A white bowl of Russian chicken pelmeni with butter being poured over the top of them

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Like Borsch or Pirojki, Pelmeni are a classic Slavic tradition. They are commonly made with beef, but I’m changing things up with a juicy chicken filling. These chicken pelmeni¬†are time consuming, but are fun to make when you get your whole crew involved.

The little fingers in your family will love making shapes out of the dough. Try cooking their creative little shapes, butter them up and enjoy with sour cream; they’ll love it! We had Christmas trees and all kinds of critter shapes in the pot. Recruit some muscle to roll out your dough (the Mr. filled this role very well) ūüėČ

Ground chicken thighs the juiciest of all chicken cuts)¬†works best for this recipe. I realize it’s hard to find pre-ground chicken thighs in the supermarket, so if you don’t have a meat grinder to do it yourself, by all means buy ground chicken breast.


Ingredients for the Chicken Pelmeni:

For the dough:

2/3 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp sour cream
2 cups warm water
2 large eggs
1/2 Tbsp salt
7 cups + about 6 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more to dust

For the Chicken Filling:

(p.s. click here for a Pork & Turkey Filling)
1 3/4 lb ground chicken thigh (leave the fat on if grinding it yourself)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Cooking Oil, or mild olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Ingredients/ Ideas for Toppings:

Butter, melted
Sour cream, vinegar, ketchup
Fresh dill

chicken-pelmeni

How to Make Basic Vareniky or Pelmeni Dough:

1. Using the whisk attachment on medium speed, beat together: 2/3 cup buttermilk, 2 cups water, 2 eggs,  1 Tbsp  of sour cream, and 1/2 Tbsp salt until well blended.

chicken-pelmeni-1

2. Using the dough hook, mix in 4 cups flour. Mix on speed 2 until well blended.

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3. Add 3 more cups of flour one cup at a time, allowing the dough to become well blended with each cup.

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4. Add the rest of the flour 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough is no longer sticking to the the bowl (I used an additional 6 Tbsp flour). Once dough is no longer sticking to the bowl, continue to mix 5 min. (Total mixing time is about 20-25 minutes from the time you first start adding flour). Your dough should be soft and elastic. Cover your dough with plastic wrap or a tea towel to keep it from drying out until ready to use.

chicken-pelmeni-4

How to Make Chicken Pelmeni Filling:

1. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a medium skillet over med/high heat. Add chopped onion and saute until golden and soft (4-5 min) Add garlic and saute another minute then remove from heat.

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2. Mix together: ground chicken 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, and sauteed onion and garlic.

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A handy tip:¬†The KitchenAid mixer is very useful for mixing ground meat so your fingers don’t turn into popsicles if your meat is cold.

If using a pelmeni mold:

A pelmeni mold will make your life a little easier. It looks like this and you can pelmeni mold on Amazon.

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1. Cut off about tennis-ball-size chunks of dough, place over a smooth, lightly floured surface and roll out into a circle that is wider than your mold.

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2. Generously flour your mold and place rolled dough over the mold. Fill each pocket of the mold with 1/2 tsp of your filling.

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3. (Make your husband) Roll out another chunk of dough and place over the mold. Use a rolling pin to role over the top of the second layer of dough on your mold; working from the center Рoutwards until the pelmeni are well-defined.

chicken-pelmeni-11

4. Turn the pelmeni maker over and push the pelmeni out with your finger by pushing in the center of each one, or knock the mold against the cutting board to loosen them (if you get so lucky) onto a well-floured cutting board. Kids love popping them out too! If you find any rebel pelmeni with open edges, pinch them to seal or the meat may float out while cooking.¬†Mine turned out nice and plump, but don’t overfill them or they may be hard to pop out of the mold.

chicken-pelmeni-10

If making pelmeni by hand:

1. Shape a portion of the dough into a 1 to 2 -inch thick log. Cut off 1 piece at a time (about gum ball sized) and roll into disks to form a 1.5-inch circle with rolling pin. Sprinkle rolling pin and surface with flour if needed.
2. Place 1 tsp pelmeni filling in the center,
3. Fold the dough in half over the meat and pinch the edges tightly to seal the dough.
4. You should have a half-moon shape. Pinch the two corners together to form your classic ravioli/diaper shape.

