'I was born at home in time for lunch - the doctor lured me out with a cold roast chicken sandwich. Dad had just popped downstairs to make up a few rounds - one for the doctor, another for the midwife and one for himself. Mum was busy...' So says Tim Halket in the Introduction to his engaging and original book, Five Fat Hens. A love of eating and good ingredients led Tim to build a hen house in the corner of his garden for a daily harvest of fresh eggs. His take on the role of keeping chickens is amusing and insightful but this book is more than just a DIY guide to keeping a few free range birds, or a new slant on a chicken themed cookbook. Much in the style of Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries it takes the reader through an entire year, month by month, skilfully combining the author's passion for cooking in diary form interwoven with his recipes, his thoughts and observations and with the premise that even the smallest garden can be home to a supply of the freshest eggs imaginable. Tim is neither a trained chef nor a small-holding farmer, his recipes draw on his real experience in the kitchen and he reproduces food that he enjoys cooking on a daily basis for his family and friends. He ranges from the highly original such as Duelos y Quebrantos and Persian Chicken Supper through variations on everyday Italian or French classics to simple and comforting nursery food. This timely book passionately describes an appealing style of life and will inspire all food lovers whether they intend to keep chickens or not.