This recipe was actually made months ago, and has been getting pushed back as I publish other dishes ever since. It’s not that it wasn’t good. It was. It’s just that I made it at the beginning of summer, when so many things were coming into season and this recipe just didn’t seem to be as urgent to get out there as things like grilled shrimp pasta salad, or cherry bbq sauce and bacon burgers, or tomatoey panzanella and gazpacho with nectarines and ice cream! And so it got pushed back. But now that fall is officially here, I think it’s the perfect time to think about it again.
Having a stocked pantry makes life so much easier on a rainy afternoon after opening the fridge to find some chicken and… well, that’s about it. We could’ve gone the easy route, making some version of our standard chicken with pasta, usually involving cream and whatever vegetables and cheese we have in stock. Jérôme was all set to make it happen when I opened the cupboard and saw a poor, neglected box of couscous hiding in the corner. Couscous! This is what our chicken needed.
Unfortunately after three seconds of my mind mentally reviewing what I’d just seen in the refrigerator I realized that we had literally no vegetables in the house, save a few onions. A good couscous is all about slow-roasted root veggies giving flavor to a savory broth and being absorbed by the fluffy, light couscous and just pulling the dish together. But now my mind was made up. I wanted couscous, but how could I make it work without going to the grocery store?