Monday Meal Makeover: Light Chicken Kiev

I created this lighter version of the Russian Tea Room's signature recipe without sacrificing quality and flavor.

Adding reduced fat butter into the chicken Kiev recipe greatly reduces the calories. Additionally, finding a low-fat oil will also reduce the fat. The products that I have tried such as the Land 'O Lakes reduced-fat butter tastes great, and you can find gluten-free bread crumbs, which helps reduce the amount of carbohydrates.

What you need:

1 7.5-ounce container light spread, room temperature

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1 teaspoon chervil

1 teaspoon dill

Zest of one lemon and lime

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning chicken

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 large whole eggs, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

2 cups Japanese bread crumbs (Panko), crushed with a rolling pin

Peanut oil or canola oil for frying


Combine butter, parsley, tarragon, chervil, dill and zests with teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place mixture on plastic wrap or waxed paper and roll into small log; place in freezer.

Place chicken breasts, one at a time, between two pieces of plastic wrap. Sprinkle chicken lightly with water and squirt the top of the plastic wrap as well. Pound to no less than 1/8-inch thickness. Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper.

Lay one chicken breast on a new piece of plastic wrap and place 1/4 of the compound butter in the center of each breast. Using the plastic wrap to assist, fold in ends of breast and roll breast into a log, completely enclosing the butter; roll very tightly. Repeat with each breast. Place chicken in refrigerator for 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Place egg and water mixture in one pie pan and 2 cups bread crumbs in a different pie pan.

Dip each breast in the egg mixture and then roll in the breadcrumbs, then repeat the process with the rest. Place in the refrigerator for one hour then re-dip the chicken.

Heat oil in a pot or deep fryer heat until oil reaches 325 degrees F.

Gently submerse each breast in oil, and cook until golden brown, 10 minutes approximately , until the internal temperature reaches. If the chicken becomes too brown, turn the flame down to lower the temperature of the oil. Remove to a cooling rack set in sheet pan and allow draining for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Marc Taxiera is the executive chef of the Russian Tea Room in New York City, as well as at the Tuscan restaurant Beppe, where he started as a sous-chef when it opened seven years ago. After studying at the Institute of Culinary Education, formerly Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School, he joined Felidia, where he worked as a line cook.