Prop­erly done, this old friend is a won­der of the culi­nary world, says Richard

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE - Richard Hughes is chef di­rec­tor at The As­sem­bly House, Nor­wich, the lo­ca­tion for his award-win­ning cook­ery school

The clas­sic chicken Kiev gets star treat­ment

This month’s recipe is as ‘old school’ as it gets, a truly retro dish that has been ap­pear­ing on menus since the early 60s in the UK. It fell out of fash­ion when we be­came too ‘foodie’ for our own good, but now seems to be mak­ing a wel­come re­turn.

Chicken Kiev was on the orig­i­nal Old Beams menu at Brun­dall in 1963 (priced at 12/6), I served it through the 1970s at Great Yarmouth’s Im­pe­rial Ho­tel, it was a sta­ple of frozen food cab­i­nets and ready meals of the 80s, usu­ally made with re­formed chicken, but thank­fully has now started to reap­pear in its in­tended form.

Done well, it’s a de­light, the punchy, but­tery gar­lic unc­tu­ous­ness giv­ing a much­needed boost to the some­what bland chicken breast. It works su­perbly well with pheas­ant, giv­ing the meat some much needed mois­ture when is cooks.

De­spite its moniker, I’m not sure it’s a Rus­sian dish. It was, like most great dishes, in­vented by a French­man, as most wealthy Rus­sian house­holds hired French chefs, and its pop­u­lar­ity spread when early New York restau­ra­teurs put it in the menu in an at­tempt to please Rus­sian im­mi­grants

The chicken Kiev sits along­side the prawn cock­tail, the vol au vent, fon­due and Black For­est gateau as clas­sic dishes from an era when we the masses were dis­cov­er­ing the plea­sures of din­ing out and which, prop­erly done, are won­ders of the culi­nary world.

Great food should never go out of fash­ion, a point that will be proved when you serve this up on a chilly Novem­ber evening.

01603 626204 richard­hugh­escook­ery assem­bly­house­nor­

ABOVE: How a proper chicken Kiev should look

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