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Midnight Chicken: & Other Recipes Worth Living For

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,147 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Recipes that reveal the life-changing happiness of cooking

There are lots of ways to start a story, but this one begins with a chicken.

Midnight Chicken (& Other Recipes Worth Living For) is a cookbook. Or, at least, you'll flick through these pages and find recipes so inviting that you'll head straight for the kitchen: roast garlic and tomato soup, uplifting chilli-lemon sp
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 10th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,147 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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Jan 29, 2019 added it
Ever cry while reading a cookbook? No? Okay well this will probably change that. She talks honestly and openly about grieving and mental health and struggling and wants to make cooking accessible to all.

Can’t speak to the quality of the recipes as I haven’t made any but they also seem good and Risbridger is a comforting cheerleader along the way. She makes me want to cook even though I’m much more of a baker (she says at some point that baking is about following rules which is isn’t good at but
Dash fan
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
4☆ A Delightfully Heart Warming Cookbook

Wow what a delightful cookbook.
Not only does it contain some delicious recipes it has a storytelling flavour to it as Risbridger takes the reader on a journey of her personal connections to the recipes. Which was a joy to Read!

All the recipes are measured in Grams,  ml, and spoon measures and uses UK ingredients. So a conversion maybe needed for those outside the UK.
The recipes are very well written and has much detail.
However my only gripe is there is n
RH Walters
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A vividly water-colored poetic autobiographical cookbook, quivering with playfulness and salty with grief (read all the way to the end). I'm reluctant to return it to the library and putting it on my wish list. The artwork inspired me to shove things out of my cabinets and try to make my kitchen as beautiful and functional as the pictures. As deeply personal as wearing someone's robe and drinking out of their mug, plus a scrumptious bibliography that makes you want more. ...more
Kara Freeman
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes I read a cookbook and cried about it.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
The writing... just know that it contains multiple references to the Famous Five and multiple uses of the phrase “like billy-o”. The preludes to recipes and chapters are great, lovely insights that aren’t like the blog posts with acres of toss when all you want is a salad dressing recipe - you actually want to read them. In fact I personally would have liked more! If the author is comfortable, a full memoir would be great, as often these snippets are so whimsical as to be lightly unreal (I mean, ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recipe
This is a real treasure of a find on NetGalley. I’ve requested several recipe books over the years and found some wonderful new recipes to try. This book just feels as though one of your friends is sharing her favourite recipes with you. She shares memories, tough times and her recipes become stories. It’s a whole culinary experience making you want to bookmark recipes to try. I would love to get a paper copy of this one for my kitchen bookshelf and add lots of post it notes to the ones I want t ...more
Sophie (RedheadReading)
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book wins the award for first time I've cried while reading a cookbook! ...more
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: food-and-foodoir
3.5, but just in terms of its general existence and what it represents, it's something much greater. This is because of the story she tells in the acknowledgments/I learned by googling that her partner, referenced lovingly throughout, passed away and the thought that all of this involved so much of him and the essence of their lives and preserving the memory of that broke me a little. Ok a lot. I have to see how I feel about this over time, it might get bumped up in my mind eventually.

But the st
This is a glorious, breathtaking, heartbreaking book. The writing is stunning and soul searing. I’ve never cried over a cookbook before and, for the first time, am not complaining about the lack of photos of the recipes.


Being an American who never quite caught on to the whole metric system, I am, sadly, knocking off a star. This is not the fault of the author. Oh no. I place blame solely on the editor/publisher here. This would have been a 5 star beauty if not for the idiot editor who
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
"You deserve to have a nice supper and be looked after." ...more
Reannon Bowen
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is my ideal book, a book with stories about food, life, feelings, alongside deliciously simple recipes. I loved it.
Head in a book
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
There's much to like about this book and I'm sure it will be of great comfort to readers, especially those who live with mild anxiety and depression and who, with Risbridger's support and encouragement, feel able to contemplate cooking again. The food is good home cooking, you aren't expected to have prior knowledge and Risbridger is clearly on your side if this is the case, or you feel too demotivated, tired, or unwell to know where to begin.

I do feel that Midnight Chicken walks a fine line bet
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is my favorite *reading* cookbook I have read in my life, and I enjoy reading cookbooks. Part no-nonsense cookbook, part memoir, part life affirming manifesto, it's the kind of cookbook you can read how you like- cover to cover, leafing through, however you prefer.

