Chicken Kotleti (Russian Meatballs) – Куриные Котлеты

Chicken Kotleti-1-8All Russian children grow up with their mom’s kotleti, just like Italians grow up with meatballs. Kotleti translate as meat “cutlets”, and are small, individual meatball-type patties. Anytime I make these for dinner, I am guaranteed a huge smile from my husband and always an enthusiastic kiss too. He’s so easy to please:).

Most of the time, kotleti are made with pork or beef, but I actually prefer chicken. I think the meat is much more tender and light. Adding fresh, toasted breadcrumbs gives the meat a porous, tender texture. I have also found that grating the onion on the smallest holes of a box grater incorporates the onion really well into the meat and using only a small amount will give just enough flavor without giving you kotleti aftertaste. Not a good thing:) For this reason also, I always omit garlic.

Kotleti are also on my list for company dinners too. I love watching guests happily gobbling up the plate of tender chicken patties. Since most Slavic people grew up eating them, no one ever gets too excited when they see them on the table. They’re just a seemingly boring and uninteresting entree, but when they start eating them, they can’t stop raving about how delicious they are and I rarely have any leftovers. I think it’s the ground chicken and  the fact that they are SO juicy and tender. I hope you love these as much as we do.

Yields: 20-22 small or 16 large kotleti

Ingredients:

1 lb ground chicken

3/4 cup – 1 cup panko breadcrumbs or 2 slices of bread

1/3 – 1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 egg

1 small onion, grated

1/2 cup flour, for dredging

Instructions:

If you’re using bread, toast the bread and pulse in the food processor or use a box grater. Place the breadcrumbs or the panko breadcrumbs in a bowl and top with milk. The milk should just cover the bread. You may not need all the milk, depending on the size of your bread. Let it stand for a few minutes, just until the milk is absorbed by the bread.

Combine all the ingredients, except the flour, in a bowl. IMG_6085

The meat mixture should be very tender. It is much softer in consistency than regular meatloaf mixture.

IMG_6093With moistened hands, shape into oval patties. Dredge in flour.

IMG_6119In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 – 1 1/2 Tablespoons of oil and add the kotleti to the skillet. IMG_6143Cover and cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side.

Covering the skillet and cooking it on medium heat with produce some steam, cooking the kotleti all the way through and injecting moisture and juiciness into the meat.

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel before cooking the next batch.Chicken Kotleti-1-5

Make Ahead:

To make ahead, you can either make the meat mixture ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze until you’re ready to cook or cook the kotleti and reheat later. When you re-heat the kotleti, add just enough water to a skillet or a small pot and cook, covered, on low heat. This will keep the kotleti moist even as leftovers.Chicken Kotleti-1-8

Chicken Kotleti
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 20-22 small, 16 large kotleti
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • ¾ - 1 cup panko bread crumbs or 2 slices of bread
  • ⅓ - ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • ½ cup flour, for dredging
Instructions
  1. If you're using bread, toast the bread and pulse in the food processor or use a box grater. Place the breadcrumbs or the panko breadcrumbs in a bowl and top with milk.The milk should just cover the bread. You may not need all the milk, depending on the size of your bread.
  2. Let it stand for a few minutes, just until the milk is absorbed by the bread.
  3. Combine all the ingredients, except the flour, in a bowl.
  4. The meat mixture should be very tender. It is much softer in consistency than regular meatloaf mixture.
  5. With moistened hands, shape into oval patties. Dredge in flour.
  6. In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 - 1½ Tablespoons of oil and add the kotleti to the skillet.
  7. Cover and cook until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side.
  8. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel before cooking the next batch.
Make Ahead:
  1. To make ahead, you can either make the meat mixture ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze until you're ready to cook or cook the kotleti and reheat later. When you re-heat the kotleti, add just enough water to a skillet or a small pot and cook, covered, on low heat. This will keep the kotleti moist even as leftovers.




 

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi, this is Natasha’s husband. I love the pictures and probably will force Natasha to make some, unless I get to make them first. Great posts.

  2. Natalie says

    These look so yummy! I am planning on whipping up a batch tomorrow. Quick question: what kind of bread do you typically use to make your breadcrumbs? Thanks!

