I was looking around for an idea for an easy weeknight dinner the other night when I spotted a new book with the perfect title: "Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners." Exactly what I needed: A slightly lighter (less butter filling, baked instead of fried) version of Chicken Kiev that was easy enough to do and still gave me a little time to sit on the patio with a glass of white wine before I got started.
In honor of Sara, let's give away a copy of the book. (I already tucked a copy of the Kiev in a safe place.) Respond in the comment section below (if you use the anonymous sign-in, give me a name I can use to recognize you) and we'll do a random drawing Friday. Remember to check back to see if you won.
While you're waiting for the drawing, here's the recipe:
Chicken Kiev Revisited
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
4 tablespoons herb butter (see note)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs (I used panko-style crumbs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon wedges for garnish; optional
Place each chicken breast flat on a cutting board. Starting at the thick end, insert a knife tip in horizontally into the center of each to make a pocket about as dip as the middle joint of your index finger and a little bite wider. Fill each pocket with 1 tablespoons herb butter, pressing the opening closed. Season each breast with a little salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line up 3 bowls. Place the flour in one, whisk the eggs in the second and place the crumbs in the third. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and let it start heating while you get the chicken ready.
Place each chicken breast first in flour, turning to coat both sides, then into beaten egg, then into crumbs. Place the coated breasts in the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and saute breasts for 3 minutes per side or until golden. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil when you turn them.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake breasts until they are just cooked through, 8 to 11 minutes depending on their size. Serve with lemon wedges.
Note: For the herb butter, I just mixed about 2 cloves minced garlic and about 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano from my garden. But you could use thyme, marjoram or a combination of pretty much any fresh herbs. Just let the butter soften at room temperature for a short time and mush it all together with a fork. You also could skip the herbs and just flavor the butter with a little garlic.