How This Easy Kiev Chicken Recipe Gets Its Incredibly Crispy Crust



TIP BOX Want to make the crispiest and most airy breadcrumbs for chicken Kiev? The secret is the instant mashed potato flakes.


Drew Escriva for The Wall Street Journal, Food Styling by Tyna Hoang, Accessory Styling by Emily Eisen

The chef: Joe Papach


Michael hoeweler

His restaurant: The Harvey House in Madison, Wisconsin.

What he’s known for: In partnership with his wife, Shaina Robbins Papach, to transform a former train depot into a gastronomic destination. Reinvent the supper club. Use regional traditions as a starting point for modern Midwestern cuisine.

For WSJ + members: Register now for a chicken cooking class in Kiev with chef Joe Papach

TO GROW in Indiana, Joe Papach loved the frozen Kiev chicken his mother served. But his final recipe Slow Food Fast produces an airy and always tender interpretation worthy of love.

Instead of the usual chicken fillets, he uses ground chicken. After cooling the mixture to make it slightly firmer, it forms pancakes coating a knob of herb butter and coats them with a magical breading made from instant mash flakes. As the patties are fried, the herb butter melts and the outside swells to a golden crisp. A mustard potato salad is the perfect pairing, said Papach: “It has enough acid to reduce the richness of the meal. ”

—Kitty Greenwald is a chef, food writer and co-author of “Slow Fires” (Clarkson Potter)

To explore and search through all of our recipes, check out the new WSJ Recipes page.

As the patties are fried, the herb butter melts and the outside swells to a golden crisp. A potato salad with mustard goes perfectly.

Drew Escriva for The Wall Street Journal, Food Styling by Tyna Hoang, Accessory Styling by Emily Eisen


  • 1 pound of ground chicken
  • 2 whole eggs plus ¼ cup egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped tarragon
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of whole mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 can (16 ounces) instant mashed potato flakes
  • 3 cups of canola oil


  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, whole eggs, 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 teaspoons of salt until combined. Cover and place in the freezer until the meat has firmed slightly, about 7 minutes.
  2. Put the butter in a small bowl and stir in the parsley, 2 tablespoons of dill and tarragon. Season with a third of the lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and freeze until stiff, about 10 minutes.
  3. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and salt generously. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are completely tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. While it is hot, stir in the mustards, crème fraîche and 1 tablespoon of dill. Season with S&P and half the remaining lemon zest.
  4. Shape chicken mixture into 4 large patties (about 4 ounces each). Place 1 large spoonful of herb butter in the center of each patty and mold the meat to enclose the butter. (Freeze the remaining herb butter for another use.)
  5. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Heat the oil until it reads 350 degrees on a deep frying thermometer.
  6. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with the cornstarch to make a porridge. In another bowl, put 2 cups of flour. In a third, place the instant potatoes.
  7. Coat the patties in flour, coat them with egg white and transfer them to a bowl with the potato flakes to coat them. Shake off the excess.
  8. Fry patties until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the patties to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
  9. Garnish with remaining dill and lemon zest. Serve the chicken kiev hot with a hot potato salad.


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