Kotleti are Russian burgers. Unlike American burgers, which are usually made with beef and served on a bun (with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, etc), kotleti are usually made with ground pork and aren’t served on a bun – or with any other “fixings”. I used to make my kotleti with a combination of beef and pork – I think that’s how the recipe in my Russian cookbook goes – but one day Stas asked for chicken kotleti. They became his favorite, and now I can’t imagine kotleti any other way.
It took me awhile to eat kotleti. When I started making them originally, I was vegetarian. After I started eating meat, I still didn’t try them, because I fried them in a good amount of oil & butter. Only recently did it occur to me that I could just cook some separately, in cooking spray. (I guess I’m a little slow!)
Now, it’s one of my favorite recipes.
adapted from Please to the Table
2 slices white bread
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 lb. ground chicken
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup crushed ice
1 large egg, separated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Soak bread in milk for about 10 minutes. Squeeze and drain. Crumble into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add chicken, onion, garlic, ice, egg yolk; mix well.
3. Beat egg white until frothy; carefully add it to the meat mixture, along with salt and pepper. Knead until well-blended and fluffy.
4. Form mixture into patties. Roll in breadcrumbs (or flour). optional: put small pieces of butter into slits in each patty.
5. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add patties and brown on both sides. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 4-5 minutes.