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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cookbook there is.
Some of the reviews below criticise this book for sounding 'strange', promoting the author's own preferences, and being too picky (and too french). The real benefits of this book are exactly the same - it's an invitation to cook beautiful, extraordinary food as well as possible, from a writer who clearly loves eating as much as he loves cooking.

I've been using...
Published on 12 Mar 2007 by Alastair

versus
55 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars “Not great”
Simon Hopkinson is an excellent writer and I eagerly used to read his newspaper columns in The Independent.
So when his 1995 book was republished after being acclaimed as the best cookbook ever I thought I’d buy a copy.
Needless to say I had high expectations of a book that would quickly take on the status of my “Most Favoured Cookbook”...
Published on 17 Jan 2006 by Dr. Richard Dudley


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92 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cookbook there is., 12 Mar 2007
By 
Alastair (Too far south.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) (Paperback)
Some of the reviews below criticise this book for sounding 'strange', promoting the author's own preferences, and being too picky (and too french). The real benefits of this book are exactly the same - it's an invitation to cook beautiful, extraordinary food as well as possible, from a writer who clearly loves eating as much as he loves cooking.

I've been using this book for about five years now, and, with the possible exception of Gammon And Spinach, have yet to find a better one. Following the recipes to the letter will teach you a surprising amount about technique, and will make you a happier, fatter person. One reviewer complains that recipes ask for specific ingredients - New season's garlic, for instance. Well, if you can't buy it, what's the point in cooking the recipe with inferior ingredients? there are plently of others to try. A battery chicken will never taste like a poulet de bresse, and no amount of cookbooks will change that. If you put the effort in, you'll be repaid in style.

Oh, and the chapter on veal isn't inhumane, provided you buy meat from UK reared calves (rose veal). It's not crated or tortured, and is a lot more respectable than the battery pigs and caged chickens that go into your supermarket sandwich.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic which should be in every cook's kitchen, 2 Mar 2006
This review is from: Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) (Paperback)
The book provides three or four recipe's for each of fifty favourite ingredients. Each recipe has been carefully chosen and is a classic of its type, and the author writes extremely well.
His instructions are a model of clarity and every dish I have cooked has worked. This is the place to find the best chocolate tart (finished in just forty minutes if you cheat and use frozen sweet shortcrust pastry as I did), or a rice pudding like grandma used to make.
His dishes are great and his prose inspirational. At this price it deserves a place in every kitchen.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'The most useful cookbook of all time' ..., 21 May 2007
This review is from: Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) (Paperback)
....from 'Waitrose Food Illustrated'.

I have to be honest, I am not normally drawn to this sort of 'cookbook', but, intrigued by the title, I am so glad I was and peeked inside!

'The title of this book was chosen simply because it had a friendly ring to it, and I hope that it sounds inviting and uncomplicated. I also happen to enjoy roasting a chicken almost more than anything.......'

A good friend and colleague described this book as a 'grown-up' cookery book, and I now understand what he meant!
Along with its companion, Second Helpings of Roast Chicken, in its pale blue guise, the two volumes are ...... well....refreshingly different!

Within the dark blue covers of Roast Chicken and other stories are not the oodles of colour photos that would normally encourage one to flick through. In fact the only illustrations there are...are subtle and simple....and limited to the opening of each new chapter, and at the base of the odd page on a seemingly ad hoc basis. But, strangely enough, that is all that is required.

Additionally, any book that quotes the great Elizabeth David, is sure to find a place on my kitchen bookshelf:

.....'Some continental classics would not be the same without anchovy. Take 'anchoiade' - this Provençal staple combines garlic, olive oil, a little vinegar and some pounded anchovies. It is then spread on to thick slices of toast according to Elizabeth David. She goes on to say: 'This is not so much an hors d'oeuvre as the sort of thing to get ready quickly any time you are hungry and want something to go with a glass of wine....'

From the back cover:

Simon Hopkinson is not just one of Britain's top chefs, he is also a superb natural cook. Roast Chicken and other stories takes Simon's favourite ingredients as its starting point - 40 of them, from anchovy and asparagus through lamb and leeks to tripe and veal.
Many of the recipes are drawn from classic French and British cooking, but ideas from elsewhere (notably South East Asia, the Unites States, Spain, Italy and Australia) are also incorporated.

Winner of both the 1994 'André Simon' and 1995 'Glenfiddich' awards, this acclaimed book will inspire anyone who delights in getting the best out of good ingredients and who enjoys sharing the ideas of a truly creative book.'

The simply illustrated paperback covers open to 230 high quality pages sandwiched between an introduction, and a full index.
The content's list shows the chapters - the 40 'ingredients' chosen for this volume along with their recipes, so this is an easy book to find what you need in a hurry!

