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From across pond, chicken recipes aplenty

Diana Henry provides reliable recipes for the versatile bird. (Adriana Janovich)
Diana Henry provides reliable recipes for the versatile bird. (Adriana Janovich)

Quick look: One of Britain’s best-known food writers offers 120 simple yet elegant recipes for one of the world’s most popular kinds of poultry.

What’s inside: Comforting and casual, chicken makes for an uncomplicated mainstay at so many meals, from weeknight dinners to long and lazy Sunday lunches and special occasions.

Diana Henry provides reliable recipes for the versatile bird, often with interesting and exotic but still easy-to-follow twists.

Recipes are divided by meal type and special ingredients such as chicken suppers, spicy chicken and grilled and barbecued chicken. There’s an entire chapter devoted to chicken salads.

Another, whimsically called “Remains of the Day,” discusses leftovers, such as “bird pie” and “perfect stock.” Look for Chicken with Prunes in Red Wine, Chicken with Dill and Leeks, Ginger Beer-Can Chicken and roast Chicken with Peaches, Honey and Lavender.

Chapters are also peppered with short essays, such as “How to Roast a Chicken” and “Chicken Loves Citrus” as well as herbs, alcohol, fruit and cream.

What’s not: While beautifully illustrated with warm, inviting and mouthwatering images, not all of the recipes include photographs.

Roast Paprika Chicken

From “A Bird in the Hand” by Diana Henry

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 tablespoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme, plus 6 whole sprigs of thyme

4-pound chicken

Salt and pepper

2 bulbs garlic, halved horizontally

Sour cream, to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter with paprika, cayenne and thyme. Put the chicken in a roasting pan and spread the butter all over, rubbing it over the legs as well as the breast. Season with salt and pepper. Put the whole sprigs of thyme and the garlic into the cavity of the bird. Roast in the hot oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting from time to time. Serve the chicken with roasting juices and a bowl of sour cream sprinkled with cayenne or paprika.

Note: The U. S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking whole chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, as checked by a meat thermometer.

Serves: 6 to 8

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