Chicken Pojarsky style
The ancestor of chicken nuggets – can also be made with meat or fish. Chicken cutlets Pojarsky (Pozharsky in Russian) are the perfect finger food to serve to adults and kids alike. They have a delicious soft texture that resembles chicken nuggets, are very easy to make and only require a few ingredients.
This recipe comes with a lot of history and is of Russian origin. In the 1800s in Russia there was an inn in Torzhak which was famous for food, including the cutlets. Tsar Nicholas 1 of Russia loved the famous cutlets.
Legend has it that the recipe came from a poor Frenchman who stayed in the hotel, had no money to pay, and gave the recipe in payment. The recipe went to the Imperial court and from Russia came to France. In the 1900s every restaurant was making the Pojarsky cutlet with chicken, veal or fish. The story goes that it was called a cutlet because the veal meat would be stripped from the bone and minced, and the mixture would be replaced around the bone to give the appearance of a cutlet.
- 250 grams chicken breast (you can also use veal or salmon)
- 100 ml milk (or cream)
- 60 grams white part of the bread (crumbed)
- 60 grams unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to season
- A small grating of nutmeg (optional)
- About 100 grams breadcrumbs (the homemade chunky type is great if you have them)
- A few tablespoons of clarified butter or oil to cook the cutlets.
Cooking time:10 -15 minutes.
Notes: You can shape the mixture any way you want, make large patties or small and even use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes for the kids. If you feel adventurous you can flavour with paprika powder, curry powder, herbs, mushrooms or onion. Soubise sauce is recommended for dipping.
- Cube the chicken and butter and tear the white part of the bread into small pieces.
- Soak the bread with the cream (or milk if used) for a few minutes. Press out any excess cream in a sieve and press down on the soaked bread with a fork to compress it.
- Pulse the chicken in the processor for a few seconds, add the soaked bread and pulse again for a few seconds, add seasoning and if desired any additional condiment or onion or parsley etc.
- Add the butter cubes and process again for a number of seconds for the butter to be well incorporated. Rest the mixture, covered, in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Dust a bench with flour. Form whatever shapes are desired (but avoid balls) with the mixture and roll them in the breadcrumbs. If they are too soft, return them to the fridge for about half an hour to firm them.
- Fry in the butter (or a neutral oil) on a moderate heat for at least 5 minutes each side to ensure that they are well coloured.
- When cooked, drain them on a sheet of paper towel.
- They can be served with a spicy mayonnaise, or best with a soubise sauce.