The Midnight Chicken recipe is now the only roast chicken recipe I use. It is life-changing. This book is also life changing-it's wonderful watercolor illustrations and Ella's o so human writing- it was one of the first books we chose for our cookbook club at the start of the pandemic and I think Ella Risbridgers writing helped pull us all through.— Christine
A book of recipes and reflections that reveal the life-changing happiness of cooking.
"Bridget Jones' self-effacing wittiness, Julia Child's companionable forgiveness and Sylvia Plath's poetic prose." --NPR
"A manual for living and a declaration of hope." --Nigella Lawson
There are lots of ways to start a story, but this one begins with a chicken.
There was a time when, for Ella Risbridger, the world had become overwhelming. Sounds were too loud, colors were too bright, everyone moved too fast. One night she found herself lying on her kitchen floor, wondering if she would ever get up--and it was the thought of a chicken, of roasting it, and of eating it, that got her to her feet and made her want to be alive.
Midnight Chicken is a cookbook. Or, at least, you’ll flick through these pages and find recipes so inviting that you will head straight for the kitchen: roast garlic and tomato soup, uplifting chili-lemon spaghetti, charred leek lasagna, squash skillet pie, spicy fish finger sandwiches and burnt-butter brownies. It’s the kind of cooking you can do a little bit drunk, that is probably better if you’ve got a bottle of wine open and a hunk of bread to mop up the sauce.
But if you settle down and read it with a cup of tea (or a glass of that wine), you’ll also discover that it’s an annotated list of things worth living for--a manifesto of moments worth living for. This is a cookbook to make you fall in love with the world again.
Ella Risbridger is a writer, editor and anthologiser. In a former life she was a beauty columnist for the i, a cancer columnist for the Pool, a sometime journalist for lots of places (Guardian, Observer, Prospect, Grazia, Stylist), a poet and a carer. She now lives and works in south-east London, where she has too many books and thinks a lot about getting a cat.
Ella's website is seldom updated and her Twitter is mostly abandoned, but she is often on Instagram. @ellarisbridger / ellarisbridger.com
"[Ella Risbridger’s] culinary composition echoes Bridget Jones' self-effacing wittiness, Julia Child's companionable forgiveness and Sylvia Plath's poetic prose. The recipes are truly tasty, but the healing nourishment is in the details, from the cozy illustrations to the pink ribbon bookmark to the annotated list of things worth living for." - NPR, "The Salt"
"A charming, witty coming-of-age-slash-recovery story that is refreshingly free of saccharine (the ingredient and the sentiment), a cookbook that rewards creativity over rules." - Washington Post
"Each recipe documents a particular moment, part of the author’s gradual process of falling back in love with cooking and finding joy in what can feel like a dark world." - T: The New York Times Style Magazine
"Ella Risbridger wrote a more personal cookbook than most--in here, you'll find recipes that kept her up and going when she really wasn't sure she could." - Delish, "The 15 Best Cookbooks of the Year"
"Everything about this book begs to be savored and enjoyed. It’s a beautiful book . . . Risbridger’s voice is lyrical and tender." - Vox
"In this uplifting cookbook debut, British writer Risbridger presents comfort food recipes that changed her life . . . Accompanied by cozy illustrations, this inviting work is one readers will turn to time and again." - Publishers Weekly
"A big old massive heart exploding love story . . . This is the first recipe book that should be made into a film." - The Times (UK)
"A wholly unconventional cookbook." - The Guardian
"The new Nigella." - Good Housekeeping
"One of the things that makes Midnight Chicken such a very good book is how hard it is to say exactly what it is. Yes, to be sure, it’s a cookbook, but it is also a manual for living and a declaration of hope." - Nigella Lawson
"A moving testimonial to the redemptive power of cooking. Risbridger knows that it offers not just solace but a map; cooking can save you. Generous, honest and uplifting. I wish I’d had this book when I was in my twenties." - Diana Henry
"A joyous story to read." - Vox, Best Books of 2019