My Air Fryer Chicken Kyiv (not Kyiv) in Solidarity with Ukraine
The solidarity and concern for the people of Ukraine shown by the Irish over the past week has been nothing short of phenomenal. By mid-week, more than 10,000 pledges of shelter and support had been offered by people across the country to people fleeing the war.
Millions of euros have been raised to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and it is neighboring countries that have seen millions of refugees arrive so far. Faced with so much inhumanity and brutality, generosity, humanity and simplicity
decency is inspiring.
As is so often the case, with half a chance the best of our humanity emerges when we are confronted with gross inhumanity.
We will need more in the weeks and months to come. Ireland will see up to 100,000 people from Ukraine arriving here in search of safety, and there are of course still people arriving from Afghanistan and Syria who also need protection.
If we come together at the community level, we can ensure that we strengthen the capacity to welcome and support those fleeing persecution and conflict.
Although this is a cooking chronicle, I hope you will forgive me for taking this opportunity to ask you to get involved if you can. You can find out more about how communities in Ireland can be powerful in responding to this crisis at t heopencommunity.ie.
Solidarity takes many forms. Help and practical support are vital, but so are acts of support and defiance. I was struck by a small act of solidarity that involved food last week that inspired this week’s recipe. By now most of us have learned that Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine, not Kyiv.
The latter is derived from the Russian spelling of the capital’s name, while Kyiv is derived from the Ukrainian language name of the capital. One of the ways people have tried to point this out over the past week has been to share their version of Chicken Kyiv, with the hashtag #ChickenKyivnotChickenKiev. It’s a small thing, but any act of respect for the Ukrainian people, their language and their culture at a time when they are under such a violent assault is important.
So this week I offer you my Chicken Kyiv recipe. I hadn’t made or eaten this in years, but now seems like a good time to resurrect this 1980s classic. I developed this as part of my short air fryer recipe series. This is delicious. Serve it with a jacket potato and a fresh salad, or if you want to be a bit fancy, make Hasselback potatoes instead. Panko breadcrumbs are essential for this recipe, you will find them quite easily in most supermarkets.
Chicken Kiev not Kiev
I hadn’t made or eaten this in years, but now seems like a good time to resurrect this 1980s classic
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
125g of butter
3 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg
125g plain flour
125g panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil cooking spray
Soften the butter at room temperature. Grate the garlic, wash and chop the parsley. Put the butter, garlic and parsley in a bowl and use a fork to mix well. Roll the butter into a sausage shape about eight centimeters long, wrap it in cling film and put it in the freezer for about fifteen to twenty minutes to firm it up.
Flick the chicken breasts. To do this, place one hand on top of the breast and carefully cut the middle of the breast on one side, without cutting it completely on the other side. Open the brisket, place it flat on your cutting board, and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to gently pound it until it’s about a centimeter and a half thick.
When all four chicken breasts are flattened, remove the butter from the freezer. Remove the cling film and cut the butter in half lengthwise, then cut each half again lengthwise to get four equal sized pieces of butter. Place a piece of butter in the middle of each piece of chicken. Fold in the sides first, then roll the chicken end to end, like you’re making a burrito, to make a tidy package. Wrap each portion in cling film, twisting the ends to tighten the package and place them in the freezer for thirty minutes.
Put the flour in a bowl, add a little salt and pepper to season. Beat the egg in another bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and paprika in a third bowl. When the chicken breasts are well cooled, remove them from the cling film. Set up a small assembly line with the three bowls and dredge each parcel first in flour, then in egg and finally in breadcrumbs making sure the chicken is well coated in breadcrumbs. Put the coated chicken in the refrigerator for five to ten minutes and heat your air fryer to 200°C.
Spray the chicken with a little olive oil and put it in the fryer. Cook for ten minutes, then spray again with olive oil and cook for another eight minutes. Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for five minutes before serving.