The subtitle of this book says it all! “20 Ways to roast the perfect chicken plus 80 delectable recipes.” Written by Mindy Fox in 2010 with beautiful photographs by Ellen Silverman, this book is one I treasure. Mindy is a former chef who now works as a food writer/editor. She has stellar credits ranging from Saveur to Martha Stewart Living to Real Simple to Gourmet to Food & Wine! This is her third cookbook and is a must-buy.
There are six chapters of chicken deliciousness in this 169-page book – “Roasting the Bird,” “What’s on the Side,” “Roast Chicken Salads,” “Roast Chicken Soups,” “Pasta and Rice Dishes,” and “Brunch, Lunch and Dinner.” Every conceivable cuisine is represented! There are Moorish, Greek, Spanish, Moroccan, Ethiopian, Peruvian, Cuban, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Korean, Pakistani and Chinese recipes for roasting chicken in addition to simpler, classical recipes such as Roast Chicken with Mustard Butter and Sea Salt Roast Chicken that are all sensational!
The side dish chapter is very innovative. Imagine roasted chicken served with Scalloped Potatoes with Goat Gouda and Thyme! or Polenta with Truffled Cheese! or Roasted Red and Golden Beets with Basil! My favorite was Farro with Spicy Sundried Tomatoes and Feta!
The Salad, Soup, Pasta and Rice chapters were interesting but we rarely have leftover chicken so I wasn’t all that inspired with these recipes. The Brunch and Lunch offerings, however, were surprisingly tempting! A new weekend favorite is Sweet Potato and Roast Chicken Hash with Sunny Side Up Eggs! Another is Roast Chicken, Sweet Corn, and Poblano Pepper Queadillas! This may motivate me to make extra chicken so as to have enough for leftovers!
An “extra bonus” in the front and back of this cookbook are some excellent resources. The author provides a complete list of sources for the interesting ingredients in her recipes, making them very accessible to a home cook. There are also several pages that discuss attributes of a good chicken (including organic, grass-fed, local, antibiotic-free, heritage breeds, kosher, certified humane and air chilled). She also provides tips for preparing the bird, the best salt and pepper, pan selection, carving and oven temperatures. Plus, throughout the book, there are beautiful photographs and informative instructions.
If chicken is in your weekly dinner repertoire, this book will give you dozens of new ways to prepare it! Even if you only make chicken for company, you’ll find many new ways to thrill your guests.