In today's day and age, it is almost inevitable that at some point in our busy lives, we will look at the clock on the wall and our hearts will fill with dread when the realization hits us, "I have nothing to serve for supper tonight
Michelle Ann Anderson's book The Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook helps solve that problem. In it she tells us how to make something homemade out of store bought beginnings. Starting with a chicken and whatever is in the pantry, Anderson shows us how to construct meals ranging from the simple to the sophisticated.
Michele Anderson knows her chicken. Among other things, she won the 47th Annual National Chicken Cooking Contest, sponsored by the National Chicken Council. Although her prize winning recipe doesn't appear in it, The Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook is a must have for the busy mom on the go, the new cook, or the inexperienced cook, and would be enjoyed by anyone who has needed a dinner idea in a hurry.
The book begins with four pages of pictures showing some of Anderson's creations. Although the pictures look appetizing, they would have been more helpful placed with the corresponding recipe. I found that, when considering one of the many recipes in the book, I didn't look back to those four pages to view the picture.
In her brief introduction, I was pleased to see that Anderson takes time to explain, for those who might not know, how to pick the meat off the bone and also break the chicken up into parts depending on what the recipe calls for. The thought of my granddaughter came to mind when I read this. As a new cook she would have little idea how to properly get the meat off the bones or cut a chicken into its various parts. This would be a helpful resource for someone like her. She also gives a brief description of her method for making a simple chicken stock. For the new or inexperienced cook, this is an easy to follow recipe for stock and is something every good cook must learn.
The Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook covers all areas from breakfasts and brunches, soups, casseroles, entrees, and more, and includes more than 200 chicken recipes. About the only thing this author doesn't do with a chicken is dessert. These recipes are designed with convenience and speed in mind and most can be made start to finish in about one hour or less. The recipes are easy to follow and use ingredients that are found in most kitchens and most certainly at every local grocery store.
Anderson includes "cooks notes with many of the recipes which give helpful serving suggestions and recipe variation possibilities that I found to be very helpful. One such example was with the "Chicken-Boursin Stuffed Pasta Shells" recipe. The cooks note on this recipe tells us; "If you can't locate Boursin, chive and garlic-flavored cream cheese makes a delicious substitution." Knowing substitutions possibilities prior to your trip to the grocery store can save a frantic search later
There are some "old favorites" type recipes like "Classic Chicken Noodle Soup", but there are also some recipes that venture to the more daring side such as, "Creamy Chicken Tarragon Crepes" or "Chicken and Brie Tarts with Fig". Prior to each recipe, there is a brief description of the dish which helps to make up for the lack of photography. I would have liked to have seen more pictures of the various dishes, and it would have been nice to have them located with the recipes. I would have also liked to have seen some nutritional information attached to each recipe. In this day and age, where everyone is concerned with calories, sodium, carbohydrates or some other nutritional issue, that is always useful information to have provided.
That being said, I found this to be a very useful book. The author lays out her directions in such a way that cooks from the beginner to the experienced can follow along with her step by step. I would recommend this book go into the library of the busy men and women of today's world. I would also recommend this book to those people, like myself, who already own an at home rotisserie oven, and cook a chicken at least every other week. This is a great resource for the left over chicken that is always lurking in the refrigerator.
Over all, a nice book to add to my cookbook library.