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The Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry [Hardcover]

Cook's Illustrated
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 27 1999
Vast and authoritative, with 38 chapters containing nearly 500 recipes and 300 illustrations, The Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry offers readers the very best methods for preparing chicken, turkey, duck, goose, quail, squab, and pheasant.

Nowhere can you find the volume of testing and research that you do in Cook's Illustrated. Forty turkeys roasted to find the best Thanksgiving bird. Duck prepared ten different ways to ensure the crispiest skin and moistest meat. Countless chickens basted and turned to determine that preheating the roasting pan is the secret to the tastiest one. No other cookbook has taken this approach to the subject, and no other book has broken such new ground in the kitchen.
Master recipes provide all the basics to prepare poultry in particular styles--from fried chicken to braised quail, sautéed turkey cutlets to roasted Cornish game hens.

The variations follow: an exhaustive listing that will yield fresh recipes for years to come. These include delights like Sautéed Chicken Cutlets with Marsala, Chicken and Herb Dumplings with Spring Vegetables, and Cincinnati-Style Turkey Chili. There are even recipes specially designed to make use of leftovers. For grill enthusiasts, sidebars cover such topics as finding the best charcoal and setting up the grill for indirect cooking. Recipes range from easy grilled chicken wings to a show-stopping grill-roasted whole turkey guaranteed to be the best you've ever tasted. Step-by-step illustrations guide the reader through every technique. Informative sidebars rate everything from roaster racks to canned chicken broth.

Enlightening, instructive, and invaluable, this is a book that any cook interested in poultry--and in learning the best way to prepare any bird--can't afford to be without.

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Product Description

From Amazon

The Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry is, bar none, the Great Mother Hen of all poultry cookbooks. If it is incomplete in any way, it is only that the editors have not included poultry recipes from absolutely every culture in the world familiar with the birds. But with this book tucked under your wing, you can check out poultry recipes in cookbooks from all corners of the globe and know exactly how to get the results you want. Thanks to the Cook's Illustrated magazine test kitchen, all possible contingencies have been exhaustively covered.

There are 38 chapters in this book, starting with a guide to buying poultry (the more expensive birds are better than their commercial sisters) and ending with a note on smoking. You won't even get to Chicken Salad until chapter 23. You will find nearly 500 recipes, the perfect roast turkey among them. There are 300 pen-and-ink illustrations demonstrating everything from carving a bird to getting the pit out of a mango. Want to know which is the best canned chicken stock? The best countertop deep fryer? The best roasting rack? The best way to sauté chicken cutlets? It's all in here, in meticulous detail. That stir-fry that has always given you trouble? It's a thing of the past. Always felt intimidated by duck? Forget about it.

Plan on getting lost in The Cook's Illustrated Complete Book of Poultry once you open the cover. You will surface only long enough to go to the grocery store. Your life will never be the same. It's that kind of book. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

