One reason to make Chicken Kiev from a Canal House cookbook was my attempt to cook a recipe from each of my cookbooks this year. (Not easy when part of the collection is always in a different city. Or when you keep buying new ones.) Another reason was a quote from Friends that has been floating around my brain for about two decades now: “I had the chicken where you poke it and butter squirts out.” Sounds delicious, no?
I think so, so when the husband demanded a dinner more exciting than lentil salad, I got out my frying pan.
I have to admit I am normally a bit timid when it comes to deep frying, what with the hot oil and the way the smell always seems to linger long after the food has gone. But what good is a cookbook challenge if it doesn’t help you push some boundaries? So I slit pockets in two chicken breasts and stuffed them with cold herb butter. Dredged them through flour, egg, bread crumb and slid them into the hot oil.
About five minutes of furious bubbling on each side later, I had chicken in a beautifully golden, crisp shell with serious herb-flavored juiciness inside. I was well-proud, I’ll tell you, and once again very happy that the Canal House cookbooks came into my life. Also? It turns out the smell is a lot less obnoxious if you cook near an open window, with the cooker hood set to max.
My only quibble? There was no squirting of butter when I poked the chicken. A lovely drizzle, yes. Squirting? Not so much. But maybe you have to look like Jennifer Aniston for that to happen?