This evening we made Mediterranean Chicken and Saffron Couscous and none of us were impressed. L and I are obviously jaded on both the chicken and the couscous fronts, but my mum is more of a clean slate. This seemed like a lot of trouble to go to for a mediocre result. Having said that, we were all exhausted and cooking seemed very much like a chore for all involved. The couscous was cooked in stock with salt, pepper, a clove of crushed garlic and a pinch of saffron. Our saffron must be too old- I got it on a trip to Istanbul, which mum tells me was 9 years ago, when did that happen?- as it didn’t seem to have any effect on the meal whatsoever. The chicken was salted, peppered and sprinkled with cayenne pepper, before being dredged in flour and fried in olive oil. The vegetable mixture consisted of red onion, garlic, kalamata olives, parsley, thyme, basil, cherry tomatoes and artichoke hearts. The liquid content came from white wine and chicken stock.
The chicken was fine, it had a little kick to it from the cayenne pepper, and was not unpleasant. The couscous was just couscous; all other ingredients ended up being superfluous. The vegetable mixture was predominantly red onion, in a very dull, thin liquid. The whole chicken stock and white wine, with no thickening agent, sauce can get quite dull. The whole lot was just not very interesting, although the cherry tomatoes and olives were quite pleasant. Not a winner, I am afraid.
Tomorrow we are making Thai-Style Steak Salad, possibly during the day as a neighbour is dropping off a meal at dinner time. I hope she doesn’t love couscous. I have my postpartum check up, which means I have to spend some time on personal grooming for the first time since I went in to have a baby. I’ve only ever had one manicure, and I have a feet issue (psychological, not physical) so no pedicures, but I think they should be a compulsory part of follow-up care after having a baby. You should have a spa appointment just before the doctor sees you, so everything is shiny and new. It would be good for everyone, surely.