with pickled vegetables
Thinly pounded chicken is filled with rich herb butter and rolled in a crisp breading and enjoyed throughout Eastern Europe.
Smarts #1: The pickles need at least a day to develop flavor and that classic pickle crunch. If you're short on time serve steamed green beans with dill or a fresh salad instead.
Smarts #2: Be sure to keep the chicken rolls fairly thin or they will take too long to finish cooking. Refrigerating before cooking sets the butter so it slowly melts as the chicken cooks.
- Parsley, fresh - 1 Tbsp , chopped
- Dill, fresh - 1 tsp , chopped
- Butter - 6 Tbsp
- Lemon zest - 1/2 tsp
- Thyme, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb , halved and pounded thin
- Parchment paper - for prep
- Flour, all-purpose - 1/2 cup
- Eggs - 2
- Panko breadcrumbs - 1 cup
- Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp
- Cauliflower florets - 12 oz
- Bell peppers, red - 1 , sliced
- Carrots - 8 oz , sliced
- Garlic - 4 cloves , peeled and smashed
- Mustard seeds (opt) - 2 tsp (you can also use coriander seeds, peppercorns, or a combination)
- Dill, fresh - 3 sprigs
- Vinegar, apple cider - 2 cups (sub white vinegar)
- Water - 1 3/4 cups
- Sugar - 3 Tbsp
- Salt - 1 Tbsp
Cauliflower / Bell peppers / Carrots / Garlic - Prep as directed. Pack them in layers into glass jars. (You can also use any other container with a lid where the vegetables will be tightly packed.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make pickles - Use clean glass jars that tightly can hold all of the vegetables (you can also use any other container where the vegetables can be tightly packed). Add garlic and mustard seeds to the bottom of the jars. Top with cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, and dill sprigs (portion for pickles), packing everything tightly. In a saucepan, bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a simmer. As soon as it begins to simmer, carefully pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables, filling the jars nearly to the top. Let pickles cool to room temperature and then seal with a lid. Refrigerate for at least a day before serving. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make herb butter - Finely chop parsley and dill (portion for butter). Soften butter briefly in the microwave (do not let it melt). Combine butter, parsley, dill, lemon zest, and dried thyme. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Chicken - Butterfly chicken breasts by slicing chicken breast in half, making sure not to slice all the way through (so that the two halves are still connected). Open up chicken breasts, like opening a book. Place parchment paper over chicken and pound with a tenderizer until breasts are about 1/4” / .6 cm thick. Season with some salt and pepper. Divide herb butter between chicken breasts. Roll chicken breasts up to completely enclose the butter, tucking the sides in as best you can. It’s a bit like rolling an awkward burrito. (Make sure that the rolls are no more than about 2” / 5 cm in diameter or they will take too long to cook.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Prep breading stations - Set out three shallow bowls. Place flour in one, whisk eggs in the second, and place panko in the third.
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, roll in flour, dusting off excess. Roll in egg and then press firmly into panko to fully coat. Set aside.
Heat a skillet or frying pan with oil over low-medium heat. Sear chicken on all sides until deep golden brown and cooked through (165F / 74C), 10 to 15 minutes total (depending on thickness). Adjust the heat as needed if the chicken starts to look too brown before it is cooked through. You can use tongs to hold the chicken in place as you brown the ends. If working in batches, you may need to add more oil to the pan before each batch.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest, covered loosely, for 10 minutes. (Resting is always the key to tender, juicy chicken, but especially in this recipe where it needs time to soak up the flavorful herb butter.)
Slice chicken. Serve with pickles on the side. Enjoy!