Technically, I shouldn't be rating this book yet, because I've only tried one recipe, BUT it was possibly the worst meal I have EVER made/eaten! Oh god, the horror! It was the Pan-fried chicken breast with cinnamon and coconut milk on page 166. I followed the recipe pretty accurately, and what a mistake that was. Incase anyone decides to make this recipe, this is what you should know:
First of all... the ingredient amounts seem to be off. There's two pounds of chicken... and one sprig of parsley. And two whole cloves. Then, an entire "pinch" of cilantro! Obviously, common sense says to throw in as much herbs as one thinks will be sufficient. There's also two onions and two garlic cloves. I added an extra clove of garlic, as well. :)
Second, the entire prep work is suppose to be only 20 minutes. I would like to see Zeus, himself, break open and grate two coconuts, in less than 20 mins. Don't even bother with them, because it's only for flavoring the sauce, and eventually strained out. The recipe also calls for canned coconut milk, which has a stronger flavor, so you might as well just forgo all fresh coconut, and save about 45 minutes.
Third - After you brown the chicken in a skillet, you're suppose to add the grated coconut, the herbs, onion, garlic, and some water (I used the coconut water) with the chicken, then simmer for three minutes. There's a couple of things wrong with this. The chicken looses it's color and flavor, and there ends up being too many ingredients in the skillet for the 1 cup of water. Even if you stir everything up, it's mainly only the chicken that ends up in the liquid. So the chicken needs to be taken out of the pan entirely, before adding all the other ingredients. But an even bigger issue is the time, which brings me to number four.
Four - The cooking and prep times in this book are so far off, I'm positive they were stoned when they made this dish. Three minutes is not enough time for the onions to even start sweating. This is suppose to be made into a sauce, and poured over the entire dish to give it all of it's flavor. Yet, three minutes is absolutely not enough time for the flavors to even begin to mesh together. I went for 15 minutes, but I suggest more like 20-25, or as long as your lil' heart desires.
Number five might just be a matter of opinion, but trust me when I say I'm not a picky eater. It calls for you to sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on the chicken after you take it out of the sauce. I was skeptical of this to begin with, so my pinch was more like three piece of chicken received a couple of freckles. Not a fan. At all. *shudders*
Six- When it tells you to thicken the sauce with flour, it says to just stir the flour into the hot liquid from the other ingredients. And I think we all know how the turns out... lil lumps of flour floating everywhere. Just stir some flour and cold water together before dumping it into the pan.
And finally, number seven is actually a number four issue, and really minor. You pour the sauce all over the chicken and pop it into the oven for five minutes. It's not really warm enough, so make it 10.
I was really, REALLY excited about this cookbook, and I haven't tried any other recipes, so I'm finding it difficult to give it a deserving 1 star. So it gets two. As bad as this recipe was, I'm positive I'll try something else from this book. And when that time comes, I'll leave another review, hopefully with more stars.