cousI have a reputation as being a fearless cook.  Which means I will try anything and see what happens.  I am not a good recipe-follower, but I am instinctive and most of the time my “experiments” work out pretty well.

I must say that I am not really a good baker as opposed to cook.  I can make good breads, but when it comes to cakes and other confections I will leave that to others.  I think it is the fact that I do not really have a sweet tooth.

Anyway, the other day I was rummaging through my very large deep-freezer in the basement.  This freezer is full of all sort of things, most of which I hoarded last fall when the prospect of a long winter was front of mind.  I figured that there were going to be weeks when I would not be able to make it to the store due to blizzards so I needed to have provisions to make it through.

Alas the winter was mild and I am afraid of the basement, so I still have a ton of food waiting to be defrosted and enjoyed.  As fate would have it, the main refrigerator and freezer in the kitchen gave out last week, which meant I had to be creative for a few days until a new unit could be delivered.

This meant a few meals right out of the freezer.  Which brings me back to the where I started – rummaging through my very large deep freezer in the basement.  I have quite a few whole chickens in the freezer – as I love chicken and they are often on sale at my local grocer.  Anyway, I decided to cook a chicken for dinner along with some fresh broccoli I had purchased (which thankfully did not need much refrigeration).

After the chicken had defrosted, I prepared it for the oven. 

[By the way, I like the simple open roast method – just place the chicken breast side up on a rack in a shallow baking pan.  I often rub a little olive oil on the breast and then sprinkle some sea salt on top.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes per pound.]

As I was about to plop the chicken in the oven, I thought to myself that it might be nice to have some stuffing with the meal.  Of course I had no stuffing and did not really have the time or desire to make some or run to the store, so I went to the pantry to see what I could find.  Well, I had a box of couscous that was just calling to me.

This is the simple to make variety – where you basically just add some hot water, let steam, and then fluff with a fork and you are good to go.  This was couscous with roasted garlic flavor, and I thought that it might make a nice stuffing so I whipped it up and packed it inside the chicken.

The result was, well, couscous as a nice side dish for the dinner.  The cool thing was that by cooking the garlic-infused couscous in the chicken gave the meat a nice added flavor.  The couscous also gained a bit of a new flavor as well, but it was much more subtle.

The reviews?  Mixed.  It was a fun experiment, but I am not sure anything was really gained by having the couscous cooked in the bird as opposed to separately.  Bread-based stuffings are much more likely to take on the juices and flavors than couscous. 

The best part was just trying something new and not having it be a total disaster.