Every culture seems to have their own version of a formed meat patty. Italian meatballs, American meatloaf, Turkish kofta. My husband’s family is Russian, so he grew up with his mother’s Russian Kotleti: Ground meat, breadcrumbs, egg, salt & pepper, ground onion. It is a comfort food similar to a chicken nugget and can be served alone, in pasta, with gravy or on a salad. Because it is made from ground meat, it is easy for beginning, toothless eaters to chew.
A few weeks ago we had a couple of chicken breasts that needed to be used before they expired. On a whim, I decided to try my hand at a healthier version of Kotleti. I omitted breadcrumbs (traditionally soaked in milk) and flour (to dredge) and added in non-traditional ingredients like sun dried tomato, basil and greek yogurt to give moisture, flavor and boost the protein. It was a protein-rich, gluten-free version of his mom’s recipe, and passed my Russian-born husband’s taste test. Plus, the leftovers make for such easy snacks and lunches…this recipe is bound to be a weekly staple.
The flavors were impactful but not overpowering, making it a versatile dish for multiple uses. We ate the first batch (all golden brown), so the ones in the picture came from later batches when the pan was too hot. When I make it next time, I’ll do a better job of managing the heat so we avoid dark splotches (plus, the lower heat keeps the Kotleti from drying out)! What flavors do you want to experiment with?
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1/2 small white or yellow onion
- 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 egg
- 5 Tbsp. greek yogurt
- 1 pinch course sea salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Combine chicken breasts, onion and sun dried tomatoes in food processor until ground finely.
- Add yogurt, egg and seasonings, and Olive oil, blending until incorporated.
- Heat Avocado oil until shimmering in heavy-bottom or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Try to maintain a medium temperature as not to burn the cutlets or dry them out.
- Using a Tablespoon, scoop heaps into pan and slightly flatten using spoon. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip & cook for an additional 3.
- Set on paper towel to absorb any additional oil while cooking new batches. If needed, wipe out excess oil from skillet and add fresh oil between batches to prevent sticking.
- Serve immediately (let cool for little ones) or bring to room temp and store in fridge for 3-4 days, using for snacks, lunches, etc.