*April 2010 COTM, Bittman: Poultry
April's Cookbook of the Month is How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman.
Please use this thread for reports on the following chapter, both ed.: Poultry
The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.
Roast Chicken Parts with Olive Oil or Butter: 2008 Edition, page 640
Well time was tight last night and there I was with 3 bone-in and skin-on chicken breasts and no inspiration, or inclination to be creative so I took a quick look at the poultry chapter and made the first recipe I saw. This recipe intrigued me because the technique was just so, well....different.
Anyway, one heats the oven to 450. Then into a roasting pan goes some olive oil and or butter. This gets placed in the oven for a couple of minutes until the butter melts. Then the chicken parts are added and tossed a bit 'til coated in oil. THEN one salts and peppers them. (Skin side only.) Bittman calls for 1/2 cup of any chopped, mild green herbs and I used parsley. One of the variations to this recipe calls for garlic, and I love garlic (would any dinner be complete without it?) so I used a couple cloves. A quarter of the herbs are scattered on the chicken and then you turn them and scatter more herbs on. They should now be skin side up. You roast for 15 minutes, turn, scatter on more herbs, roast some more, turn again, scattering more herbs on top and roast some more, until done.
Now, as I've mentioned, my interest in this book is in evaluating it as a first cook book for the Chowpup when she goes off on her own. In terms of ease and result, this recipe passes muster. The skin was crisp and the meat was moist. HOWEVER there is one screaming ommission in the directions: "Disable the smoke detector, open all the windows and turn on your fan." Man was it smokin....
Chicken and garlic stew, p 372 of 1st edition paperback
this is a basic standby I've been making for years, usually with a couple paks of thighs
I brown the chicken in the dutch oven first, which I see he does not do as I look at the recipe. The garlic goes in with the skin on. This is a ridiculously easy preparation, and it tastes great.
Not a fan of allspice, and can't remember when I last used the recommended cinnamon -- opting for a tiny tiny amount of nutmeg instead
Chicken in lemon sauce (p. 394 1st. ed).
This was fine, but nothing special. Cut up chicken cutlets/breasts, cut up leeks (he wants you to dice them, I merely sliced), saute the leeks in olive oil or butter until soft, add stock, thyme or tarragon (I went with thyme), white wine and boil for a minute or two. Then add the chicken and cook about 5 minutes (until done) and remove. Cook down the sauce, adding a bit of lemon juice and S&P. No one had anything bad to say about it, but no one was raving either. Just pleasant. But we like BIG flavors.
Steamed and Roasted Duck and Fast "Roast" Duck, Chinese style: 2008 edition pages 706 and 707
My husband asked my MIL (who was staying with us for a few weeks) to make Chinese crispy duck. Since it's HTCE month I suggested she use a recipe from there. She combined the two, using the steaming technique from the first recipe and the basting recipe from the other. I think my husband browned it off a little more with a creme brulee torch. Everyone said it was good. I have never had it before so I had nothing to compare it to, but it seemed tender and juicy to me. For me, the best part of the meal were the chinese style pancakes my husband made from scratch, yum!