I do hope you’re sitting down for this one, because this post is so loaded with delicious, time-saving “do-ahead” ideas that it’ll make you weak in the knees (please, hold your applause). I know that a cursory glance at this post may incline one to believe there’s a lot of work ahead just to get a simple chicken dinner on the table. Be not deceived — read on with empowered optimism.
One of my favorite spice blends available at my local market is billed simply as tandoori powder. Borrowing inspiration from the famous Indian chicken dish bearing the name tandoori, this creation is bright, aromatic, pleasantly spicy and seriously amazing on everything from meat to fish to tofu to vegetables. If your market doesn’t have this available (or if you’re one of these awesome people who’d rather get all DIY on it), make some of your own and keep it close by — you’ll want to put it on everything. In a small bowl stir together 3 tablespoons ground coriander, 3 tablespoons ground cumin, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons garam masala or curry powder. Store the mixture in an airtight container at room temperature (makes about 3/4 cup; you won’t need all of it for this recipe).
What pantry of sound being is complete without a staple salad dressing, too, right? I love having a hearty tahini dressing on hand to toss with shredded kale, grilled romaine or — in this case — a raw carrot salad. In a medium bowl whisk together 3 tablespoons tahini, juice of 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 finely grated clove garlic, salt and pepper and 3 to 4 tablespoons warm water. Adjust the dressing’s consistency with more or less water and store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (makes about 3/4 cup).
See, not so tough, right? Plus you’re two steps ahead of the game for dinner the rest of the week! Alright, enough do-aheads — let’s make this into a meal!