Chicken Kiev is the 'special meal' in our house and I make it about once a year. Between flattening the chicken and breading it and then actually cooking it, there's quite a process involved and I just don't get around to doing it very often.
The chicken itself is super delicious, so not only do I enjoy eating it, I also have a ton of memories surrounding meals that featured this wonderful dish! I first made Chicken Kiev with my college roommate, she would get a wild hair every once in a while and we'd make a random recipe from her Betty Crocker cookbook. Making Kiev with her was an adventure, mainly because neither of us had made it before and I didn't even know what it was! It turned out delicious and I was super excited to receive a cookbook for my wedding that contained the recipe!
I've made Kiev for John a few times over the last 8 years, but the most memorable time was when he was in Iraq and my sisters and I made a special meal for our parents' 25th anniversary. Kiev is one of those dishes that sounds exotic and adventurous, but it's really just breaded chicken with some butter and garlic in the middle, so I knew it would be the perfect 'fancy' meal to celebrate our parents. I made the chicken and my sisters made pasta and a salad for sides, plus we put together a pan of brownies for dessert. The meal was delicious and wonderfully well-timed, everything was ready at just the right time and then the brownies were done partway through the meal. We took the brownies out and placed the pan on top of the stove to cool while we finished eating, which turned out to be a bad idea. A few minutes later, we all smelled something burning and I turned around to see the pan of brownies SMOKING in the center!! Someone had forgotten to turn off the burner and we ended up scorching the brownies!! Thankfully, everyone was a good sport about it and Dad took us out for ice cream after dinner. :)
In Japan, we got into the habit of having Kiev on Valentine's day instead of going out to dinner. Our favorite Italian place had shut down and the other nice restaurants required reservations, plus we couldn't take Annelise and had to find a sitter. I would make a delicious meal of Kiev, mashed potatoes, and a wonderful spinach salad, and go to a local patisserie to buy a selection of desserts for us to share. Because each dessert was a single serving, I'd buy 2 or 3 that I knew we'd like and then one that I wasn't sure of so we could try something new.
We were in Japan again for Valentine's day this year, but on vacation this time. We ended up eating at our favorite pizza place since we were staying at the base inn, so I made Kiev this week to celebrate our anniversary/Valentine's/and John's April birthday. We went out to eat for our anniversary and will do so for John's birthday, because I'll be way too pregnant by then to want to stand around preparing Kiev, plus we'd like to go out with friends that evening. So last night we stared at each other's faces and ate our delicious dinner, as we shared a bottle of sparkling grape juice since I can't drink alcohol right now. I love that we have a tradition that we've carried with us to three different countries over 8 years and am looking forward to sharing it with Catelyn next year as a family of four!