I have laughed hard enough someone in the other room asked if I was okay. I have insisted on sharing snippets with whoever was closest as I was reading. I have put it down several times in order to better sob. I've carried it aro
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had unusual problem with the breakfast chapter I must confess. I was in absolute agony reading each entry, partly because I had no flour, and partly because I wanted to be reading them all simultaneously and couldn’t bear to be missing out whilst reading one and not another. Once I’d read them all they became pure delight obviously. The other sections were easier!

You will make some of these recipes and not others, but the writing and illustrations alone make them worth their weight in gold. Th
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books make you feel that everything will be fine with this world. This book was one such, part-memoir, part-cookbook. It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me nostalgic. Risbridger has a flair with writing about life which a lot of food writers seem to lack. And oh the acknowledgments killed me. I sat and howled through them. It really was a book I couldn't stop reading but at the same time never wanted it to finish. ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was so deep and rich, in story and in the kitchen. I found myself learning something about cooking as well as about life and struggles and growth through the eyes of another. It doesn’t get any more life affirming than that. It is a great book of food for the stomach and the soul.
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Read from cover to cover and every recipe I've tried has been bomb proof and delicious . Love the failures , the tears, the honesty and the joy . If this book doesn't make you weep tears of joy while enjoying the simple pleasures of cooking I don't know what will . ...more
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don’t normally add cookbooks on here but this is a different kettle of fish, her writing in between each recipe is glorious, it was like a big comforting hug
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
file under: reasons to live
LAPL Reads
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Even though this book has recipes with good directions, it is not exactly a cookbook. It is part memoir with an appreciation about having a family made of friends who are reliably there for the good and bad times--no matter what. The book is wholeheartedly a paean to life and the love that makes it jubilant when things are going well, and bearable when things are not going so well. It is noticeably British; the recipes are written with a mix of metric and centigrade measurements; and there are B ...more
Dec 27, 2020 added it
Shelves: ebook, 2020
I never thought I would count a cookbook as some sort of reading but this was different. the author talks about mental health and how cooking helped her, in a way. reading the bits between recipe instructions (and even the instructions) felt like such a celebration of life and food that I was tearing up on multiple occasions. as a fat person, I sometimes feel like i am not allowed to celebrate food but this, though not even talking about my specific experience, took a lot of that internalized be ...more
Wendy Greenberg
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a warm comfort blanket of delight this book was, for me.

Mix great writing with food, food memory and an anecdote or two and magic happens. Whilst the presentation is both raw and thoughtful, it was the random moments, quirkiness and preparing/eating what works for you in the here and now, that set this book alight for me.

There are many moments I will continue to savour. Having had 2 Jewish grandmothers, I loved that the non-Jewish author had, as a child, created her own fictional Jewish gra
Allison Parker
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, adult, cookbook
An oh-so-tender, truly life-affirming cookbook and mini memoir of how cooking (and eating) can be therapeutic, forgiving, and yes, worth living for. The author's struggles with mental illness and loss are woven so naturally into the introductions to each recipe, and the recipes themselves are brimming with wit and compassion (unconventional instructions abound, such as "get someone else to set the table," "breath," and "feel immensely smug") that you will feel much more like you are chatting wit ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The true, opening scene with a woman laying on the floor in the middle of the night, struggling with mental illness, propping herself up and palming the floor away to get up and cook a chicken is an image I hope to keep. Few of the recipes were actually my style, but Risbridger's commentary is so worth the time taken to page through it all, and as she herself concludes: "This may have looked like a cookbook, but what it really is is an annotated list of things worth living for: a manifesto of mo ...more
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: corona-szn-2020
Lol. Not sure I should even be rating this considering I just really enjoy reading about picnics and dinner parties and visualising the caramelised onions, roasted chicken and cheese scones without trying out any of the recipes (I promise I intend to, though). Reminded me so much of the character of Bertie from the animated series Tuca and Bertie

A charming, welcoming cookbook with more than a dash of the personal, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy after reading.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, memoir
Well, I wasn't expecting to cry reading a cookbook, but I did. It's a memoir with recipes, actually. The author is super honest about her battles with depression and also dealing with the illness of her partner. Recipes are good guidelines, done in the "this is how I did it and it turned out" style. Cheese scone recipe is particularly good. ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought it was a darling cover and jumped right in, way more then expected, really appreciated her candor. Cute sketches, raw emotions, bravo for sharing her life so openly and comforting.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and devastating with some excellent recipes, too. A book worth gifting again and again.
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Terrific. Stories with recipes and solid advice on how to execute them.
Grace Leonard
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A cookbook that will make you cry.

I’ve folded down so many of these recipes to cook but if I’m honest they all sounds delicious. Absolute food for the soul!
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