The little boy is cackling. He’s reading his brother’s text message to us during dinner, and he can hardly get through it.

“Dude, my roommate’s having sex. They’re in the bathroom,” he reads (cackle, cackle). “This is awkward.”

I grab my phone and start my own texting.

“LEAVE YOUR ROOM,” I tell my son.

“That damn Sammy,” he responds back to me. “I can’t tell him anything.”

Oh, the joys of parenting an almost-grown child who’s away at school. I was prepared to help him navigate homesickness and time management. But the etiquette of what to do when his roommate hooks up with a Tinder date in the shower of a bathroom that serves five freshmen boys?

Not so much.

I munch my dinner and fume for awhile.

“You know,” I tell my husband, “we should just get him an apartment.”

“Eat your chicken,” he responds.

“Did you ever have sex in the shower with your roommate just outside the door?” I continue.

“Eat your chicken. He’ll be fine.”

So I do.

And he is.

“Is your roommate still ‘entertaining’?” I ask him when we talk yesterday afternoon.

“No,” he says. “And it really wasn’t that big a deal. I kept my earphones on.”

Good Lord.

I need more chicken.

Chicken That Soothes A Mother’s Soul

I had no idea when I made this Thursday night that it would be such a panacea for my frazzled emotional state. Blame the yogurt: It keeps the chicken meltingly moist and gives the vegetables a custard-like consistency.

  • 7 ounces full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 20 grinds fresh black pepper
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 4 skin-on chicken legs
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh cilantro

Stir the yogurt, spices, lemon juice, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.

Place the chicken in a large bowl. Slather the yogurt mixture over each piece, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Add the fennel, carrots and shallots and toss with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. If any yogurt remains in the marinating bowl, dollop that around the chicken.

Bake for an hour, or until the chicken is golden brown and crispy.

Sprinkle with a handful of fresh cilantro and serve.