I know full well that without a tandoor (a brick oven), one cannot expect to prepare true tandoori chicken. And alas, my small apartment kitchen provides only a gas stove and oven. Still, I made the “Tandoori Chicken,” from eclecticrecipes.com, if only to indulge in the long list of spices. I maintained the basics of this classic Punjabi dish: a spicy yogurt marinade and high-heat cooking.

I marinated my chicken for 4 hours 15 minutes. I then baked for 19 minutes, until the chicken’s temperature reached 165 degrees (using an instant-read, alarmed meat thermometer is so empowering). I did advance the cooking temperature to “broil” for the last couple of minutes, to achieve the tiniest bit of char. This chicken was absolutely doused with 10 spices. Was it too crazy? Too spicy? I worried about my family’s reaction, but Dave and my young child liked this and didn’t mind its indulgent aroma. Personally, I was disappointed that the yogurt marinade did not moisten my chicken more than it did, but perhaps if I had marinated overnight, the chicken would have been better penetrated by the marinade. Tell me what happens when you make this chicken.

Farro continues to intrigue me, with a bite that’s firmer than barley’s and an assured flavor that gives more than rice. I made the “Buttermilk Farro Salad,” from101cookbooks.com, another blogger who seems stricken by farro (I recently enjoyed another farro recipe of hers.) I was proud of this fantastic salad. The tangy flavors of buttermilk and dill were a naturally appealing combination. Chives are the additional fireworks.

To achieve 4 cups of cooked farro, I first soaked 1 1/3 cups of farro for 25 minutes in cold water. I rinsed, then boiled the farro in new water. I simmered it uncovered for 25 minutes. This salad celebrates the crunch of the radishes, zucchini, and fennel. I added 1 tsp. salt to the final mix, as well as an extra splash of the dressing. This salad holds up as leftovers; make sure you eat some every day until it’s all gone.

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (1.96 lbs. = $9.78)
Radishes (7) = $1.31
Zucchini (3) = $1.00
Fennel (1) = $1.62

RECIPES: dare yourself to add 10 spices to your chicken and see what buttermilk and farro can do together
you might marinate the chicken overnight, but take only 20 minutes to cook it; once you take an hour to cook and cool your farro, you can assemble and eat this salad
TASTES: a pungent rainbow of spices overwhelm the chicken (in a good way?), while garlic, buttermilk, dill, and chives fantastically coat farro and crunchy vegetables

My next meal will be a bit more low-key. I want to make “Scallion Pancakes with Soy Dipping Sauce,” from cuisinerecipes.com, along with the “Cucumber Ribbon Salad,” from theperfectpantry.com. Come back to my site on Friday, September 24, to see what happens.