I’m going to be honest. For whatever reason, the night I made this meal I was scared. I was scared of my wife. Why? Honestly, I don’t remember. Maybe I had made roasted chicken the previous weekend, maybe because I didn’t think E was up for asparagus… frankly, I’m not sure. How do I know what I felt if I cannot remember the circumstances leading to the evening in question? Simple. I made couscous. Couscous is my offering to the gods of egalitarian epicureanism in my own kitchen. Whenever I think the Mrs. won’t necessarily pick up what I’m putting down, I put some couscous under that stuff. [Ed.–This put a smile on my face after a rather lousy commute this morning. Well done, sir.]
It had been a while since I had spatchcocked a pair of game hens and thinking I had bought standard chicken thighs, I was gratified that the protein was at least slightly different. I had mushrooms and onions left over from pizza and I figured that I’d make a quick, easy chicken-in-wine variation. I cooked down the wine with some chiles and covered the chicken, veggies and couscous at go-time. With the recent Good Eats “Age of Asparagus”, the side was a natural choice, cooked in a 500 degree F oven for five minutes then finished with nutmeg and lemon zest.
While I’m not a proponent of tricks to salvage otherwise mediocre food, they can lift a garden-variety dinner into the realm of highly-enjoyable, at least for your specific diners. A modicum of pragmatism is not a crime against food morality, dear readers, so, until next time, cook on!