For the moment at least, this is the definitive collection of nearly 500 recipes for cooking chicken, turkey, pheasant, Cornish hens and other birds in a broad variety of ways. While introductory remarks to the 38 chapters (on Fried Chicken, Grilled Chicken Kebabs, Roasted Goose, etc.) echo the somewhat pedantic style of Cook's Illustrated magazine by recounting details of rigorous recipe testing, the recipes are consistent models of clarity and promise meals so boldly flavored that it's difficult to restrain oneself from grabbing a bird to cook. Dishes such as Spinach, Tomato, and Chicken Pot Pie with Parmesan Biscuit Topping and Saut?ed Chicken Cutlets with Rice Wine and Szechwan Peppercorn Sauce exemplify the savory offerings, but also included are such homier dishes as Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls and Stuffed Roast Turkey with Giblet Pan Gravy. Accompanying the recipes are a cornucopia of tips resulting from the editors' extensive testing, including advice on brining a bird before cooking and using a large skillet for stir-frying rather than a stove-top wok because it heats better across the cooking surface. As the title says, this is about as complete as one cookbook can be. Some 300 drawings demonstrate preparation and cooking techniques. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Poultry Lovers! Aug. 5 2001
By A Customer
I'm an avid cook and, while I no longer subscribe to "Cooks Illustrated" magazine, I respect editor Christopher Kimball and his expert "Cook's Illustrated" kitchen crew and have had good luck, more or less, with their recipes which, if followed exactly, are virtually foolproof. I also never fail to learn something from their informative kitchen commentary. All in all, Kimball's recipes and advice are beneficial to both novice and experienced cooks.
That having been I have to point out that taste is, of course, subjective. For instance, I've found, from trying a number of Kimball's recipes, that he is a salt-a-holic. I prefer to cook with little or no salt, as I find the taste harsh and unpleasant, and if I followed Kimbell's recipes exactly I'd be drowning in the stuff. I prefer pepper and tend to double or triple the often meager amounts Kimbell calls for in his recipes (usually he calls for four or fives times more salt than pepper, and I almost reverse that ratio). But, if your taste is the same as Kimball's when it comes to a particular food, his well-researched and thoroughly-tested recipes will be amazing! (In this particular cookbook he endlessly recommends "brining" chicken before cooking, which means soaking it in salt water. This is something my grandmother has done for years, but with vinegar and water, instead of salt. I still prefer the latter method and use either apple cider or white vinegar--half water, half vinegar--with great success and no salty after taste.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The final word on poultry July 28 2001
Very impressive study provides well-documented, carefully-considered answers to every imaginable question about poultry cooking together with a remarkable variety of recipes. Introductions to each of the 38 chapters (e.g., braised chicken, roast chicken, stir fry, grilled chicken parts, turkey cutlets, smoked poultry, etc.. -- ) provide excellent, well-illustrated descriptions of specialized techniques. Although there are some more complex recipes, many are straightforward enough to be whipped up after a full work day. I have tried 8-10 of these recipes and each has come out beautifully. I have made particular use of chapters on braised chicken, roasted chicken parts, and sauteed chicken cutlets, but also plan to try recipes for curries, peking duck, etc. Lots of great healthy recipes, but the chicken in morel cream sauce can't be beat for a special occasion! I have dozens of cookbooks but this has become, and undoubtedly will continue to be, my primary resource for poultry recipes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every kind and description is covered Dec 15 1999
This book is so complete it is amazing. Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Quail and on it goes. Even Peking Duck? I could not even begin to describe all that this book covers. Every recipe a success. Wonderful Detail and explanation, also the reason why. I love "The Cook's Bible, and now this one just adds to the greatness of the idea of a perfect master recipe through thorough testing. I doubt you would ever need another book on poultry. This one tells it all. Definitely worth owning. I love the 40 cloves of Garlic Chicken recipe, exactly like what I enjoyed in Paris at a bistro there. Most authentic flavor and easy to prepare. Everything tried turns out delicious.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like Poultry? This is a must have Aug. 5 2000
Ever get tired of chicken? This book will certainly liven up your standard chicken recipes. I didn't know there were so many ways to prepare chicken. This book has recipes that are clearly written, illustrations, and has the reasons behind why you do things. I have used several recipes from this book, and they have been fantastic. In fact I didn't know broiled chicken could taste so good. They have a marinade recipe in here that bets everything that I have ever tried hands down. So if you cook a lot of chicken, and need some new recipes to liven up your dinners this is the book to get.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly perfect Jan. 10 2002
By A Customer
Almost every recipe I've tried from this book has been marvelous. I do, however, have a BIG problem with the curry recipes. As any good Indian cook knows, it is essential to fry the spices before adding the liquid. You can't, as this book says, add the liquid and the spices to the oil at the same time and expect the spices and oil to "separate" from the liquid. The spices are more likely to blend with the liquid, not the oil, and not fry at all. This makes for an unpleasant curry. I have to wonder how well-tested the curry recipes were.
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