One-recipe review: “Bones” by Jennifer McLagan

We met Jennifer McLagan last fall at the Epicurean Classic, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to cook from one of her two books that we own (and both of which are autographed). Her first book, “Bones,” won the James Beard Award for single-subject food writing (although I would hardly say that it’s single-subject — more like themed).

Since our new range was delivered on Friday, I decided last night was the perfect time to break out “Bones” for the first time, and if you were to judge a book on one recipe, “Chicken with Riesling” makes “Bones” a winner.

I don’t want to trample on any copyright issues, so here are just a few highlights of the recipe (the nearly finished product is shown at the top of the post on our beautiful new range): chicken drumsticks (I actually used thighs out of personal preference), shallots, cognac, dry Riesling, tomatoes, tarragon and heavy whipping cream.

The end result was delicious, although with one caveat: Because I used thighs, they took longer to cook, hence I had to add a little more wine near the end to keep it from drying out. The chicken was a little on the sweet side, but not so much that it bothered me. There were enough savory notes to keep it balanced, and a drier Riesling (I used St. M) might throw it to the savory side even more.

Beyond just the recipes, “Bones” is a wonderful read. If you appreciate the scientific approach of the Alton Browns of the world, you’ll appreciate McLagan’s writing style and attention to detail. Her second book, “Fat,” is a similarly fantastic read.

Some other recipes from “Bones” I can’t wait to try include “tamarind, pineapple and chile-glazed boar ribs,” “Alsatian-style pheasant,” “grilled quail with sage butter” and “roasted veal chops with Madeira and parsnips.”

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About the Author

Owner of a graphic design firm specializing in magazine design and wannabe chef. Former resident of Belgium, the United Kingdom and...North Dakota.