You don’t have to be a fan of Duck Dynasty to enjoy time spent with Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen. This first cookbook by the matriarch of the Robertson clan, made famous by the A&E reality show, has all the intimate charm of a family photo album. Actually, it is a family photo album. Candid and posed pictures over the decades—of Miss Kay, husband Phil, their four sons, and their families—accompany its recipes. They help to ground this guide to Southern cooking in the lives of this north Louisiana family.
The full-page dedication epitomizes the unique character of this cookbook. Instead of a few cryptic words, Miss Kay writes individual love letters to her four daughters-in-law. She begins, “I always prayed for my boys to choose girls who would help them get to heaven and have the same lasting love as their dad and me.” Prayer; family; faithful love. These themes recur in Miss Kay’s conversational chapter introductions, which offer reflections and advice derived from 50 years of marriage to Phil.
The unpretentious recipes, artfully presented, will have you hankering to cook up what Miss Kay cooks up in her “comfort zone”: “I feel like I can do anything from this kitchen,” she told Christian Broadcasting Network in November. The book’s underlying message: You can make your home kitchen a hub of “faith, family, and food,” too. Most of the dishes included are her creations, but many—like Willie’s Favorite Fried Chicken—are not. So, too, Miss Kay supplies most of the engaging notes that punctuate many pages. Truly, the notes alone are worth the price of the book.