Monday, May 28, 2018

Expectation VS Reality: Seared Chicken Over Couscous

I'll admit it. I'm a terrible cook. If it's pizza or pasta or rice pudding, then there's a high probability that, if I'm cooking a meal, something is going to get messed up somehow. That's one of the reasons why I've been looking into various meal kit services. It's my hope that they'll not only provide a good meal, but also that I'll some cooking skills from following the recipes.

I got a free meal box from Blue Apron recently. For those of you who don't know, Blue Apron is subscription food delivery service that sends you two or three meals a week. Blue Apron sends you the ingredients and the recipes, and you cook the meal yourself. For my free box, I got to choose two meals of two servings each.

For my first Blue Apron meal, I went with Seared Chicken over Couscous with Peppers, Zucchini & Caper-Butter Sauce. Kudos to their copy writer because they make it sound so good: For a unique spin on pasta salad, we're tossing warm pearls of couscous (a type of toasted semolina pasta) with tender sauteed vegetables in a rich, tangy sauce made from butter, lemon, and capers. It's the perfect bright accompaniment for our simple seared chicken.

The instructions are pretty straight forward and easy to follow. There weren't any steps that I was uncomfortable with, except perhaps chopping the garlic. I had no idea what I was doing and struggled a little with it. I tried to stick pretty close to the cooking times given for each step in the process. That's probably the most difficult part. It's tough to keep in mind that your couscous cooks in 7 minutes while your chicken cooks for 6 minutes per side. But, I managed to keep it all straight in my head.

And the end result? Not bad, if I do say so myself. The meal turned out well and it tasted pretty good. You'll see my result down below on your right compared with the advertised version on the left. Pretty close, right? Although, I did away with the peppers because I knew I would not eat them. And the portion size is smaller because I made it for three people instead of two.

Expectation
Reality

All in all, I would call this Blue Apron meal a success. Based on this meal kit alone, I would say that Blue Apron might be worth a two-kits-per-week subscription which is the lowest option they offer. If they had a One-kit-per-month option or an "on demand" option, I'd be all over it. Unfortunately, Blue Apron delivered my very first meal kit to me late, which may have been the fault of FedEx. Still, if I can't rely on the kits getting to my house on time, then it really may not be worth it. We will see.

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