Here’s a wonderful twist on the classic chicken Kiev: add crispy bacon bits to the garlic butter filling. Any you have leftover, melt it in a pan and pour over the baked chicken breasts. Stunning.
1 tbsp oil
3-4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
100g softened butter
3 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 large skinless chicken breasts
150g plain flour
2 eggs, beaten
150g fine panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable or sunflower oil, for cooking
1. Heat a frying pan over a low heat, add the oil and cook the bacon until very crisp. Remove from the bacon and pat dry with kitchen paper, then with a sharp knife, finely chop the bacon into a crunchy powder.
2. In a bowl, beat together the butter, bacon bits, parsley, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
3. Take the chicken breasts and using a thin, sharp knife, make a small hole at the fattest end of each breast and push the knife into the middle, trying not to cut al the way through.
4. Keep working the knife around to for a large enough opening to get the butter in.
5. With a small spoon, fill each of the chicken breasts with as much butter as you can get in the hole.
6. Dust the breasts all over with the flour, then dip them into the beaten eggs.
7. Finally, roll them around in the breadcrumbs.
8. Place the chicken on a plate, cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until needed.
9. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Warm a little oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat.
10. Place the Kievs in the pan and colour gently for 3-4 minutes on each side.
11. When the chicken breasts have taken on a lovely golden colour, sprinkle them with a pinch of sea salt, place on an oven tray and roast for 10-15 minutes until they are cooked through.
12. Serve with a crisp green salad and pour over any leftover garlic-bacon butter.