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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.
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!
Judith F.
September 5, 2023
Best Chicken Kiev Ever!
One of my favorite dishes to eat, but hard as I've tried, I could never keep the butter in the chicken, the breast itself was tough and without flavor and those stinking toothpicks! Made this recipe last night and everyone went crazy over it. I had my doubts about so much lemon zest and so much ginger, but it was perfect! The result was a really flavorful, buttery dish with a really nice crunch. Make this recipe- you will not be disappointed! Thank you Milk Street!
Nicole B.
August 27, 2023
Everyone loved this dish and the leftovers held up surprisingly well. The recipe is fairly easy though it is a time commitment. Using ground chicken is brilliant and is much easier to deal with than whole breasts. I served it with rice, which soaked up the sauce nicely. I'll definitely make it again, likely in a larger batch with a couple different compound butters since they can bake straight from the freezer.
Patricia K.
August 15, 2023
Courtney does it again - Excellent!
Loved this recipe - classic Milk Street reinvention! What you do best, and I do seem to find that Courtney Hill’s recipes are right in synch with my tastes and abilities. Thank you!