Reviewed in the United States on 23 September 2020
Like many Americans, we use chicken in a lot of recipes. It is a relatively inexpensive meat, and it comes in a variety of forms. My favorite are boneless, skinless chicken breasts. My wife likes to try new things, so she thought this cookbook would offer some fun and easy recipes to add to her repertoire. Sadly, she was disappointed.
First, let me say that this is a beautiful cookbook. The author has lots of full-color photographs and everything is laid out in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Second, it's divided up into several different types of recipes, which is nice. There are six chapters: 1) an intro to how to handle and prepare chicken, 2) a section with recipes that use five ingredients or less, 3) a chapter with recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare, 4) a unit with recipes that can be prepared in a single pan, 5) ones that only require one pot, 6) a chapter of all crock pot recipes. All of these are intended to make it easy to find the recipe that best fits your most pressing need.
Third, most of the recipes seem fairly easy to follow. The author starts with the name of the dish and its description. Then she lists the ingredients. Across from that are the instructions. Most of these meals take four to six steps to prepare.
My first issue is that the many of the recipes call for exotic ingredients we don't generally keep in our kitchen. Or they call for ready-made products, such as special sauces and whatnot, that we also don't prefer. When we are looking for a new recipe to try, we'd rather find something that uses stuff we commonly have on hand, rather than plan far enough ahead to go buy a bunch of fancy stuff.
Second, when prepared according to the instructions, the food is kind of bland. The author uses a good deal of salt and pepper, but most of the recipes don't have much "zing" to them. My wife found herself adding spices to bring the recipes up to par.
Third, the index wasn't too helpful. There's one index that lists recipes according to the cuts of chicken used. Since my wife generally just uses boneless, skinless breasts, this wasn't particularly helpful. The second index lists the recipes by name and key ingredients. The problem is, if you don't know the name of something, you don't know what to look for. If you find a recipe using one of the things you have on hand, you may find it's got a bunch of other stuff you don't. My wife pretty much ended up thumbing through the book each time she wanted to try something until she found what sounded good and doable, rather than using the index.
Finally, while the book tells you how many carbs and grams of fat, carbs, sugar, fiber and sodium are in each serving, it doesn't indicate the serving sizes. So you can't be sure how much you are actually getting. There's nothing about vitamin or mineral content, either.
My wife has a lot of recipes for chicken, but she really didn't find any in this book to add to her list of options. If you enjoy a bland diet, this book may be adequate for you. However, if you prefer more pizazz, using common, simple ingredients without a lot of processed components, this is probably not your best choice.