Monday, January 20, 2014

Pozharski Kotlets

These unbelievably tender juicy and crispy, all-in-one, chicken patties should be named Angel's Burgers, Chicken Patties from Heaven or something like this. Try to make them and you will see what I'm talking about..

Blog's Category: International, My Staple Food, USSR-era Recipes


Pozharski Kotlets is a classy traditional Russian recipe. I heard about it since I remember myself and in-fact our family recipe for everyday chicken patties we call "kotlets" are pretty similar to Pozharski Kotlets. Similar but not the same.

As always, after thorough research on a subject, I come up with this authentic, stupendously simple recipe I've got at one of my favorite Russian Cooking show "Obed Bezbrachiya" (loosely translated as "dinner of the bachelor".. there is also some word play taking place there which would mean, on the other hand "vow not to marry", celibacy in other words). The host of a show is funny though very knowledgeable chef. Here is the link to this show (sorry, it's in Russian) -

The legend says, that century or two ago, Russian tsar, traveling somewhere not too far from a Moscow, requested his favorite veal cutlets from the owner of a local tavern. The owner of tavern, with a last name Pozharski, being out of veal, served wickedly delicious chicken patties. Tsar was impressed with those cutlets so much that commanded to cooked them for him for the rest of his life.

What is it?

Distinctive feature of these patties is that there is not that much ingredients in it. Forget about spices and other fillers that usually goes into these type of meat patties. Big no-no to an onion or garlic too - surprising, right? But be careful - the less ingredients, the more precise you have to be in execution.

Taste Description

Wonderful tenderness and juiciness of kotlets is shocking. Along with a crispiness of a tiny bread cubes on outside, it presents the perfect combo we all love in our food. Flavor is a pure and delicate chicken flavor, not supressed by anything strong such as garlic or onion, and just lightly supported with black pepper aroma.

How to Serve

Serve hot or warm. It pairs perfectly with mashed potato or steamed vegetables.

Pozharski Kotlets

  • 5 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 loaf of soft white bread, not sliced
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2-1 tsp black pepper
  • flavorless olive oil for frying (or ghee)
- Cut off bread crust and use somewhere else (make croutons, for example). 

- Dice one half of bread into tiny cubes and toast them in oven until they are beige in color. Set aside.

- Slice other half of bread into thick slices, place them into bowl and pour milk and water over it for soaking. Set aside.

- Grind chicken breasts into a large bowl. Squeeze soaked bread a little bit and add it to a ground chicken. Add salt, pepper, heavy cream and mix all together by hand for about 5-10 minutes, very thoroughly, until mix becomes somewhat sticky.

- To form patties, drop about 2 tbs of chicken mix into the bowl with baked tiny bread crumbs, then flip it to coat other site and shape it carefully in your hands into almond shaped patties.

- Fry on a medium heat, on a skillet with a generous amount of oil until golden.

- Transfer into oven proof dish and finish in a preheated to 375F oven for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!


- As a "less-fuzz" version I can suggest using panko bread crumbs in place of homemade bread cubes. Also you can break half of loaf into pieces and process it into fresh bread crumbs, then dry them out in a oven and then use it for coating.

- Don't be tempted to add onion, garlic or your favorite seasoning into these patties. I know, they will be yummy anyway but they won't be Pozharski Kotlets and you will never know what they are :)


The worst in nutrition, white, soft as cotton ball, bread is the best for this recipe :( :)

Half of a loaf goes into the patty mix and other half used for coating.

Mixing has to be done by hands. If your chicken is too cold, heat soaked bread and cream in a microwave to get it warm. It will make mixing more comfortable for your hands.

Do not overcook your bread cubes for coating. They has to be dry and light in color.

Do not throw away bread crust you cut off a bread loaf. To make croutons, dice them, drizzle with olive oil, some salt, pepper, paprika or other seasoning and baked in an oven until golden. Use for your salads or soups.

At the right - croutons made off bread crust; at the left - tiny bread cubes we will use to coat Pozharski Kotlets.

Bread cubes stick pretty nicely to patty mix.

They brown up very quickly, so don't use a high heat.

Finish in an oven.

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