This article is sponsored by Pensez Dindon.
These Kiev style turkey breasts, stuffed with a divine blend of lemon herb butter and garlic, are a real explosion of flavors.
With its spinach and herb butter garnish, the result is a juicy and tender meat, wrapped in crispy breadcrumbs.
And since turkey is a lean meat, we can afford that little extra butter!
Fairly simple to make, although the recipe involves several steps, turkey Kiev is equally suitable for a festive dinner as it is for a romantic or family dinner!
What is “Kiev style” ?
It’s a recipe of Russian origin where a chicken breast is stuffed with herb butter, then coated with breadcrumbs and baked.
The result is crispy meat on the outside and super tender on the inside with the added bonus of a delicious butter sauce.
The recipe has traveled a lot and there are now a multitude of variations: with only butter and parsley, with garlic, sometimes with thyme, dill or, as is in this case, tarragon.
In my version of Kiev turkey, I use lemon butter with garlic, parsley and tarragon. The blend of tarragon flavors with turkey is always a winner!
Two methods for preparing and stuffing poultry
The first method is to cut the inside of the turkey breast with a knife, making a cavity that is then filled with the butter mixture.
All that remains is to close the cavity before coating the poultry with breadcrumbs and cooking it.
This method takes a little knack to cut the cavity without piercing the breast and requires pieces of the perfect size to make it. On the plus side, the openings are very limited, reducing the risk of the butter sauce running off during cooking.
The second method is to use cutlets about ½ centimeter thick or butterfly cut breasts and to lay the butter in the center.
The meat is then rolled around the butter and closed with a toothpick. Coat it in breadcrumbs, make sure to seal the meat with eggs and breadcrumbs, and cook it.
With turkey breast, this is the simpler and more versatile method we will use.
More recipe with turkey:
Tips for a successful turkey Kiev
There are several steps to prepare a turkey Kiev, but don’t be intimidated. The following tips will help you successfully prepare these turkey rolls.
Choosing turkey pieces: To make this recipe a success, make sure you have turkey pieces of the same thickness for an even cooking.
Flatten the turkey cutlets: Place the meat between two sheets of parchment paper and, using a meat mallet (or even a rolling pin or skillet), flatten the cutlets. The goal? Obtain pieces of meat that are evenly thick (about 5 millimeters) and thin enough to roll up easily.
To make your life easier and skip this step, you can also ask your butcher to cut the turkey cutlets to the desired thickness.
- Yes to fresh herbs: you could use dried herbs for this recipe (reducing the amounts by half), but the result will be much more fragrant and aromatic with fresh herbs. And it’s an ideal use for the abundant harvests of herbs during the summer.
- Freeze the herb butter: once the butter and herbs are mixed, shape the butter into a fairly narrow roll. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. It will be easier to handle and will melt slower when cooking.
- Tightly seal the stuffed turkey rolls: once the meat is rolled around the spinach and butter mixture, we want to seal and close the roll so that it has no openings. Use toothpicks to keep everything in place. Also, be sure to coat the turkey roll with eggs and breadcrumbs to seal it.
- During cooking: use tongs to handle the wraps. Only turn them once in the pan during cooking.
- Check the doneness of the turkey: If you are using a meat thermometer to check the doneness of the turkey, make sure you do not pierce all the way to the center of the roll so as not to measure the temperature of the butter rather than the meat. This will also prevent the chances of sauce leaking.
Note: If ever a little butter sauce is lost during cooking, don’t worry, the recipe will still be very good since part of the herb butter also permeates the turkey meat during cooking, making it simply exquisite.
What to serve the turkey Kiev with?
To go with turkey Kiev, there’s plenty to choose from. You can opt for:
- vegetables simply pan-fried in a little garlic or steamed (broccoli, carrots, asparagus, rapini, etc.);
- a green salad;
- mashed potatoes;
- a puree of root vegetables;
- garlic pasta.
For the herb butter:
- 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
- 4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp chives, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 6 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
For the spinach:
- 1 tsp olive oil (for cooking)
- 2 cups fresh spinach, roughly cut
For the turkey:
- 2.25 lb turkey breast cut in 6 cutlets
- ½ tsp salt
For the breading:
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 ½ cup panko
- ¾ cup vegetable oil (for cooking)
For the herb butter:
- In a bowl, put the chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice, garlic, pepper and butter. Mix all ingredients well using a fork.
- Wrap the butter mixture in a plastic wrap and shape it into a roll about 1 inch thick. Put the herb butter in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
For the spinach:
- Heat olive oil in a skillet. Let the spinach wilt until the water has evaporated. Set aside and let cool.
For the turkey breast rolls:
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Insert the turkey breast cutlets between two sheets of parchment paper.
Flatten the turkey using a meat mallet (or a rolling pin) until the cutlets are
about 5 mm thick.
- Season turkey pieces with salt.
- Take the herb butter out of the freezer and cut in 6 equal parts.
- Take one cutlet and fill with 1/6 of the spinach and 1 part of butter in the center. Roll the meat around the butter and the spinach, making sure sides are folded inside the roll. Secure roll with toothpicks. Repeat for each cutlet.
- Put eggs, flour and panko in three separate bowls.
- Coat each turkey roll with flour and shake off excess flour. Then, dip into the egg mix and coat with panko.
- Heat vegetable oil in a skillet (about ½ inch thick). The amount of oil used could vary depending on the size of the skillet. Fry the turkey rolls for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until they start browning. Using baking tongs, turn rolls only one time during cooking to avoid piercing the rolls.
- Once the rolls have browned, put on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until turkey is fully cooked (see 1st note).
Note 1: You can check the doneness of the meat by inserting a meat thermometer in the turkey breast. The meat is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Note 2: Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, green vegetables or a salad.
Note 3: The key to making this recipe a success is to ensure your turkey pieces are thin enough to be easily rolled and that your turkey rolls are tightly closed.