Freezing Pelmeni for lazy days:

5. Place pelmeni onto a well-floured cutting board. Arrange pelmeni evenly on the cutting board, sprinkle with flour and place in the freezer.
6. Once they are fully frozen, transfer to large ziploc bags and freeze them for lazier days.

To Cook Chicken Pelmeni:

Bring a pot of water to boil (add 1 Tbsp salt for a large soup pot, or 1 tsp salt for a smaller 4 quart pot). Add fresh or FROZEN (do not defrost) pelmeni and return to a boil. They should float to the top, then boil for 3 minutes longer (or until meat is fully cooked). Drain pelmeni and place them in a clean bowl. Toss pelmeni with butter and sprinkle with parsley or dill (optional). Serve them warm with ketchup, sour cream or vinegar (my personal favorite).

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Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Russian Chicken Pelmeni Recipe

4.95 from 17 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 10 -12
  • For the dough:
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 7 cups + about 6 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more to dust

For the Chicken Filling:

  • 1 3/4 lb ground chicken thigh, leave the fat on if grinding it yourself
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil, or mild olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Toppings and condiments

  • unsalted butter, melted
  • Sour cream, vinegar, ketchup

Instructions

Making the Dough:

  • Using the whisk attachment on medium speed, beat together: 2/3 cup buttermilk, 1 Tbsp of sour cream, 2 cups warm water, 2 eggs and 1/2 Tbsp salt until well blended.
  • Using the dough hook, mix in 4 cups flour. Mix on speed 2 until well blended.
  • Add 3 more cups of flour one cup at a time, allowing the dough to become well blended with each cup.
  • Add the rest of the flour 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough is no longer sticking to the the bowl (I used an additional 6 Tbsp flour). Once dough is no longer sticking to the bowl, continue to mix 5 min. (Total mixing time is about 20-25 minutes from the time you first start adding flour). Your dough should be soft and elastic. Cover your dough with plastic wrap or a tea towel until ready to use.

The Chicken Filling

  • Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a medium skillet over med/high heat. Add chopped onion and saute until golden and soft (4-5 min) Add garlic and saute another minute then remove from heat.
  • Mix together: ground chicken, sauteed onion and garlic, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 2 Tbsp chopped parsley. A handy tip: The KitchenAid is very useful for mixing ground meat so your fingers don't turn into popsicles if your meat is cold.

Using a Pelmeni Mold:

  • Cut off about tennis-ball-size chunks of dough, place over a smooth, lightly floured surface and roll out into a circle that is wider than your mold. .
  • Lightly flour your mold and place rolled dough over the mold. Fill each pocket of the mold with 1/2 tsp of your filling.
  • (Make your husband) Roll out another chunk of dough and place over the mold. Use a rolling pin to role over the top of the second layer of dough on your mold; working from the center - outwards until the pelmeni are well-defined.
  • Turn the pelmeni maker over and push the pelmeni out onto a well-floured cutting board. If you find any rebel pelmeni with open edges, pinch them to seal or the meat may float out while cooking.

Shaping Pelmeni by hand:

  • Shape a portion of the dough into a 1 to 2 -inch thick log. Cut off 1 piece at a time (about gum ball sized) and roll into disks to form a 1.5-inch circle with rolling pin. Sprinkle rolling pin and surface with flour if needed.
  • Place 1 tsp pelmeni filling in the center,
  • Fold the dough in half over the meat and pinch the edges tightly to seal the dough.
  • You should have a half-moon shape. Pinch the two corners together to form your classic ravioli shape.
  • Place pelmeni onto a well-floured cutting board. Arrange pelmeni evenly on the cutting board, sprinkle with flour and cook (see instructions below) or place in the freezer.

