10 January 2016

Rainy weather, and Poulet à la Kiev

The long, tall, wide laurel hedge around our yard has been trimmed one more time, so it looks today just like what you see in the five-year-old photo below. We hire the job done these days instead of doing it ourselves. The best part is that the gardening crew rakes up and disposes of all the clippings.

Early January 2011 — looks like the weather then was about like the weather now: rainy.
It's hard to believe that 2011 was already five years ago...



A day or two ago, Walt mentioned on his blog that we made chicken Kiev the other day. For me, that was one of those things like veal cordon bleu, veal piccata, or steak Diane, that we thought of as exotic and fancy cooking back in the 1970s.


We happened to see Jamie Oliver prepare chicken Kiev on a show on French television a few days ago, and that inspired us. Our version worked pretty well, though most of the butter ran out of the chicken breast before it finished cooking. Still, the garlic and herbs of the compound butter gave the chicken good flavor. I thought the peas with carrots and mushrooms were good with it.

We used panko for the crust on the chicken, and we decided to bake the breaded chicken breasts in the oven rather than frying them.

It seems that chicken Kiev is still a commonly featured dish in the U.K. and Australia, but I don't think that's true in the U.S. Am I wrong?

By the way, I can't recall ever seeing poulet à la Kiev on menus in France, but Ricardo, the Quebec cook and TV personality, has a recipe for it on his web site.

28 comments:

LaPré DelaForge said...

Gdmrning Ken....
Yes, Chickin' Kiev has been a 'staple' of British restaurant and home cooking in the UK ever since Findus created frozen ones....
I'm not sure if they preceded or followed chikky nuggets...
Then Bernard Matthews picked up the idea for his 'bootiful' turkey products.
'Cos they are fruzz, they always cook out leathery and awful...
with garlic as the dominant flavour!
I honestly don't think I have ever had a 'real' Kiev!!
Unfortunately, my mother had a passion for the damned things....
so I no longer have!!

Jean said...

This is a blast from the past! I'd forgotten how much I used to like chicken Kiev. They were a favourite in our family in the 70's especially as frozen food was such a novelty back then. While Nick's chez nous this week and I'm on my tod I think I'll pop out and get some!
I've never made them from scratch, the ready made ones are always very tasty and fine if you don't worry too much about the provenance of the chicken or the quality of the butter.

Jean said...

My dad has chicken Kiev once a week, every week without fail and has done more or less without a break since about 1970!

Ken Broadhurst said...

One of the things I like about living and cooking in France is making from scratch all these "standard" foods that everybody at home just buys frozen or in jars or tins. It really gives you an appreciation for foods that we've ended up taken for granted, and the "industrial" versions just aren't that good. The home-made ones can be delicious.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Have either of you ever seen frozen Poulet à la Kiev in France, say at Picard or Auchan? Just curious. I've never noticed it anywhere but then I've never looked.

Sheila said...

The other best part about having a gardening crew trim the hedge is that Walt doesn't have to risk
breaking his neck every year. Always made me nervous when he wrote about being perched on a ladder
supported by plywood over the drainage ditch.

chm said...

What else did you Putin chicken à la Kiev?

Ken Broadhurst said...

Walt was again up on a ladder yesterday, cleaning out the roof "valley" along the edge of the dormer over our kitchen. Just try to stop him. At least this wasn't a job that lasted several weeks. We are lucky that we have enough money to pay the landscape contractor. It's not cheap. And I'm wondering whether a wall or fence instead of a hedge might make more sense, at least economically.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Bon, pas de vodka. Du "râpé de lardons" trouvé au supermarché, de l'ail -- aïe aïe aïe -- et de l'origan. Ça se laissait manger.

Carolyn said...

Susan Herman Loomis is an American cook and cookbook author who's lived in Louviers for years. She recently wrote "In a French kitchen" in which she discusses what and how her friends in France cook. She says they all learned to cook from Mamie. They cook every day, produce uncomplicated meals mostly from scratch, are all super-organized, and most of them are frugal.

However, when we are in supermarkets in France we see people loading their chariots with frozen food. Same in the US. Cooking is a skill and a pleasure that seems to be dying out.

Evelyn said...

Thanks for my first chuckle of the day, chm! (spelling checker wanted me to type "com" for comrade ;-)

NotesFromAbroad said...

