Everyone knows that sparkling wine pairs superbly with fried food. The bubbly is so appetiser-friendly that we find ourselves signalling for refills all through the night. While I favour a good Rosé style of sparkling, most of my friends side with a Brut. Chandon does both styles very well, and I’ve paired their Brut’s dry but fruity, fresh notes with my Chicken Kiev Croquettes. The croquettes have a crumb coating of sourdough that encases a chicken meatball with a heart of garlic, parsley and chive butter. You can substitute the sourdough crumbs with any good quality breadcrumbs if you like. These croquettes are really fun to eat because they have ample crunch, the guilty pull of a fried meatball, and oozing herby butter that flows out when bitten into. Delicious!
If you didn’t spot it already, Chandon Brut now comes in these white and gold Limited Edition End Of Year bottles. The Rosé too sports a new look in lustrous white and pink with ‘Start The Love’ scrawled across. They look so good, everyone will be pulling them out of ice-buckets to start the party (I know I will).
While the kiev balls don’t need an additional dipping sauce, you could also serve some regular hot sauce on the side, or any butter leftover from making these. Here’s the recipe:
Chicken Kiev Balls with garlic, parsley and chive butter.
Garlic 3 cloves, finely chopped
Butter 200g, softened to room temperature
Parsley 1 1/2 heaped tbsp, chopped
Chives 1 1/2 heaped tbsp, chopped
Lemon zest 1/2 tsp, grated
Butter 2 tbsp
Onion 1 small, finely chopped
Garlic 2 cloves, finely chopped
Chicken 300g, minced
Egg Yolk 1
Parsley 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Chives 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Lemon zest 1/2 tsp, grated
Sourdough crumbs 180g (or any good quality breadcrumbs of your choice)
Flour for dusting
Vegetable Oil for deep-frying
To make the butter, mix together the softened butter, garlic, herbs and lemon zest together. Season to taste. Then, on a flat tray, scoop out 1/2 teaspoonfuls of the butter and freeze it till it’s time to use them.
Heat a few tablespoonfuls of oil in a saucepan and fry together the onion and garlic until translucent. Take it off the heat. In a bowl, add this mixture to the chicken mince, then ad the breadcrumbs, additional herbs, egg yolk, lemon zest and 75g of the crumbs. Reserve the Mix once to combine using just your fingers as a hook or a claw. Season the mince mixture at this stage.
Remove the tray of frozen butter from the freezer Wet your hands and begin to roll into balls. Press in a piece of garlic butter at the centre of each ball of mince. Refrigerate these for 30 minutes at least if not longer. You can make this in advance and keep in the refrigerator at this stage.
Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl and dust some flour on a tray. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and give it a whisk. In yet another tray, spread out the breadcrumbs. When ready to fry, heat a few generous glugs of olive oil in a kadai that’s good for deep-frying. Drop a few crumbs in to check if the oil is ready. If it floats up to the top, it is.
Introduce the balls of chicken, three to four at a time, depending on the size of your kadai, being careful to not overcrowd the pan. Give it a good three to four whole minutes in the pan to cook through. Drain it on paper towels and season with some salt once again quickly. Repeat for the rest of the croquettes.
If you have any left, melt down the remaining flavoured butter and pour it over the kiev balls for added flavour.