‘Tis the season for outdoor entertaining, which usually involves something on the grill plus several fresh sides. To spice things up (literally), try swapping standard BBQ fare for something more fun like this Indian-inspired feast. We served it to friends last week and loved the change from corn, baked beans and burgers.
The main course, Tandoori-Spiced Chicken, comes together quickly. Early that morning I made a yogurt marinade that called for much of my spice cabinet: coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, cloves, paprika and pepper. I love this style of cooking and had all of these on hand, but if you don’t it pays to go shopping first. I cut the chicken into strips so more surface area would be exposed to the marinade, then stuck everything in the fridge until dinner. (In case you’re wondering, the thick marinade cooks off after a stint on the grill so you’re left with tender pieces of flavorful chicken, just like at your favorite Indian restaurant.)
For sides, we had salad, raita, spiced chickpeas and couscous, all of which were made in less than an hour that same morning. And isn’t that one of the reasons we love summer? It’s easy to have people over without spending all day in the kitchen.
Note: For the recipes for raita and spiced chickpeas, click here. Both are part of a larger recipe from Gourmet for curried chicken salad, which is layered with the raita and chickpeas and served in mason jars for a one-dish picnic. I made it once and my kids were tickled to eat dinner out of a jar, but if your kids don’t like one food touching another you’d probably want to serve it on a plate.