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Golden Age…

The modern city of Kiev can be traced back to the ancient people known as the Rus’ (who as you might know also were known as Russians). Kievian Rus’, as it was known at the time, included major parts of Russia, Belarus and the Western part of modern day Ukraine. During the 10th and 11th centuries this nation-state was the most powerful in Europe. During the 12th century, major incursions by Turkish nomadic peoples led to a major exodus by the Slavic people living in the region. This would all come to a crashing end in 1240 when a Mongol invasion devastated the kingdom and completely destroyed Kievian Rus.

Holodomor:

From the 14th century through the 19th century is a story about foreign rule. Mongols, Russians, Polish and more ruled the region.

A passage from the website “A Brief History of Ukraine”

In the 19th century Ukraine was firmly under Russian control. However from the mid-19th century nationalism spread. In 1918 while Russia was engaged in civil war Ukraine became independent for a short time. However in 1921 the Russians forced Ukraine to become part of the Soviet Union.

Stalin decided that farms in the Ukraine should be collectivized. In other words peasants would be deprived of their land and livestock and made to work as farm laborers on land now owned by the state. Not surprisingly many Ukrainian peasants bitterly resisted even slaughtering their own livestock rather than hand it over to the state. However Stalin was determined to crush the Ukrainian peasants and he caused a terrible famine in 1932-33 that took the lives of millions of innocent people. In 1932 collective farms were given completely unrealistic quotas to fill. Soviet law decreed that the peasants would not be allowed to keep any grain until they had met their quotas. They could not, of course meet them so Soviet officials simply confiscated all the grain they wanted leaving the peasants to starve. How many people died in this man-made famine is not known for sure but it was probably about 7 million. This horrific artificial famine is called the Holodomor.

Independence:

In 1986 there was a disaster at the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl. The authorities tried to cover up the disaster and it caused much resentment. In the late 1980s Ukrainians became increasingly dissatisfied with rule from Moscow and in 1989 the RUKH (Ukrainian People’s Movement for Restructuring) was formed and in 1990 demonstrations were held.

With the collapse of Communism and the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 Ukraine once more became independent. However the transition from Socialism to Capitalism was a painful one. Ukraine suffered high inflation and economic decline for some years. However economic growth eventually began again.

The Orange Revolution:

At the same time that Ukraine was transitioning its economic system, it was also transitioning from a dictatorship to a democracy. In late 2004, Viktor Yanukovych won a presidential election that many people believed was rigged. Supporters of the Viktor Yushchenko, the opposition candidate, held demonstrations for 10 days which resulted in a re-run being held and Yushchenko winning the election. This has been called the Orange Revolution.

 

The Recipe:

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Today is a special recipe, mostly because it’s the one were making, but also because it was the dish i chose to prepare for my lovely wife on Valentine’s Day. Don’t be afraid by what seems like a daunting recipe, because it is actually quite easy to make and very tasty indeed. For this version of the recipe, you will need a Icing bag or something to inject the parsley butter into the chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breast
  • 160g softened unsalted butter
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp Oil

Bread Coating:

  • 100g flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml Milk
  • 400g fresh breadcrumbs

Vegetables:

  • 3-4 Carrots
  • 400-600g or 1 1/2 cups Green Beans (fresh)

Method:

1st thing to do is to prepare the butter mixture. Soften the butter if needed, and then mix with the garlic and parsley. Put this mixture into the icing bag and then refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

Once the butter is cooled, slice a pocket in the middle of the chicken using a small knife. Using the icing bag, squeeze the butter into the middle of the chicken.

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Next, Preheat the oven to 200 C (390 F)

Get out 3 medium bowls. In one bowl, place the flour, in the second whisk the eggs and add the milk and in the third place the bread crumbs.

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To bread the chicken follow these steps:

  1. Coat the breast in flour
  2. Dip into the egg/milk mixture
  3. coat on all sides with breadcrumbs
  4. go back into the egg/milk mixture
  5. coat in breadcrumbs a 2nd time

After the chicken has been breaded, salt and pepper to taste.

At this point you can go ahead and prepare the veggies. Peal and chop the carrots and wash the green beans. Bring a saucepan of water to boil and then place the veggies in the water and cook until soft.

While the veggies are cooking, heat up the oil in a frying pan and then cook the chicken until browned on all sides. After the chicken is browned, place on a baking sheet and then put in the oven to cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

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Once the chicken is done remove it from the oven and plate.

At this time your veggies should be done as well, and you can plate them with the chicken and enjoy!

Further Reading:

Chernobyl:

On April 26, 1986, Reactor #4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near the town of Pripyat, Ukraine, exploded. The explosion took place at around one in the morning while the neighboring town of Pripyat slept. Four workers were killed instantly. Forty hours later, the residents of Pripyat were ordered to evacuate, and most never returned; By that time, many of the residents had suffered varying degrees of extreme radioactive poisoning. The city was evacuated in 1986 due to the Chernobyl disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, located 14.5 kilometers (9 miles) north-northwest.

 

Credits:

This recipe was a close adaptation of the recipe provided by Vitasoy on their website.

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