Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-togethers Hardcover – September 20, 2010
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The chicken can be rubbed with the spice, the bread cubes toasted, and the sausage and vegetables cooked up to 2 days in advance. After you just brown the chicken, mix the stuffing, bake, and serve. If you need to bake this dish in a disposable pan, remember that the thin foil will not retain heat like a heavy roasting pan, so you’ll need to increase the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes. --Pam Anderson
10–12 cups ½-inch bread cubes, plus 2 cups finely ground fresh bread crumbs (use a food processor) from a couple loaves of dense, crusty Italian or French bread
3 tablespoons Italian seasoning, divided
1 tablespoon plus ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
2½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, minced
1½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 pounds), trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
4 large split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 4 pounds), protruding rib bones and excess fat trimmed, rinsed, patted dry, and halved crosswise
1 pound bulk Italian sausage or 1 pound links, casings removed
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 medium celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
1½ cups finely chopped dried Turkish apricots
½ cup minced fresh parsley
2 large eggs
1 quart low chicken broth
Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet and spread bread crumbs on a separate baking sheet; let dry for several hours or overnight.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake bread cubes until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. (Do not toast crumbs.) Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, mix 2 tablespoons Italian herbs, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, fennel, orange zest, and oil in a small bowl. Smear mixture over both sides of each piece of chicken.
Heat a large heavy roasting pan over two burners on medium-high heat. When wisps of smoke start to rise from pan, add chicken in 2 batches (breasts skin side down). Cook until skin is well browned (3 to 4 minutes), turn, and cook until chicken breasts lose their raw color on remaining side and skin on thighs is well browned, another couple of minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add sausage to roasting pan and fry, stirring frequently to break it up, until it loses its raw color, about 5 minutes. Add onions and celery to pan and continue to cook until vegetables are soft, 7 to 8 minutes. In a large bowl, mix bread cubes, bread crumbs, sausage mixture, apricots, parsley, remaining 1 tablespoon Italian herbs, remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper. Whisk eggs into broth in a medium bowl and pour over stuffing ingredients. Toss to coat and let stand for 10 minutes so bread absorbs broth.
Turn stuffing into unwashed roasting pan. Top with chicken (breasts skin side up) and bake until attractively brown and chicken is fully cooked, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Drink An Alsatian white, a buttery West Coast Chardonnay or, for red, a delicate, fruity Pinot Noir
In Perfect One-Dish Dinners, the New York Times best-selling author Pam Anderson shares her secret for having people over without breaking stride: Make just one dish. Instead of a parade of offerings, she focuses attention on a single main course--a rustic tart, paella, grilled platter, or homey stew. Perfect One-Dish Dinners showcases about forty such meals, perfect for every season and occasion, all designed to wow guests, calm the cook, and relieve the dishwasher at the end of the night.
Stews for All Seasons
Roasting Pan Complete
Big Summer Salads and Grilled Platters.
But that's not all. If the cook wants to make something extra, Pam provides a compatible appetizer, salad, and dessert for every one dish. And as a special bonus, she throws in "nearly instant" alternatives for each--more than 200 mixable, matchable recipes. Whether for a book group, church get together, birthday party, or family supper, Perfect One-Dish Dinners makes easy, shareable meals perfectly doable. More than 200 recipes in all.
Recipe Excerpts from Perfect One-Dish Dinners
Salsa Verde Chicken with Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings
Baby Spinach Salad with Mangoes, Toasted Almonds, and Red Onions
Miniature Lemon-Raspberry Cakes
From Publishers Weekly
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The recipes are in-between Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart in terms of difficulty (not content, though). Leans toward Rachel Ray in most recipes. If you can do Ray's recipes, you can do this. On the other hand, if you are just learning to cook, I highly recommend the Betty Crocker Cookbook, Bridal Edition (the sexist phrasing is not my fault). Those recipes are generally easier, somewhat more familiar, and she has a lot more instructions about things like what "browned" means, and so on. And there are plenty of ideas for Sunday dinners there, too. If you use that for a year or two, cooking a real dinner at least once a week (let's be realistic :) and go through most of the basics, you should be ready to move up to this.
These are dinner party recipes, so many of them take between 30 minutes and 2.5 hours *including cooking time*. This is not a "feed your family every night for the week" cookbook! We use this book for having guests and for Sunday dinners.
Assuming that in your family the kids "get what they get and don't throw a fit", the majority of these recipes will please most diners, and a few of them will definitely please almost everyone. You can always not add the jalapenos, right? You might have to buy one or two spices, namely, saffron and cumin, if you don't already have them. Overall however it is extremely accessible.
This is a GREAT book for the semi-experienced home cook who wants to cook food that guests will enjoy, without going to Martha-Stewart-level intricacy.
It's not a great book for a beginning cook who needs something really 100% surefire, or for someone looking for all the old Sunday dinner staples.
That said, you absolutely must make the paella. I believe every adult at the table uttered, "oh my god" at least once.
One of the best things about Anderson's book is that she provides lots of alternatives. Don't have time to make spinach dip? Set out a plate of smoked almonds. There are three versions of lasagna. I'm sure I will return to this cookbook whenever we have lots of guests.
I can't say enough about the coq au vin blanc. It was so yummy I was dreaming about it long after we'd finished the pot. The photos are gorgeous, and I love that Pam includes optional wine pairings, appetizers, and desserts for almost every dish - so if you're entertaining a crowd, you've got your menu planned already.
None of the ingredients are foreign or hard to get, and we (a family of 2) are easily getting 4 meals out of each dish. That makes for a super economical dinner, even if you're splashing out for really nice prosciutto or wine.
Next on my list to make: the pecan pie sundaes. This Texan approves of any meal that ends with pecans!
Also of note is the wonderful customer service by the seller "grandma "
All of the recipes in this cookbook look simple and Pam includes ideas and recipes for easy appetizers, side dishes, desserts and if you are really short on time she has suggestions for quicker store bought alternatives .
It is entertaining made easy with out sacrificing taste. Who doesn't need that? I happen to love leftovers so these recipes will also be perfect for my family of four as we will get two meals from each recipe. Cooking ahead is such a time saver.
Pam plans out the menu, gives you suggestions for side dishes and dessert as well as easier alternatives and helpful hints for serving the dishes as a buffet or a more formal sit down meal.
I will be reviewing the recipes I try on my blog at [...]