    • says

      I use hearty country bread or homemade sandwich bread. I always have some bread in the freezer and just take out a slice or two whenever I need it.

  3. Natasha says

    I always use pork for my kotleti but after trying these I dont think I will go back.. Husband absolutely loved them.. Thanks for the recipe

    • olgak7 says

      Natasha, I used to use pork all the time before too. After trying kotleti with chicken once, my husband and I were won over and I only make it this way now. I’m so glad you liked it too.

  4. Vera says

    Olga, I just made these wonderful kotletki and everyone loved them. I will definatly do them again, but I will triple the recipe because they are too good and my brothers just swollow them too fast. They turned out so soft with a really pretty korochka. Thank you very much for sharing these amazing recipes with.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family :)

    • says

      These are favorites for my husband and myself. We never get tired of eating the chicken kotleti. I’m so glad to hear that your family enjoyed them too:).

  5. Helen says

    Even my picky kids love these kotletki. Thanks this is really helpful for my kid’s menu… God bless you, Olga.

    • says

      How cool is that? I’ve noticed that most people really like these kotleti. Probably because chicken is a well liked protein.Thanks for letting me know, Helen.

  6. Oksana says

    Hi Olga,
    I made these and my husband said these were the most amazing ever! And he said to try making these patties for hamburgers instead of beef… I think we are hooked! :)) thanks for the recipe! I sure do love your site and visit it at least 3 times a week!

    • says

      Yay! So happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. I like using chicken for hamburgers once in a while too.
      Thanks for visiting my site and for taking the time to let me know.

  7. Olga says

    Hi Olga,
    I’m Olga too :) I just got done making these kotleti and they turned out sooo good!!! Thank you for this awesome recipe and I love you site!

    May God Bless You!!!

  8. Elena says

    Hi Olga,
    Do you drain the juice from the onions after grating them? The meat just seems too wet to handle, I can’t even make an oval shape, it just falls apart. I don’t know what i did wrong. I made sure I didn’t have too much milk with the crumbs as well, just enough to get them all soggy :(

    • says

      Hi Elena,
      No I don’t drain the onions. The meat mixture should be VERY soft. The trick is to use damp hands when shaping them. This is the secret to really moist and juicy kotleti. Add more breadcrumbs if you still can’t work with it.

  9. Lena says

    Hi Olga, I noticed that the recipe has a yield amount, but how many people would 16 large Kotleti serve?
    The recipe looks great though, and I am looking forward to trying it!

    • says

      That depends on how much people eat:). Some people may eat 2 kotleti, others will eat 4, and some might eat 6.
      Some people eat more than others, so whenever I can, I like to add how much a recipe yields, not how many people it serves, since a serving size is different with everyone.

  10. Susanna says

    Another Olga hit in my household! I have to say the meat mixture was a bit hard to handle, since it was so wet, but they were so delicious! And moist! Will definitely make them regularly!

    Thanks!
    Susanna

    • says

      You’re right, the ground meat mixture IS tricky to work with, but I love how tender and moist the kotleti turn out to be:). Glad you enjoyed them, Susanna.

    • says

      Welcome, Natalie! I’m so glad you stopped by. I hope you find many other recipes to enjoy. These chicken kotleti are a personal favorites of my husband and I make them all the time. It’s so awesome to hear that others are enjoying them too. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  11. Uliana says

    Olga, please help! I really really want to make kotlety for my kids, but
    I don’t have store bought ground chicken, can I make my own?
    What parts of chicken are better for this purpose?
    Thank you

    • says

      Absolutely, Uliana. I actually use ground chicken that I grind myself most of the time. The texture is much better and of course, you know exactly what kind of meat is going in.
      I like to use both dark meat (thighs are the easiest) and some breast meat too. You can use only dark meat and that would be just fine, but if you use only white meat (breast) the meat may be too dry.

  12. Irina says

    Would you have a recipe on how to make katleti in a oven? Husband doesn’t feel good after eating fried foods.
    Thank you!

  13. Lesya says

    Made these today but with turkey (thats all I had :-D)..hands down the best kotleti I had ever made. Cant wait to try with chicken. Thank you.

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