Food for the “Starving Artist”

Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but I prefer to be surrounded by lots of people when serving good food. What’s the point of creating a masterpiece if it can’t be enjoyed by others? This need for expression is a quality I can blame on my musical training 🙂 Yet sometimes a group can become much bigger than anticipated, and what was supposed to be 5 people suddenly turns into 10. It’s times like this when I seek recipes that give the most bang for the buck, and the May 2011 issue of Cooking Light had just the answer: Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs.
I can almost guarantee that 90% of the ingredients for this marinade are currently sitting in your pantry (I’m not counting those who only eat microwaveable meals, naturally). This is a fantastic sauce, with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. I’m also a firm believer in chicken thighs as they are less costly and more tender than chicken breasts, so this meal was bound to please – click HERE to learn more about this budget-friendly and amazingly delicious dish! I served these with a side of Leek and Potato Soup that was quite flavorful (and vegan!) – click HERE to see the recipe for this dish. 
I couldn’t help but pair this meal with (for the second time in a row) a piece by Mozart. The concept of the “starving artist” is famously affiliated with Mozart, and his works are arguably staples of the classical repertoire (much like the ingredients of this dish are “pantry” staples themselves). When discussing Mozart’s hardships, his Requiem is more often than not central to the conversation. This meal was very good, but far too modest to pair with such an exalted work. That led me to the gorgeous motet Ave verum corpus in D major, K. 618 (which many believe to be a precursor to the Requiem). Under 50 measures in length, it is orchestrated for choir, string orchestra and organ. The beauty of this piece is how it attains depth through tranquility, and can reach right into the soul. I’ve included a recording featuring the choir and orchestra of Bayerischer Rundfunk(Bavarian Broadcasting) with Leonard Bernstein conducting – enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KUDs8KJc_c

Sources Cited:
“Ave verum corpus (Mozart),” Wikipedia.com

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