Mama’s Russian Ground Chicken Cutlets (Chicken Kotlety Pozharsky)

This is my Mama’s Russian Ground Chicken Cutlets recipe. These cutlets are actually made of ground chicken and they are very popular in Russia. It is fried and often served with potatoes. When in hurry, a “cutlet” can be consumed sandwiched between bread slices (this is how Ryan likes it).

This dish was supposedly created by accident. Tsar Nicholas I stopped at a tavern in Torzhok (which was once a popular stopover for travelers journeying between Moscow and St. Petersburg) and ordered some veal cutlets. The tavern owner, Pozharsky, ran out of veal so he went ahead and made some chicken cutlets. The tsar enjoyed these so much that he decided to include this new dish in the royal menu.

Also, Alexandar Pushkin (my daddy’s favorite author) tried this famous dish and wrote in a letter to his friend Sobolevski:
“Take a break for lunch
At Pozharky’s in Torzhok.
Try fried cutlets
And enjoy your day.”

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 4 to 6 slices of stale white bread, crust removed (mom uses TamTams instead. TamTams are Matzo Crackers by Manischewitz)
  • garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable or olive oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Take slices of bread (or TamTams) and cover them in water. Let it soak for a couple of minutes until they become soggy. Drain and take the bread and grind it in a food processor.
  2. Add onion to the food processor. Grind and mix well.
  3. Mix onion-bread mixture with the ground chicken. Add garlic, salt, and pepper.
  4. With wet hands, shape mixture into oval patties. Now you have cutlets! 🙂
  5. Cover cutlets in bread crumbs. Heat oil over a medium heat and fry the cutlets until they are a nice golden brown, at least 4 minutes per side.
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