Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to cooking chicken
The complete idiot's guide to cooking chicken
Bowers, Sharon.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Alpha Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 304 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX750.5.C45 B86 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This guide features more than 100 recipes and talks the reader through all the basics of preparing and cooking chicken.

Author Notes

Sharon Bowers is a food writer and devoted chicken cook who's always on the lookout for bargain chicken at the supermarket. She is also the author of The Lazy Way to Cook Your Meals and co-author with David Bowers of the forthcoming Bake It Like a Man: Operating Instructions for the Real Man's Kitchen.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Getting to Know Chickenp. 1
1 The Chicken and the Eggp. 3
A Growth Industryp. 3
What's Got Into Your Chicken? Antibiotics and Growth Hormonesp. 4
Ruling the Roost: USDA Standardsp. 5
The Difference Between Organic, Free-Range, and Batteryp. 6
2 What's A Capon? Buying and Handlingp. 9
Rock Cornish Game Hens and Other Mysteriesp. 9
Baby Broilers, Squab, or Rock Cornish Game Henp. 9
Broiler-Fyerp. 10
Roasterp. 10
Stewing Henp. 10
Caponp. 10
Special Cutsp. 11
Giblets and What to Do with Themp. 13
Rotisserie Chickenp. 14
3 Playing Chicken: Safe Handling of Raw Poultryp. 15
We Are Not Alone: Bacteria in Raw Chickenp. 15
Transportation, Storage, and Handling of Raw Chickenp. 16
Safe Cooking Tipsp. 19
Storing Cooked Chickenp. 20
4 Someone's Gotta Do It: Jointing and Carvingp. 23
Tools for the Jobp. 23
The Full Monty: How to Cut Up a Whole Raw Chickenp. 24
Boning Breastsp. 29
Carving Roast Chickenp. 29
5 Marinating: A Little Effort, A Lotta Flavorp. 33
What Marinating Really Does--and How It Worksp. 33
Basic Marinadesp. 35
Dry Rubsp. 39
Brining: The Pro's Secretp. 41
Part 2 Chicken Wrangling: Major Cooking Methodsp. 45
6 Chicken Stock: Good for What Ails Youp. 47
Stock Secrets: Tips for Making Good Stockp. 47
One Last Peep: Stock from Cooked Chickenp. 48
Ultimate Stockp. 48
The Rules of Stockp. 48
In the Stocksp. 50
Type I Quick Basic Stockp. 50
Type II Elaborate Stockp. 51
7 Roasting: The Ultimate Testp. 55
What's So Great About Roast Chicken?p. 55
Tips for Better Roastingp. 57
To Truss or Not to Truss?p. 58
On the Rackp. 58
A Foolproof Roast Chicken Recipe and Variationp. 59
Low and Slow Roast Variationp. 60
8 Frying: Everyone's Got a Theoryp. 63
Favorite Fried Chickenp. 63
Tips for Better Fryingp. 64
Know Your Oilp. 64
The Big Cover-Upp. 65
9 A Hot Pan, A Little Butter: Sauteingp. 67
What Is a Chicken Saute?p. 67
Tips for Better Sauteingp. 68
10 A Chicken in Every Pot: Stewingp. 71
What's the Point of Stewing?p. 71
Making a Better Stewp. 72
11 The Dish with the Funny Name: Fricasseep. 75
Fricka-who?p. 75
Tips for Better Fricasseesp. 76
No Spring Chickenp. 76
A Classic Fricassee: Fricassee of Chicken with White Wine and Mushroomsp. 76
12 Let the Water Smile: Poachingp. 79
Clucking Good Poached Chickenp. 79
Tips for Better Poachingp. 80
13 Steaming: Moist and Velvety Chickenp. 83
The Chinese Secret: Steamingp. 83
Tips for Better Steamingp. 85
