Russian Season


Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Pozharskie Kotlety (Pozharsky Cutlets)

Pozharsky's Cutlet

While I still eat chicken… I should post as many chicken recipes as possible :) I plan to breastfeed until Ivanka turns 1 year old, so I still have 6 months ahead to test and post chicken recipes. What’s the connection between breastfeeding and eating chicken? As I already wrote here, I have been eating poultry in order to maintain my animal protein balance since I got pregnant. And I’m planning to quit eating poultry as soon as I stop to breastfeed.

This time I would like to tell you about Pozharsky Cutlets. My Mom made these for me the other day, when I visited my parents to take pictures of something beautiful… something I’ll show you later.

There are two versions of the story behind this old Russian recipe. The first version suggests that Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, whose home chef was famous for his veal cutlets, once wanted to make them for the Great Prince of Moscow, but the chef had run out of veal and, instead, made analogous cutlets with chicken. The high guest liked the chicken cutlets so much that he asked for the recipe, and soon Pozharsky’s chicken cutlets became a hit among the Russian nobility.

Another version says that this recipe was invented by an inn owner Pozharsky’s wife. This legend says that Russian Tzar Alexander the First once stayed in the inn and ordered veal cutlets. The inn’s owner was shocked to realize that there was no veal at hand, and so his wife Darya suggested that he made similar cutlets of chicken fillets with plenty of white bread and butter, coated them in breadcrumbs and served as veal cutlets. Just as in the previous story, the trick worked so well that the cutlets became a popular dish on Tzar’s menu and beyond.

Yet another legend says that Darya Pozharsky learned this recipe from a French man who didn’t have money to pay for lodging and “paid” with this great recipe.

You see how many legends there are behind these simple cutlets? I’m quite sure there might be even more. Whichever version you prefer, I can tell you for sure that thanks to a perfect proportion of meat and other ingredients, these cutlets are extraordinarily juicy, buttery, and tender. Well, I find it morally unacceptable to eat veal, so I have never even tried it and I can’t compare, but I’m absolutely content with these chicken cutlets. My Mom used chicken breasts, so her cutlets were snow-white inside - a quality that makes a cutlet much more visually appealing! And of course the golden-brown breadcrumb coating is irresistible. If you eat chicken meat, go try these now - highly recommended!


Pozharsky Cutlets

3 medium-sized chicken breasts
150g white bread, crust removed
1 cup milk
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil

Makes 8 cutlets, serves 4


Cut bread into cubes and soak it in milk. Carefully drain off all excess milk.

Mince chicken breasts and mix chicken mince with bread, butter, and egg. Add salt.

Divide the cutlet mix into 8 parts and shape them into round cutlets, gently pressing each cutlet. Coat the cutlets in breadcrumbs and cook them in a skillet with a few tablespoons vegetable oil for approximately 20 minutes.

Making cutlets

Pozharsky Cutlet

Pozharsky Cutlet

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51 Responses

  1. they do look great! and the fries too. I wish i was invited to that meal :-P….

  2. They look really delicious, much better and bigger than McD’s chicken nuggets! Did you eat all those chillis?:)

    • Alina says:

      Thank you Three-Cookies! Oh I’ve once tried McD’s chicken nuggets… I would never have guessed they were made of chicken! I secretly like Filet-o-Fish though :D tsss… don’t tell anyone!
      Oh I was really going to eat all those chilies, but I was stopped by my parents! I like hot foods and I didn’t give up eating chili while I was pregnant, but now as I breastfeed it probably does influence the flavour of milk, so I shouldn’t be eating too much spice indeed!

      • Jesus says:

        I only recently heard about pan-friend gnhocci. Such a great (easier) way to get it right! Have you ever tried a squash-based gnhocci? I love a good butternut version.

      • Jolanta says:

        Ok, I am gonna try this recipe, but suttsitube raisins and pine nuts for the dried fruit to give it an Italian twist. If its good, I will post it on my blog with the acknowledgment that the original recipe came from Vagabond Foodie! We have to drive some traffic to your site! I know once you have a few dozen recipes posted, this blog will be real popular! Keep posting interesting dishes and local foodie finds. Thanks, Michelle!

      • Shota says:

        Wow, congrats on the big move! I tried Field Roast for the first time at the Vegan Holiday Festival (I think maybe Vegfest?) and have been a fan ever since. The Celebration Roast is my ftaorive. I never liked real meat, and your product is the only one that has enough real flavor to make it a food on it’s own, not something fake. I’m not ready for the sausages yet (they look too meaty, I know I’m crazy!), but I love love love the roasts! Keep up the great work

    • Mon says:

      You’re really in the wrong place honey. If you want to get sloirusey critiqued on how well you write, find an online community for story writers. Otherwise, I thought the story was interesting but not exactly my cup of tea.Retired English professor

    • qbe says:

      It’s great to read something that’s both enjoyable and provides pragmatisdc solutions.

    • Anna says:

      I allbsuteoy love lamb any way. And this looks allbsuteoy perfect. Wish I would have been there. For my family, it was always a holiday, most often at Easter. Lamb in October? Great! (Good luck with your work choices.)

  3. Rey says:

    These sound delicious, and I think I’ll give them a try. I have a question though- do you cook the chicken breasts before you mince them? Or are you mincing/mixing raw chicken in w/the bread?
    It looks like it would be cooked first but I want to make sure.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Alina says:

      Hi Rey, thanks so much for stopping by! No no, you don’t need to cook chicken before you mince it! Just mince raw chicken breasts and mix them with the bread and other ingredients. Maybe it takes a little bit longer to cook the cutlets than 20 minutes in fact, I should check cooking time… anyway, I’m sure you will see when the cutlets are cooked through, tender, and white inside!

  4. tinytearoom says:

    They look lovely. So neat and tidy. Anytime I need to form a meatball or whatever, there is always a mess and some odd shaped ball. These look delicious.

    • Alina says:

      Aww thank you :) one of the key points here is to drain off all excess milk after you’ve soaked the bread in it, or else the cutlets won’t hold their shape!

  5. Oh, I’ve made these! But they were by the Polish name, which escapes me at the moment but also know them as Bitki. Very tasty!

  6. Ulyana says:

    These are gorgeous! A wonderful blog you have going, will look forward to more posts : )

  7. Ulyana says:

    Oops that comment was for the Ivanka cupcakes :p

    • Alina says:

      Thank you so much Ulyana!! I’m heading to explore your blog now ^_^ and read about the exciting business you run!

  8. LOVE your blog! Those cherry cupcakes look sooo tasty. I’m going to try them. XOXO

  9. moms dish says:

    they look perfect, really want to try this recipe

  10. [...] of how this dish got its name, ranging from a Russian prince to an innkeeper’s housewife. Russian Season, a blog specializing in Eastern European food, has my favorite collection of Pozharski stories on [...]

  11. [...] versions of how this dish got its name, ranging from a Russian prince to an innkeeper’s housewife. Russian Season, a blog specializing in Eastern European food, has my favorite collection of Pozharski stories on [...]

  12. [...] of how this dish got its name, rang­ing from a Russ­ian prince to an innkeeper’s house­wife. Russ­ian Sea­son, a blog spe­cial­iz­ing in East­ern Euro­pean food, has my favorite col­lec­tion of [...]

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