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Chicken Kyiv

4 Servings

2½ hours 1½ hours active

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During a visit to Ukraine, we learned that the chicken Kyiv familiar to most of us—a butter-filled roll of dry, tasteless chicken cutlet encased in an equally bland breadcrumb shell—is not how the iconic dish began. Historically, the meat used to make it was ground chicken, a way of using up bits and scraps. We tasted several versions of this, all of them great. Unlike whole chicken breast, ground meat toughens less during cooking, and it can be seasoned throughout. Moreover, it absorbs some of the butter as the filling melts. Based on the recipes taught to us by chefs Ievgen Klopotenko and Igor Bragin, we developed an oven-baked, old-school chicken Kyiv that’s light yet rich and remarkably delicious. Dill, lemon, paprika, Parmesan cheese and fresh ginger—an ingredient once common in Ukrainian cooking—flavor the dish. To crush the dill seeds, if using, use a mortar and pestle, or the bottom of a skillet. For make-ahead convenience, the filled and shaped chicken can be frozen up to 24 hours before breading (to prevent drying, cover with plastic wrap once the exteriors are firm); the fully frozen chicken can be breaded and cooked straight from the freezer, but requires an extra five minutes in the oven. Mashed potatoes are an excellent accompaniment.




Don’t attempt to fill the chicken if the butter mixture is not firmly frozen. If the butter is at all malleable, it may simply blend into the chicken mixture, which itself is soft and sticky.

2½ hours

1½ hours active


  • 10

    tablespoons salted butter, room temperature

  • cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, divided


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Patrick J.
October 16, 2023
Wonderful Recipe
I've made this several times and everyone loves it! The recipe calls for a dill dominated herb butter which was delicious. I have also substituted a parsley dominated butter and also a Chicken Cordon Blue version which were both great! The ground chicken provides a blank canvas to be filled.
Carol B.
August 28, 2023
Bit Disappointing
I made this recipe as written..even buying those expensive little plastic packages of dill! The recipe is well written, along with pictures. We were disappointed however with the lack of flavor for all the trouble of assembling these chicken packages. Most of the expensive butter leaked out despite my best efforts to enclose the meat over the butter. They LOOKED great….just not worth the effort. This is the first Milk Street recipe I have ever given a 3 star…overall, I’m a fan. Just not of this dish.
Lauren H.
January 26, 2024
Chcken Kyiv - Great!
I saw this recipe in the Milk Street magazine and thought it looked pretty easy. Not only easy but tastes awesome! The family went crazy for it.
Yaoli Y.
October 27, 2023
Even though the butter oozed, the inside was still succulent and had plenty of dill and butter flavor. The butter can be made and frozen ahead of time. This recipe was well worth the effort
Kay D.
September 30, 2023
Very flavorful! (But a bit time consuming)
I've been looking for a successful baked Chicken Kyiv recipe for decades. And I've found it. I did add the optional crushed dill seed, and I'm glad that I did. The finished dish had a yummy, complex flavor. I have one caveat to my fellow home cooks. Don't let the rolls bake for 35 minutes. I did, and they had started to ooze their contents. I left them in for the whole time because I was afraid that they wouldn't be cooked through otherwise. However, I'm not sure that they would have been fine after 30-32 minutes. Keep a close eye on them!