Chicken Kiev with Walnuts in a Sage Brown Butter Sauce

December 28, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes 8 Kievs
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • Make the Kievs
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts, chopped finely - about 1/4" bits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 boneless and skinned Chicken breasts
  • Ground Salt and Pepper
  • 1 package Boursin Cheese - I use Garlic and Fine Herbes or Shallot and Chive
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Make the Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Ground salt and pepper to taste
  1. Make the Kievs
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Place the Kievs in a 300 degree oven while you make the sauce.
  1. Make the Sauce
  2. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • MTDavids
  • lapadia
  • Kukla
  • mrslarkin
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx

Recipe by: Bevi

Cooking is an important part of my past. I grew up and worked on our family resort. These days, I cook good food to please my friends and family.

21 Reviews

MTDavids July 8, 2020
Followed the recipe to the letter. The results were a big hit at our table. Moist, tender chicken with a wonderful sauce. Used the recommended lemon and it really brightened up this tasty dish. Using the Boursin cheese was a brilliant idea. You are good bevi... really good.
Bevi July 9, 2020
Thanks MTD! I hope you try my other 2 Chx Kiev recipes and compare!
lapadia February 11, 2012
Hi! Happy Saturday...bought some Boursin, thawed chicken, making your recipe, using pecans thes is what I have on hand :)

My comment ran into the photo on the right so couldn't see everything I was writing ...hope this glitch will be fixed....soon.
Bevi February 11, 2012
Happy Saturday! I'll love to know how the pecan filling turns out - will have a nice buttery taste I would imagine. Let me know!
lapadia February 12, 2012
Delicious!! Looked just like your photo, pecans worked great and I love the lemon butter sauce, will make this again, for sure...husband was happy, very pleased with dinner tonight! :) Thanks for the recipe!
Bevi February 12, 2012
You are so welcome! I am glad to know that pecans work well.
lapadia November 24, 2015
Kukla February 3, 2012
Dear Bevi! Last week I made a double portion of your Chicken Kievs and they were delicious, as I expected, and the sauce is “to die for”. I used Boursin Cheese and Fine Herbes. They came out also very beautiful looking. I packed them up, sauce separately, and send my husband to our granddaughter and her roommates to USC. I also made them a creamy polenta as a side dish and added another package of Boursin Cheese to the polenta. My granddaughter called me right away and said: “You have outdone yourself Baba Anya”. What else we need to hear? This is a great modification Bevi.
Bevi February 3, 2012
Oh Kukla, I am thrilled! I never need to hear anything else from anyone else about this modification! If your granddaughter loved the Kievs, then I too am satisfied. Adding Boursin to the polenta is genius. I often feel that the Boursins are under utilized in cooking. My own son has loved Boursin from early in his childhood. I used to love hearing him pronounce Boursin in the French manner when he was just a little tyke.
Kukla February 3, 2012
Bevi! I especially made a double portion so we too can taste the Kievs. Now days the children are so picky when it comes to food which we are used to, but I tried since they were very young to introduce to them everything little by little and they both my grandson and granddaughter love most of the dishes I make for them and they are not to shay to tell me very politely, when they do not care for something. Thanks’ Bevi for adding a delicious chicken recipe to my repertoire.
Bevi February 8, 2012
You inspired me to make the dish again AND take photos! I think it is very important to serve a variety of good food to your children and family. My daughter loves to tell people that she never had a jar of baby food in her life. It is true - I pureed our regular family food in a plastic hand food grinder that I could take apart to wash after every use. In those days I had an organic garden, and it was heaven to prepare all the veggies with just a little water or fresh stock.
lapadia January 7, 2012
Bravo! I agree, this sounds delicious :)
Bevi January 7, 2012
Thank you Lapadia! I am really honored that you like it !
mrslarkin January 5, 2012
Sounds really delicious, Bevi!! And easy!
Bevi January 5, 2012
It is easy! Now that Kukla reminded me of the rolling pin trick, it's going to get easier!
Kukla December 29, 2011
This is a very smart modification for the famous Chicken Kiev! First of all I like that you got rid of the heavy breading and just used a light coating of flour. The addition of walnuts and cheese keeps the filling from running out. I never liked the lava of butter, which poured out just with the first bite. And of course your sauce must be very delicious with all the butter and wine. By the way, my Mom, when she wanted to have coarsely chopped nuts, she used the rolling pin to crush them, just by rolling up and down over the nuts with a light pressure. A great recipe, thank you for sharing Bevi.
Bevi January 5, 2012
My grandmother used the rolling pin method for crushing her nuts. It does work really well. I am glad you like this recipe, Kukla.
Kukla January 5, 2012
Of course I like your recipe and who wouldn’t? I saved it and will be glad to taste and test it.
sexyLAMBCHOPx December 28, 2011
Sounds delicious and I bet you could make & bunch and freeze for a great week night meal.
Bevi December 29, 2011
Thanks sxLC - The recipe should read 1 and a half cups of walnuts - I can't seem to change it.
Bevi December 29, 2011
Thanks! There should be just one and a half cup of walnuts, not two.