.

Where did the Kyiv cutlet come from? ›

It would be logical to assume that the name of the dish originates from the name of the capital of Ukraine – Kyiv., but it does not. Even though there is no documented proof, many Ukrainian chefs agree that authentic recipe originates from France.

What defines a chicken Kiev? ›

Meaning of chicken Kiev in English

a dish made of a piece of chicken stuffed with butter mixed with garlic (= a plant of the onion family that has a strong taste and smell), then covered in breadcrumbs (= very small pieces of dried bread) and baked or fried: I ordered chicken Kiev and Adam ordered pork medallions.


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