James Martin Chicken Kiev – With A Twist

For ten years, James Martin was featured on BBC, and for good reason. The man is a talented chef and TV star, and perhaps one of his best-known recipes is his chicken Kiev. It’s a classic take on a classic dish – and we’re gonna make it today.

James Martin chicken Kiev makes use of a few simple ingredients: chicken, garlic, and breading, to make something delicious.

Unfortunately, my inner chef tells me that this could use an update to bring it back from the ’70s that it simply screams it’s from. So we’re going to put a nice, simple twist on the classic and modernise it a bit. And of course, as always, you can expect this recipe to come filler-free and devoid of unnecessary bits and bobs. Now, onto the food!

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James Martin Chicken Kiev: Recipe and Ingredients

Now, this isn’t exactly an easy dish, rather it’s simple. It won’t take much to get it all together, no matter how intimidating this all may look.

First things first, as always, are the ingredients. Get them all prepared beforehand and this recipe will fly by in no time. To make the chicken Kiev, you’ll need:

  • 175 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Vegetable or canola oil for frying
  • 4 French-trimmed (with drumette), skinless chicken breasts
  • 75 grams all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 90 grams panko crumbs

Now all that’s left is the actual cooking – let’s get to it!

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The Recipe

  1. Combine the garlic, butter, and half the parsley into a bowl and beat together. season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the herb butter onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll it into a log, refrigerating for at least an hour to set.
  2. Heat oil in a deep pot (or fryer) to 160°C. Be sure to watch the oil – do not leave it unattended.
  3. Insert a knife into the bone end of the chicken, right next tot he bone, and move the knife around to create a pocket in the centre of the breast.
  4. Slice the butter into batons and insert in each pocket, placed as far in as possible.
  5. Seasoning your flour with salt and pepper, put the eggs, panko, and flour into separate bowls.
  6. Bread your chicken.
    1. Put it through flour, then egg, repeat, then fully coat in breadcrumbs, using another egg dredge if necessary.
  7. Fry each piece of chicken for 8-10 minutes, or until it’s reached an internal temperature of at least 73°C.
  8. Drain on a plate with paper lining and keep warm until your meal is ready.
  9. Serve with your favourite veggies – sheet pan veg, baked potatoes, bean ragout, whatever your heart desires.

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The Twist

This particular recipe is so simple that it’s hard to really beat. The best thing you can do here, realistically, is to improve the breading. We’re going to go with a cajun breading to really add some kick to this chicken. If you don’t like spicy things, I’ll mark a few seasonings as optional. The addition of andouille sausage, home fried potatoes, and some corn wouldn’t go amiss here, either.

Now, to make the improved breading, you’ll need the following:

  1. 2 tbsp each of:
    1. salt
    2. smoked paprika
    3. garlic powder
    4. onion powder
    5. dried oregano
    6. dried or fresh thyme
    7. freshly ground black pepper
  2. Optional – 1 tbsp each of:
    1. cayenne pepper
    2. chilli powder
    3. crushed red pepper flakes
  3. 1 tsp ground cumin
  4. .5 tsp filé* powder

For the Veggies & Side

  1. 6 red potatoes
  2. 2-4 ears of fresh corn, halved or quartered (dealer’s choice)
  3. 2 kg sliced andouille sausage**

*This is an optional ingredient that is often hard to find. While filé adds massive amounts of flavour, it’s more common in the southern USA than in other areas. If unfamiliar with the flavour of this spice, I highly recommend that you go easy on it the first time to see how you feel about it – its flavour is rather divisive outside of the States.

**This is also a regional ingredient that is harder to find in parts of Europe. If you can’t find it – it’s okay. You’ll still get the flavour of andouille from the spice mix.


  1. Combine the seasonings in a large bowl, doubling the recipe if you plan to make veggies with the same spices.
  2. Mix the seasonings with your breading flour, and make the chicken as normal. If you want to make veggies, reserve half of the seasoning.

For the Veggies

  1. Bring salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a pan with 1 tablespoon of your herb butter on medium heat.
  2. Once your water is boiling, add your potatoes and corn to the water. Boil the corn until done, removing it. Cook your potatoes until tender, but not fully cooked, then strain.
  3. While your veggies boil, put your andouille sausage in the pan. Render and crisp, turning down when it begins to really brown.
  4. Combine your potatoes and remaining seasoning, tossing them into the pan with your sausage. Cook until the potatoes are crisp on the outside and sausage is finished.
  5. Serve chicken on bed of potatoes and sausage aside corn on the cob. Use remaining herb butter on the corn.
  6. Enjoy the silence as your family eats without saying a word – it’s that good.

Final Thoughts

James Martin’s chicken Kiev is delicious – don’t get me wrong. You can’t really go wrong with herby, buttery fried chicken. The (in my opinion) necessary improvement comes in the form of his breading. If you’re a fan of bland but crispy breading, then you’ll love the original recipe. But if you want to add a bit of spice to your life, the cajun chicken, potatoes, corn, and sausage are bound to satisfy.

And if you’ve never tried andouille or filé seasoning – do yourself a favour and give it a try. They’re both regionally specific to the southern USA (in fact, andouille uses filé powder), but they really shouldn’t be. The fact that every person hasn’t had a southern American meal baffles me and makes me incredibly sad for their palettes. So just do me a solid, trust me, and make this as soon as possible. You’ll thank me.