In this well-focused book, Evans gets a lot of mileage out of a simple idea: the delicious roast chickens of France. Modern France, that is several of these recipes reflect the more integrated France of today, such as Vietnamese Chicken and Rice Noodle Salad and a North African-influenced Chicken Bisteeya. The bulk of the dishes, however, are along the lines of Classic Roast Chicken with Fries and Coq au Vin. That's not to say that Evans doesn't have original ideas: juicy Chicken Roasted with Whiskey and Shallots is a concept whose time has come, and even simple recipes for boneless breasts, like Chicken Cutlets with Capers, are carefully recorded and accompanied by helpful tips, like the suggestion of salted capers over those in brine. Chapters are organized by preparation, with stews such as Chicken Fricasee with Basil Cream and Chicken Bouillabaisse grouped together. Another on lighter luncheon fare and appetizers offers Smoked Tea Poached Chicken (Evans re-creates a blend from the swank Paris tea shop Mariage Freres) and a Croque Monsieur Sandwich with Chicken. A final chapter of egg dishes is full of clever concepts, such as a savory Curried Chicken Clafouti and gently poached Burgundy Eggs in a Red Wine Sauce.
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"A 'must-have' for every kitchen, Bistro Chicken serves up our favorite food with a charming French accent. Filled with flavor and flair, the recipes are accessible, easy, and fun to make. Personally, I'm grateful that Mary's years of living and traveling in France have inspired her to share this wealth of ideas, trucs, and tips. Her mouth-watering descriptions of the foods are evocative and as colorful as the out-of-the way bistros where she discovered them. A longtime cooking school director and teacher, Mary has the palette of a food professional, but also the practical understanding and knowledge to simplify techniques for home cooks. When I sat down to my first bowl of Mary's aromatic Chicken and Garlic Soup, I was instantly transported to the corner table of my favorite Parisian bistro. The addition of a glass of wine, a crusty baguette, and her magically moist (and so easy to make) Tarragon Chicken completed the picture. I could almost hear the rain outside the curtained window, and voices at the zinc bar behind me. Since Clafoutis with fresh fruit is one of my favorite desserts, I can't wait to try Mary's ingenious savory variation with curried chicken. This is a book I will use often!"
--Susan G. Purdy, author of The Perfect Pie and The Perfect Cake
Mary Ellen Evans's book BISTRO CHICKEN is a wonderful collection of recipes inspired by her travels to France and elsewhere. Try a Croque Monsieur with Chicken for a truly great lunch sandwich or her unconventional Chicken Rillettes as the start of a wonderful bistro meal, or my favorite, Chicken with Garlic. There's something here for everyone and every occasion.
-- Gordon Hamersley, author of Bistro Cooking at Home