This is a modification of a modification. Chicken Kiev from the Alice's restaurant Cookbook was long a mainstay of our meal rotation, but I immediately modified the recipe to exclude egg and I always made a lemon butter sauce to pour over the Kievs. I was inspired to use a combination of ingredients that I love; namely, walnuts, sage, and Boursin cheese. The use of citrus in the preparation of the walnuts as well as the sauce gives the dish a nice lilt. Browning the butter lightly while preparing the finishing sauce adds richness in flavor. This is a very easy dish to prepare that is ideal for a company dinner. —Bevi
package Boursin Cheese - I use Garlic and Fine Herbes or Shallot and Chive
Make the Sauce
chopped sage leaves
dry white wine
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
Ground salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Make the Kievs
Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium low heat. Add the walnuts, and cook until they are a little browner - maybe 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Let the walnuts cool.
Use a mallet or rolling pin (or Amanda's favorite pounder!) to pound and flatten the chicken breasts. I place each breast between pieces of plastic wrap, or better yet, in a Ziploc bag. NB: A trick I learned is to add a little water in the Ziploc bag to prevent the chicken from sticking to the bag. This can prevent shredding and tearing the chicken. Make the breasts as thin as possible, but try not to tear the breasts - 1/4" to 1/8" is a good thickness to aim for. You are going to slice each flattened breast in half.
With the "smooth" side of the breasts down, lightly season the breasts with salt and pepper. Then, divide the package of Boursin so you spread an equal amount on each half breast, but leaving a little space around the edges of the breasts.
Smear the cooled walnut bits equally atop the layer of spread cheese. Save some walnuts for the finished sauce. Then fold the left and right sides of the breast over, and finally fold over the top and bottom.
Dust the Kievs in flour, very lightly, and then place them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so they can firm up. You may want to use toothpicks to keep the Kievs intact. Take them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to brown them.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using tongs, place the Kievs in the skillet and brown nicely on all sides, including the tops and bottoms of the Kievs. I find that some of my Kievs have 3 sides; others - 4 sides - in addition to a "top" and "bottom". The browning may take about 15 minutes.
Place the Kievs in a 300 degree oven while you make the sauce.
Make the Sauce
To the skillet used to fry the Kievs, add the butter, and over medium to low heat fry the chopped sage leaves until the butter begins to color slightly to a light brown. Add the wine and stir to incorporate all the chicken bits. Reduce the sauce until it is nicely melded and shimmering. Add any remaining walnuts to the sauce. Taste, and for a little brightness you can to add the lemon juice and zest in addition to salt and pepper if desired. Add an additional dollop of butter if you want the sauce to be silkier.