Winner, Winner, Tandoori Chicken Dinner

There are lots of small, quotidian things that make me feel like a pulled-together person. Finishing a book. Making dentist appointments. Parallel parking. But nothing makes me feel more like a successful human than marinating a chicken in the morning for that night’s dinner. The foresight, the efficiency! I can have it all!

So here’s the game plan for Farideh Sadeghin’s tandoori chicken. Tomorrow morning, I’ll set aside about 20 minutes — after the coffee’s been made and the dog’s been walked — to rub the chicken legs with salt and lemon juice and to make a pungent paste out of garlic, ginger, yogurt and lots of warming spices. That paste goes onto the chicken, the chicken goes into a bag, the bag goes into the fridge and I go about my Sunday knowing that not only is dinner taken care of, it’s going to be incredibly flavorful — the result of a long, luxurious marination. All I have to do next is put the chicken in the oven and make rice (hop to it, my Zojirushi friend) and a quick cucumber raita. I’m great at this, and so are you.

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This gorgeous sticky miso salmon bowl from Andy Baraghani is the sort of thing I want to eat every day: a salmon fillet coated with miso, brightened with grapefruit zest and burnished under the broiler on a bed of rice stirred through with sliced scallions and a bit of butter. Andy suggests serving it with kimchi, and, yes. Here’s Eric Kim’s smacked cucumber “quick kimchi,” which is just as much fun to eat as it is to say.

Also really lovely is this farinata, an herbed chickpea flour and onion pancake from Brian Levy. “Typically a humble pancake built on only chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt, it’s inexpensive, gluten-free and suitable for vegans,” Brian writes. “It can be very thin, highlighting its crispy, golden exterior, and is usually eaten plain or with a simple side of cured meats. This version is thicker, showcasing its creamy herbed interior, and topped with an array of garnishes for a more substantial dish.”

Time for two pastas, one hot, one not. Kay Chun’s eggplant Parmesan pasta is what to make when you want eggplant Parm (always) but don’t want to turn on your oven (also always, nowadays). Yasmin Fahr’s citrusy couscous salad with broccoli and feta could be served hot, but I want this spicy-sweet pasta salad cold. Lauren C., a reader, nicely summarizes a recurring sentiment in the comments: “Made as written and it completely exceeded expectations. Would be a stunner at ANY bbq or potluck.”

On the topic of potlucks, I always feel like a Very Good Person when the item I bring is completely devoured. Yotam Ottolenghi’s blueberry, almond and lemon cake, a perfect balance of sweet and sour, feels like a sure bet — mostly because I will absolutely polish off any remaining slices myself.

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