Juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breasts, coated in a delicious, crispy crust and oozing with a molten garlicky herb mixture, this Gluten-Free Chicken Kiev is the ultimate comfort food.
Serve it with a side of vegetables, maybe a salad, or mashed potatoes to soak up all that delicious compound ghee. You can’t go wrong either way.
Traditionally, Chicken Kiev is stuffed with a garlicky and herby butter. To keep things paleo, I substitute ghee. It has a nuttier, bolder flavour than butter, but has virtually none of the lactose due to the way it’s made.
What You Need for Gluten-Free Chicken Kiev
- Chicken Breast: Chicken Kiev is normally made with boneless and skinless chicken breast. Look for medium-sized ones with the tenderloin attached – you will need it to secure the stuffing in place before folding over the edges of the breast.
- Ghee: Using ghee will keep this recipe paleo-friendly. It also tends to be easier to work with because ghee is shelf stable and can be stored at room temperature. That means when it comes time to preparing the stuffing, you don’t have to wait for the butter to soften. You could, however, use butter if that’s what you prefer and have. Just let it come to room temperature first. The recipe stays the same.
My absolute favourite ghee is made by 4th & Heart. Their ghees are made from grass-fed dairy and taste incredible. For this recipe, I used their Garlic Ghee for extra flavour, but any of their ghees would work here.
- Gluten-Free Breading: Feel free to use your favourite gluten-free bread crumb here. You could substitute alternative flours, like almond flour or cassava flour as well. You won’t get as crispy of a finished product though. For added crunch and texture, I like to finely chop these almond flour crackers in a food processor. It’s the same “breadcrumb” I use for my Garlic Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb. They also happen to be grain-free!
- Arrowroot Starch: I use arrowroot starch for dredging the Gluten-Free Chicken Kiev. It’s grain-free, gluten-free and will help the egg to stick to the chicken. You could substitute a gluten-free flour of choice – be it a blend of flours or something like potato starch.
- Eggs: For best results, coat the chicken in an egg mixture before placing it in the breadcrumbs. If you have an egg allergy in the family, just coat the chicken in the breadcrumbs and omit the arrowroot starch and eggs. The breadcrumbs won’t stick as well this way though.
- Fresh Dill: Dill is the classic herb to use for Chicken Kiev and tends to work best here. The tiny strands of leaves distribute very evenly. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with other herbs though. The most important thing is that the herbs are completely dry before combining them with the butter.
- Garlic: The real flavour bomb in Chicken Kiev is the fresh garlic. I like to portion one clove of garlic per serving – and that’s on the absolute lowest end. If I’m just making this for me and my family, I usually double the amount!
Gluten-Free Chicken Kiev (Kotleti po Kievski)
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon, 4th & Heart Garlic Ghee
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 4 chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ¼ cup arrowroot starch
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups finely chopped grain-free crackers substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- In a bowl, combine the ghee, dill and garlic and mix until incorporated. Place the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log measuring around 4-inches long. Twist the ends to secure and transfer to freezer for 20 minutes or until firm.
- Separate the tenderloins from the chicken breasts and set aside. With a sharp knife, evenly butterfly each chicken breast and place them skin side down. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten each breast and tenderloin with a meat mallet or rolling pin until 1/4″-inch thick all over. Liberally season with salt and pepper.
- Remove the ghee mixture from the freezer and slice, lengthwise, into 4 equal-sized sticks. Place one stick of ghee in the middle of each chicken breast. Tightly cover with the flattened tenderloin, fold in the sides of the breast and roll tight like a burrito. Tightly wrap each breast in plastic wrap, place on a sheet pan and transfer to the freezer until firm, around 45 minutes.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375F.
- Add the arrowroot starch, eggs and breadcrumbs into 3 separate bowls. Season each component with salt and pepper and whisk the eggs until frothy.
- Remove the chicken from the freezer and discard the plastic. Coat the chicken in the arrowroot starch, then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a sheet pan and set aside.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon ghee and the avocado oil. Heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, around 2 minutes per side or 8 minutes total. Place the chicken onto a sheet pan lined with a wire rack and transfer to the oven. Cook until the thickest part of the chicken meat registers 165F on a digital thermometer. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.