Perfect Chicken Kiev (Felicity Cloake)

Makes 2

2 chicken breasts
50g salted butter, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
½ lemon
2 tbsp flour, seasoned
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp breadcrumbs, panko if possible, seasoned
Vegetable oil, to deep fry

1. Mash together the butter, garlic and herbs, and season with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Form into 2 sausages, and wrap in clingfilm. Put in the fridge to chill.

2. Butterfly each chicken breast by opening it out using a knife, and then put it between 2 sheets of cling film and bash with a rolling pin or meat tenderiser until about 0.5cm thick, being careful not to create any holes. Season both sides well.

3. Put a sausage of butter near one edge of the chicken and begin rolling the meat up around it, tucking in the ends as you go (use some egg and flour as glue if they prove obstinate). Roll into a tight sausage using the clingfilm, and freeze for 2 hours.

4. Put the seasoned flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into 3 shallow dishes and then roll the frozen kievs in each in turn, then again in the eggs and crumbs to double coat. Put in the fridge to defrost, which should take about an hour. Preheat the oven to 150C.

5. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or fryer to 160C, or until a crumb of bread turns golden in about 15 seconds, then gently lower the first kiev in. Cook it for 8½ minutes, then drain on kitchen paper and put in the oven to keep warm while you cook the next. Serve immediately, once your guest has tucked a napkin into their collar.

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