Though Muessen acknowledges that today's supermarket birds--as opposed to the fresh-killed chickens of his Maryland childhood--are virtually tasteless, he reminds us that chicken is still prepared in ""more ways than any other food, meat or otherwise."" Its economical, ecological, and health advantages over red meat are now well known, and its versatility and universality, says Muessen, qualify it as a reference point ""to illustrate the comparative virtues of the world's cuisines."" Several of these cuisines are in fact already represented in cookbooks that contain more glorious chicken entries than those included here. However, Muessen's selections are representative, varied, and truly universal, with a level of preparation comparable to that in the New York Times International Cookbook, a three- or four-page orientation to each cuisine, and a balanced sampling from various Pacific, Asian, African, and Latin American regions along with the European sources of our older chicken repertoires. Not the primer on chicken cookery technique we have in Carl Jerome's The Complete Chicken (1978), but a convenient compilation.