cover image James McNair's Chicken

James McNair's Chicken

James McNair, Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books, $11.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-411-9

McNair (Cold Pasta, etc.) demonstrates that the versatile fowl is an international favorite with Thai spicy chicken coconut soup; Japanese boiled chicken with sesame dipping sauce; Hungarian chicken paprika; Italian chicken breasts stuffed with herbs and cheese; French chicken and peach crepes with veloute sauce; Moroccan bisteeya (layers of flaky pastry wrapped around spiced chicken that's been poached in sweet fruit nectars); and Cajun chicken bites with apricot mustard. He divides his 55 recipes by cooking method: braised, poached and simmered; fried and sauteed; roasted and baked; and grilled. Cooks who enjoy light and refreshing dishes will welcome nouvelle smoked chicken salad with blueberry dressing but ignore Jewish chopped chicken liver and gizzards and Southern chicken and dumplings. Color photos whet the appetite but don't illustrate the cutting and boning techniques described here. (May)