The book has beautifully styled photos which are drool-worthy. Torode writes well, in a no-nonsense, straight-forward fashion and given that his last book was simply titled 'Beef', he gives the impression that he knows his meat. There's no flowery language here. It's split into chapters including soups, curries, barbeque and roasts, and helpfully it also includes a step by step guide on how to joint a chicken, something I've always been too daunted to try myself. I haven't quite got round to it yet, but it's a good cost saving trick as you'll get more for your money by buying chickens whole. In addition to this, there's an extensive list detailing the different birds, as well as when the game seasons begin and end; a very handy guide. I didn't even know there was an edible bird called Ptarmigan until I read this. There is also a little blurbs dotted here and there, such as detailing how best to carve a roast chicken, and a method to cook duck breasts. I for one didn't know that you should start them off skin side down in a cold pan.
I decided to try out the Chicken Kiev, especially as it's billed as 'the perfect recipe'. My picture is decidedly more... rustic than that of the photo in the book, but it was pretty damn good. Garlicky, lemon-scented butter burst forth from the crisply coated chicken supreme, lubricating the mash that accompanied it. I made a right mess of the kitchen what with the double egg and flour dipping but it made sure that the pocket of buttery goodness was well encased, something that us cooks mortally fear will go wrong and end up as a big puddle in the baking tray. The chicken, having been fried and finished off in the oven, was perfectly cooked and moist throughout.
I've already bookmarked several recipes to try, such as game terrine, devilled chicken livers and pigeon and bacon with sweetcorn fritters. There's also a list of game dealers which is where I'll be going to pick up some grouse, a bird I've heard talked much about and haven't yet had the opportunity to try. This book is perfect for anyone like me, who wants to try cooking new birds.
There is, however, one recipe which I definitely won't be trying - 'spaghetti with curried chicken balls'. It sounds like every kind of wrong... so maybe I should give it a go.
Released 4th September, priced £20