An added bonus, for me:

'Chocolate' is included with the most delicious recipes:

1. Chocolate Tart
2. Saint-Émillion au Chocolat
3. Milk Chocolate Malt Ice Cream
4. Chocolate Pithiviers
5. Chocolate Bavarois
6. Petit Pot au Chocolat

headed up by typical SH banter, e.g.:

'I agree with the late Roald Dahl that the British chocolate bar is the best in the world. There is nothing to beat the gorgeous sickliness of a Mars Bar, and, as a boy, I was seduced by the honeycomb centre of a Crunchie. (I'm sure I wasn't alone in trying to make a deep hole in the honeycomb with my tongue, before the chocolate collapsed around it.)
And I remember the effortlessness of eating a Milky Way or an Aero, and of being repeatedly surprised by the alarming speed with which one could consume a packet of Munchies, or one of those small, strangely shaped bars called Toffee Cup.......'

Each chapter opens with narrative re the 'ingredient'.
Most of the following recipes open with a relevant comment or serving tip and are followed by the list of ingredients, and a clear method.

A taste of some of the other recipes contained within:

* Asparagus Soup
* Cervelles au beurre noir
* Roast Chicken
* Deep-Fried Cod
* Crab Tart
* Crème Chantilly
* Custard Sauce
* Eggs Florentine
* Creamed Endives
* Fillet of Hake with Herb Crust
* Roast Best End of Lamb with Aubergine & Basil Cream Sauce
* Vichyssoise
* Red Pepper Tart
* Chips
* Saffron Cream Dressing
* Salmon in Pastry with Currants & Ginger
* Omelette Arnold Bennett
* Spinach Dumplings
* Steak au Poivre
* Creamed Tomatoes on Toast
* Roast Shin of Veal
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book full of great recipes and intelligent chat, 4 April 2000
By A Customer
This is a gorgeous book full of delicious recipes that work wonderfully. I love the way chapters are divided under food types and the introduction to each food type. The 'Fanfare' sections praising great chefs/food writers are also excellent.
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58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent cookbook and a very good read, 19 Aug 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) (Paperback)
I only have to endorse what has been written before. This guy loves his food - both cooking and eating. This is where my afinity with him starts. There is no hype - it's not a spin off from a television series - it's a genuine food lover's feast. A friend of mine has just left his wife and is definitely lacking this book in his new kitchen. One house-warming present coming up. I would buy it for anyone who likes to share a love of good food. Why doesn't someone push this little treasure into the charts? But I guess people who follow the charts need glossy photos and a star presenter. Shame!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of staggering genius, 10 Dec 2010
This review is from: Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) (Paperback)
For those who gave this book 1 star, you really need to have a long, hard look at yourselves. This is a masterwork. I still go back to the stories, even when i'm not cooking. I have cooked a higher percentage of the recipes in this book (and book 2), than from any other cookbook. His enthusiasm is infectious and his understanding of taste and flavour, unsurpassed. The poached chicken recipe I probably cook once every 2 weeks, and have done for 10 years - it never fails to delight.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 5 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) (Paperback)
I bought this book on the strength of it appearing in a list of top ten cookery books in the newspaper. I have only owned it for a few weeks but thus far I am really pleased with it. I have tried out about ten recipes in total, mostly savoury and a couple of sweet recipes. All have worked beautifully and have been delicious. Children are especially taken with the chocolate malt ice cream. The recipies are not particularly complicated to make and the layout of the book (ordered by key ingredient) makes it straightforward to find something that inspires you.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Chicken Story...., 1 Sep 2005
This review is from: Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) (Paperback)
It's so refreshing to see a book arranged by an interesting set of ingredients rather first-second third, dessert etc. It reminds me a bit of Mrs Beeton - another indespensable staple in the kitchen! I am enjoying reading the recepies and alternatives offered and the encouragement to try different things!
The Roast Chicken is fantastic, I made it for friends the day after we bought the book and it was complemented very highly, we roasted the potatoes in the reduction of the wine, saffron and ginger and they were fantastically tasty and the carcass made a great soup too.
Enjoy it, read it as a book for ideas, use it to help you understand new and forgotten ingredients! Love the recepies and share them, especially, use it to cook for friends who enjoy their food
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to take it with you to a French Market!, 5 Nov 1999
This review is from: Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) (Paperback)
I thought that I had enough cookery books but then I was introduced to this one. I nearly stole it from a friend but luckily I was then given it as a present. It is entertaining to read and has some wonderful NEW ideas and recipes. Don't bother to buy this book if you don't like garlic. You must buy it if you think you have tried everything because - you haven't!
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Aubergine to Wood Pigeon this is the best, 29 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) (Paperback)
Simon Hopkinson and Lyndsey Bareham cover a vast amount of ground in Roast Chicken and Other Stories. The book is organised by product. So take Lamb for example, there is a fascinating preamble and then recipes that originate from many parts of the globe. Each recipe has another interesting storey that tempts one into trying it out. References to friends, chefs and food writers adds to the magnificence of this book. Buy, read it, cook and eat!
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Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery)
Roast Chicken and Other Stories (Ebury Paperback Cookery) by Lindsey Bareham (Paperback - 2 Sep 1999)
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