A small compact book, designed specifically for those who like chicken and who like their chicken grilled. Vegetarians and people who just don’t like grilled chicken should, well, turn away!
Unlike many other books focussing on bulk, cramming in as many recipes as possible to be the ultimate this or that, here the focus is on just one thing and doing it well. It seems to work – whilst both types of books can and do have their place, at times you just want to grab an ‘ingredient-specific’ book and get cooking, or grilling we should say.
There is not a lot one can dislike about this book. The nervous beginner will find the sections about grill techniques and specifics helpful before they look at the recipes. The more accomplished griller will dive straight in and get busy with the recipes. The recipes themselves are split broadly into five sections: whole birds, bone-in chicken pieces, ground chicken, boneless chicken thighs and boneless chicken breasts. Even this simple categorisation can make a difference when you are feeling lazy and have say a packet of chicken breasts in the fridge – why waste valuable drinking/relaxing/sleeping time by looking through lots of recipes that seem to only use the items you DON’t have. Mind you, if you are too lazy and relaxed maybe you won’t want to fire up the grill… or you have a gas grill secreted somewhere for those occasions!
Each of the 100+ recipes are clearly and simply laid out, often accompanied by a basic, practical colour photograph. Preparation time, grilling time and a note for any specific equipment that may be required precede the recipes too (Hurray!). Then the ingredients, split out for any rub, glaze or sauce and the main dish. Then clear step by step instructions. If it gets any simpler a nice man from Weber would be delivering the dish ready-made, served on a silver platter. Apart from burning the meat, it is hard to see how you can go wrong if you just follow the steps.
This is a great little volume that works well as a standalone book or as part of a larger library – after all, can you really ever have too many recipe books? The only complaint is the binding. Comb binding that allows the book to lay flat without its spine being broken was designed for this kind of book. The range of recipes show the versatility that can be achieved simply yet with not much variation of basic ingredients and tools (take one chicken, one grill and put together…) Your guests may thank you for this book!
Chicken & Sides: Weber’s On The Grill, written by Jamie Purviance and published by Oxmoor House/Weber. ISBN 9780376020352, 144 pages. Typical price: GBP9. YYYY.