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Chicken Kiev balls with tarragon-garlic butter

There’s a lot to love about chicken Kiev – especially the garlic butter stuffed in the centre of the chook or beneath the skin. This bite-sized take has the garlic butter in the centre, with yet more for dipping. These little numbers are excellent for entertaining; they can be assembled ahead of time, then quickly cooked to order.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 16
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking (plus chilling)
Chicken Kiev balls with tarragon-garlic butter
Chicken Kiev balls with tarragon-garlic butter


  • 20 gm butter, diced
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 300 gm coarsely minced chicken
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped tarragon, plus extra to serve
  • 180 gm sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
Garlic butter
  • 200 gm butter, softened
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives


  • 1
    1 For garlic butter, beat ingredients in a bowl to combine and season. Place 16 half-teaspoonfuls of garlic butter on a tray lined with baking paper and place in freezer until firm (8-10 minutes). Set remaining garlic butter aside.
  • 2
    2 Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent (3-4 minutes). Set aside to cool, then combine in a bowl with chicken, yolk, tarragon, lemon rind and 80gm breadcrumbs. Season generously to taste, then roll into 16 balls with wet hands. Press a piece of firm garlic butter into the centre of each, roll mixture around it to enclose and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • 3
    3 Lightly whisk eggs in a bowl with 1 tbsp water, place seasoned flour in a separate bowl and combine remaining breadcrumbs in a tray with parsley and season to taste. Dip balls first in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mixture, shaking off excess in between, then place on a tray lined with baking paper, cover and refrigerate until required.
  • 4
    4 Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 170C. Deep-fry balls in batches, turning occasionally, until cooked through (4-5 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on paper towels and season to taste.
  • 5
    5 Melt remaining garlic butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Scatter chicken Kiev balls with extra herbs and serve with melted garlic butter.
  • Author: Emma Knowles