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ManchesterChef: wild garlic chicken kiev recipe by Doug Crampton

James Martin's head chef shows us how to make a much-loved classic

Tender chicken breast wrapped in crunchy golden breadcrumbs and oozing with hot garlicky butter – who doesn’t love a chicken kiev?

The historic dish became popular in the UK in the 1970s and 80s, and was in fact the UK’s first chilled ready meal, sold by Marks and Spencer’s in 1979. It fell out of favour from the late 1980s, but over recent years it’s bounced back to become a much-loved classic.

Now, you’re as likely to find the nostalgic treat in top restaurants as well as the supermarket chiller aisle. But have you ever made it yourself?

Luckily, Doug Crampton, head chef at James Martin Manchester, has shared his recipe with us – and it’s easy to make at home. You can use seasonal wild garlic if you have some, or ordinary garlic will do just as well if not.

Serves two.


  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs (any breadcrumbs will work)
  • 25g grated Parmesan (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 50g flour
  • Vegetable oil – for frying
  • Sea salt
  • Wild garlic flowers to garnish (optional)

Wild garlic butter:

  • 80g softened butter
  • 100g wild garlic (can be replaced with 2 cloves of ordinary garlic)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. Finely chop the wild garlic and add it to the softened butter. Add the pureed garlic clove and zest of 1 lemon.
  2. Season the butter mix with salt and cayenne pepper, and place into a piping bag.
  3. Create a deep cut into the side of the chicken breast, starting from the thickest point. Do not cut all the way through.
  4. Pipe the softened garlic butter into the cut and fold the edges of the chicken back over, do not overfill. Wrap tightly in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
  5. Combine the Parmesan and panko breadcrumbs and place in a bowl. Put the flour in another bowl, and the beaten eggs in a third bowl.
  6. Un-wrap the chicken from the cling film, and coat each piece in flour. Add the floured chicken to the egg mix to fully coat it, then add it to the crumbs and ensure each piece is fully coated. Repeat the process of egg and breadcrumbs again.
  7. Set in the fridge for a further 15 minutes.
  8. To cook, shallow fry in hot oil until golden, then place in an oven at 180°c for 20 minutes. Probe the chicken to 75°c to check it’s cooked, ensuring not to burst the kiev.
  9. Serve immediately.

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