Freezing Pelmeni:

  • Once they are fully frozen, transfer to large ziploc bags and freeze them for lazier days.

Cooking Pelmeni:

  • Bring a pot of water to boil (add 1 Tbsp salt for a large soup pot, or 1 tsp salt for a smaller 4 quart pot). Add fresh or FROZEN (do not defrost) pelmeni and return to a boil. They should float to the top, then boil for 3 minutes longer (or until meat is fully cooked). Drain pelmeni and place them in a clean bowl. Toss pelmeni with butter and sprinkle with dill (optional). Serve them warm with ketchup, sour cream or vinegar (my personal favorite).
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Chicken Pelmeni
Skill Level: Medium/ Easy
Cost to Make: $

 

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Dana
    July 28, 2020

    I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues with
    your website. It appears like some of the text within your
    content are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let
    me know if this is happening to them as well? This could be a issue with
    my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Appreciate it

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 28, 2020

      Hi Dana, we checked out our website and it’s doing alright. Maybe it’s an issue with your browser?

      Reply

  • Spencer Showalter
    May 17, 2020

    Made these yesterday, no pelmeni maker so all by hand. Delicious! Made zero adjustments! Never made pelmeni before and very pleased with the outcome.

    Dough did nearly overwhelm my Kitchen Aid–Had to lean heavily on it as it kept unlocking itself

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 17, 2020

      So glad you enjoyed it Spencer. Thanks for your great feedback!

      Reply

  • Nathalie Savoie
    February 4, 2020

    I love pelmeni!!! I like to toss them in a mix of sour cream and vinegar but I find it cools them too much… Do you have a recommendation? Can briefly saute them in a pan with the sour cream and vinegar so it’s warm? Or is the sour cream going to get all crumbly?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 4, 2020

      I do worry it will curdle, the mix of vinegar and sour cream. Sounds like you’re coming up with a new invention though! If you experiment and find what works I’d love to know how you like this recipe with that.

      Reply

      • Filofei
        February 16, 2020

        Thank you very much for sharing this beautiful recipe, dear Natasha. I’m definitely trying it this week. I too prefer vinegar to sour cream. I literally “dunk” my pelmeni in a pool of vinegar and add a bit of chili oil and soy sauce in honor of my Russo-Japanese heritage.

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          February 16, 2020

          You’re very welcome and thanks for sharing your experience in making this recipe. I appreciate the great feedback!

          Reply

  • Lena
    January 23, 2020

    Natasha- I’ve been to your site probably 7 times in the last 3 days LOL. I’ve been on a pelmeni-making streak and have made a bunch using your recipe. I actually tried Trader Joe’s pre-made chicken+mushroom pelmeni, which tasted incredibly bland compared to your recipe. My American friends absolutely love these, too. You rock.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 23, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Lena!! I’m so glad you loved this recipe.

      Reply

  • Vika
    June 18, 2019

    So far the dough took much more then extra 6tbs(maybe a cup more)! Still sticky! I am a little worried at this stage but will let you know how they turned out later!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 19, 2019

      I hope it works out Vika!

      Reply

  • Olga
    July 29, 2018

    Hi Natasha, after I roll out my dough it keeps shrinking. Does yours do that too?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 30, 2018

      Hi Olga, some shrinking back is pretty normal with pelmeni dough. I have found that adding too much flour can make it worse.

      Reply

      • Rose Marie M Vronick
        August 1, 2018

        IF you leave the dough rest about 20 min before you role it out. It will be more pliable and role much easier

        Reply

  • Anastasia
    November 30, 2017

    Natasha, would you mind informing me about how many calories there is in the pilmeny?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 30, 2017

      Due to time constraints, I don’t typically include nutritional info, but check out this nutrition analyzer Рyou can plug in the ingredients from any recipe, select the serving size and it will give you nutritional info, calories, etc. I hope that is helpful to you Anastasia!

      Reply

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