As long as I can remember , there has been Chicken Kiev in cookbooks and restaurants in the US.
I learned to make it years ago but then ... I quit eating chicken :)

Carolyn ... so true. Sundays for my husband used to be a day spent making some elaborate dish .. often something like pasta sauce with lobster .. for him, the time spent cooking and tasting and measuring was a quiet peaceful time. With lots of praise at the end :)
If you Have to cook .. it loses its charm but now and then it can be a pleasure.

Ken Broadhurst said...

France like the U.S. is a country where people live in the 21st century, with all the good and bad features of the age. People buy and eat cassoulet in cans and supermarket bread. Allez comprendre...

Ken Broadhurst said...

I've been in France for nearly 13 years, but I lived in the U.S. for many years before that. I can't remember the last time I saw chicken Kiev on a restaurant menu or in the freezer section of a supermarket. Maybe I just haven't been paying attention!

The Beaver said...

Ken

It is pretty common in some downtown Montréal restaurants. I remember my sister used to talk about the chicken Kiev at Gibby's in old Montréal ( she was working in that area before emoting to DC) and the first time I had it there I was sick afterwards . So I never ordered it again in any restaurant in Montréal

LaPré DelaForge said...

Yay!!

LaPré DelaForge said...

Ken, I for one have never even looked.... I probably will now!

Diogenes said...

OK that's seriously funny.

Diogenes said...

Chicken Kiev is extint on west coast menus, which often concentrate on new ideas like the whole Chino-Latino food trend. Or sushi...Chicken Kiev: Haven't thought of it for years, though your version looks very tasty.

This post made me think of the old 1980s joke: "What has wings and glows in the dark?"

Diogenes said...

A quick search of the menus at our local Russian restaurants, though, revealed that at least one does offer Chicken Kiev at dinner for $22:

Mari Vanna menu: http://www.marivanna.ru/la/#/menu/

Another local restaurant, Petrossian, offers 'Tsar Cut Salmon:" http://www.petrossian.com/smoked-fish-specialty-5.html

Seine Judeet (Judith) said...

I do not ever see Chicken Kiev on menus in restaurants. Chicken Cordon Bleu, yes, but not Kiev, at least not in the St. Louis area. I'm cringing at admitting this, but I do buy it ready-made from Target, in their grocery section! I know, of COURSE, that it's not like home-made, but it is such a relief some days to have something ready to pop in the oven and eat within 45 minutes of getting home. I enjoy cooking, but just can't do it -- and the clean up -- every night, after working all day.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I for one understand that, Judy. I don't know how people manage to work a full day and still make meals and keep a household going. I guess Walt and I did it for years, but you have to take shortcuts and have help of different kinds to make it possible.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Interesting, D. I don't ever remember seeing Chicken Kiev on menus in California, where we ate in restaurants a lot more than we do here in Saint-Aignan.

NotesFromAbroad said...

New York City has every kind of food in every kind of restaurant in every kind of neighborhood. Remember, there is a huge Russian immigrant population here .. as well as Chinese , Spanish etc. My mother in law told me she would cook all day on Sunday, making that nights meal and having food for the week. She could make one dish last at least 2-3 nights .. god bless her, she was so very very old when she died and I always wished she had had more easy fun days than hard work or sick days.
She told my husband how to make certain Russian dishes :)
He never told her he didn't like it ..

NotesFromAbroad said...

The Russian Tea Room ~

Ken Broadhurst said...

There is a big community of Russian immigrants in San Francisco too. We lived there for more than 15 years but I'm not sure I went to Russian restaurants. I was too busy trying all the French, Asian, and Mexican places.

On Sundays in SF, back when Walt and I both commuted and worked long weeks, we would could for the week on Saturday and Sunday so that we'd have something for supper when we got home at night. By Thursday it would be time to order pizza or Chinese from local restaurants. And on Fridays we'd go out to eat... in a French restaurant, often. That was our weekly date.

The Beaver said...

Dang ! it should read "before moving to DC"
autocorrect is bad sometimes

C in California said...

I do not believe I had ever eaten chicken cooked that way until we were staying with our friend in London. It was the frozen version, but I liked it. Your's looks better though, and I am *sure* it tastes better!