Cookbook Review: Joy of Cooking: All About Chicken by Irma S. Rombauer et al

I thought I'd take a break from romance and mystery reviews for a second to write about a few cookbooks in my collection.

I'm not a foodie. I'm not into the uber-gourmet cooking that requires tons of expensive ingredients and hours upon hours to make. I have kids. Yeah, enough said.

So most of my cooking is thrown together as quickly as possible. But there are times when I just want to COOK. Something homemade, stick to your ribs good. That's when I break out my Joy of Cooking: All About Chicken. It's not at all like the imposing, inches thick colossus, The Joy of Cooking. This is a slim, photograph-filled volume of goodness.

I can honestly say I've made just about every recipe in this book. Nearly every well known chicken classic is here: Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Cacciatore, Coq Au Vin, Chicken Parmigiana, Chicken Cordon Bleu. There's a few I haven't heard of before, too, which feature more exotic ingredients.

What I really love is that these are completely from scratch. The pot pie uses a Creamed Chicken recipe from the book, adds veggies, then has a yummy homemade crust. It is one of the best things I've ever made--and the kids adored it despite the presence of peas and carrots. The Chicken Parmigiana recipe features a homemade tomato sauce made with lots of vegetables that gets rid of that pasty, canned tomato sauce taste. The Chicken Verde shows you how to use tomatillos to make the sauce.

What's great is that most involved recipes are done in stages. Don't want to make your sauce from scratch? No problem! You can substitute ready made sauces where needed. And if you DO want to cook the sauces from scratch, but don't want to spend all day, you can do it in stages--the sauce one day, the rest of the recipe the next evening.

This is by far the best chicken cookbook on the market and the most consistent. Every single recipe is good. Every single one.

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