Cook the Book

Andy Ricker's Kai Yaang (Whole Roasted Young Chicken), From 'Pok Pok'

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[Photograph: Austin Bush]

As I mentioned before, I have a long history with Andy Ricker's roasted young chicken (or game hen). It was one of my favorite dinners back when I lived in Portland, and I still fantasize about driving up to the Northwest just for another taste. Luckily, now I don't need to spend the gas money (or wait in line). The dish is featured prominently in Ricker's new Pok Pok cookbook, and it's surprisingly easy to make.

Why I picked this recipe: I hadn't had this dish since leaving Portland almost 5 years ago, so it would have been a shame not to recreate it.

What worked: Despite the long ingredient list and recipe, this was actually an easy dish to prepare and the final result tasted remarkably like the the game hens I ate back in college.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: You could probably adjust the cooking times in the recipe and use a single chicken instead of the two game hens if necessary.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Pok Pok to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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