Chicken chicken, chickens chickens chickens. Chick-chick, chickens.

Dishes 105 & 106: Roast Chicken & Sizzling Mussels at Meme, 22nd and Spruce, http://www.memerestaurant.com

So today was supposed to be the first day of my cooking adventure, however, after getting home about a quarter after nine, after a long day of work and prep for upcoming events, I remembered why I don’t cook: We have no food.

There is no food because we eat out, and because we eat out, there is no food. And, without getting whiny, I’m just going to say that I’m a little too tired to go grocery shopping now.

Luckily, I stopped to pick up dinner on my way home. (What a coincidence!) No, really, I was just planning to serve it as an appetizer to: A) stay on track with the 239 dishes, and B) fill the boys up on protein before they had to test out my homemade veggie dishes. In any case- I’ll start cooking tomorrow. Or the next day.

Ta-da! Chicken!

So you know, and Meme, I’m sorry for outing you like this, but someone had to do it sooner or later– Meme secretly raises chickens in their back alley. They take fluffy yellow chicks, and rub their bellies every half hour until the chicks cheep happily, and then they pick up the next chick and do it again. And they feed them chocolate and red wine. And oysters. That’s their secret. Happy chickens. (To better understand chicken psychology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL_-1d9OSdk )

And for my next trick... VOILA! Mussels!

I completely forgot about the last time I had chicken from Meme. It was the chicken wing and Miller High Life, and it transformed my cold, wintry Thursday lunch into a sticky hot luncheon sitting besides Scarlet O’Hara. Meme takes what is so often an overlooked, dry, bland meat, and—takes the time to strip away the excess fat. Add some flavor. Infuse some juice.  Nothing over the top, it’s still chicken with peas and carrots and onions, but like you have never had before. And even better if you preface the chicken with the creamy, tender mussels. Take a walk down to 22nd and Spruce; take a seat in their cozy, airy space, order anything, and take a bite—and you’ll know exactly why I dine out. There’s no way I could make anything like this, simultaneously mind-blowing and familiar. And why ever settle?

DISCLAIMER: I really am going to cook things. Tomorrow is a holiday, so I’m off duty, but the next day, I will be back in force. For real this time.

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