14 The Art of Grillingp. 87
An American Art Formp. 87
Tips for Better Grillingp. 88
Great Grilling Recipesp. 90
Butterfield Chicken with Chilep. 91
Part 3 Chicken by the Part: I Saw a Sale on Drumsticks for 39 a Pound! Or, What to Make When There's Nothing to Cook but Chicken Thighp. 93
15 Whole Chickenp. 95
Roast Chicken Variations: Anything Goesp. 95
Flying the Coop: New Ideas for Roast Chickenp. 97
Out of the Oven: Whole Chicken in the Potp. 98
Cooking Jointed Chickenp. 100
16 Breasts: Endless Possibilitiesp. 105
Breast Benefitsp. 105
Quick on the Draw: Dinner in Fifteen Minutesp. 106
White Meat for Me: Deliciously Simple Recipesp. 107
17 Thighs: The Underrated Partp. 111
You've Got Chicken Legs: The Underrated Thighp. 111
Boning a Chicken Thighp. 112
Shaping Up Your Thighs: Recipes to Bring Out the Bestp. 113
18 I Get a Drumstick! The Favorite Partp. 119
The Original Finger Foodp. 119
Boning Drumsticksp. 120
Kiddie Food: Recipes to Get the Fun Back Into Drumsticksp. 122
19 Wings: Beyond Buffalop. 127
When Wings Were Wastep. 127
Trimming and Jointingp. 128
A Different Drummer: Making Drummettesp. 128
Wild Ways with Wingsp. 130
20 Gaga for Giblets--Gizzards, Hearts, Livers, Necksp. 135
Don't Throw It Away!p. 135
Cleaning Organ Meatp. 136
Better Than You'd Think: Tasty Recipes for Chicken Innardsp. 136
21 What Do I Do with It? Light and Tasty Ground Chickenp. 143
It's Not Pale Hamburgerp. 143
Grinding Your Ownp. 144
This Is Chicken?! Great Ground Chicken Recipesp. 145
Part 4 Chicken by the Coursep. 151
22 Appetizers, Snacks, and Sandwichesp. 153
Appetizers and Snacksp. 153
Sandwichesp. 157
23 Soups and Saladsp. 161
Soupsp. 161
Saladsp. 167
24 Pastas, Pies, and Pastriesp. 173
Pastap. 173
Pies and Pastriesp. 178
25 Stews and Casserolesp. 183
Stewsp. 183
Casserolesp. 188
Part 5 Chicken Around the Worldp. 195
26 Chicken and the Frozen Northp. 197
Icy Little Birdsp. 197
The Recipesp. 198
27 Chicken and the Sizzling Southp. 205
Pollo Ay Caramba! and Othersp. 205
The Recipesp. 206
28 The Chicken Rises in the Eastp. 213
The Start of It Allp. 213
The Recipesp. 215
29 Chicken and the Not-So-Wild Westp. 227
Old-World Chickenp. 227
The Recipesp. 229
Part 6 Beyond Chicken: Playing the Gamep. 239
30 Not Actually from Cornwall: Cornish Game Hensp. 241
What Are They Anyway?p. 241
Care and Handling of Your Cornish Game Henp. 242
Recipes: Roasted, Grilled, and Stuffedp. 243
31 The Big Challenge: Turkeyp. 249
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Turkey?p. 249
Talking Turkey: Tips for Better Cookingp. 251
Quick-Time Turkeyp. 253
You Don't Have to Get Up at Dawn: Turkey Recipesp. 254
32 Just Ducky: All About Ducksp. 259
Getting Your Ducks in a Rowp. 259
Knowing When to Duck: Tips for Better Cookingp. 260
Roast Duck and More: Recipesp. 262
Variationsp. 263
33 Duck, Duck . . . Goose!p. 267
The Noble Fowlp. 267
Loose as a Goose: Tips for Better Cookingp. 268
Great Goose Recipesp. 270
Stuffing Variationsp. 272
34 Call of the Wild: Other Game Birdsp. 277
What Are Game Birds?p. 277
Squabp. 278
Guinea Fowlp. 278
Pheasantp. 279
Partridgep. 279
Quailp. 279
Rules of the Game: Tips for Better Cookingp. 280
Playing the Game: Recipes for Game Birdsp. 280
A Glossaryp. 287
B Sourcesp. 293
Poultry and Gamep. 293
Indexp. 295