The team at Jacqui Small Publishing sent me “Chicken & Other Birds: From turkey escalopine to beer-braised chicken legs” by Paul Gayler MBE to review recently and what a treat it was to receive! I have a collection of recipe books that I keep in my kitchen “library” and I love them just as much as I love the books I read for pleasure. There is something so delightful about poring through the pages of a beautifully compiled book of recipes.
The photography in “Chicken & Other Birds” is by Kevin Summers and it really brings each recipe to life.
Until recently, Paul Gayler MBE was Executive Chef at The Lanesborough Hotel in London. Paul has won The Guild of Food Writers’ Cookery Book of the Year, has been nominated for a prestigious André Simon Award and, in 2012, was awarded an MBE as well as the top ‘Catey’ from Caterer and Hotelkeeper for his ‘outstanding contribution to the hotel industry’. With 24 Cookery Books to his name, selling over half a million copies worldwide, he is clearly a well regarded expert in his field.
The book contains over 100 classic and contemporary chicken dishes, from simple everyday meals to grand dining and serves as a reminder that poultry is such a versatile meat type. I like the fact that the book covers a range of cooking styles from traditional to nouveau cuisine. Of course the chicken, which is so readily available and usually the “go to” bird to cook was prominent but less well known birds such as turkey, goose, duck, guinea fowl, poussin, pigeon and quail were also featured. I can’t wait to be more adventurous and try the recipes with the other types of birds.
I decided to use a traditional recipe and went for one of my all time favourite chicken recipe – Roast Chicken. As you can see, aside from a tiny tear in the skin due to over enthusiastically rubbing butter on the chicken it is pretty much perfect. Look at the golden skin! It was delicious and moist and came out just as described, if not better…or maybe I was just really hungry.
Chicken & Other Birds offers a visual tour of all the birds, showing their relative sizes and discussing the differences between them, plus a buying guide – what to look for and how much to allow per person – followed by tips on storing and handling uncooked poultry, and step-by-step photos and instructions for preparing a bird before cooking (trussing, French trimming, stuffing and jointing), and for carving or jointing a whole cooked bird.
I particularly liked the last chapter, ‘Perfect Sides and Complements’ which is a round-up of flavoured butters, marinades, rubs and bastes, stuffings and sauces, chutneys and relishes as well as the perfect gravy. Overall a great cookery resource.
Grab a copy of this great cookbook online www.jacquismallpub.com
Falling in love with food more and more each day!
Why do I love food so much?
Food is amazing, it reminds us that we're home or enables us to visit distance places in an instant through our taste buds.
I just love food.
I run www.ariatupr.com in the day and write for www.whosfordinner.com at night.