Yesterday was one of those days. I ate breakfast and lunch at my desk and when I finally packed it in at 7:00 p.m., I was beat. While I love to cook, I had no energy to make an all out meal and I didn’t want to resort to take-out yet again. Enter Trader Joe’s.
I always keep several jars of Trader Joe’s simmer sauces on hand (Indian and Italian). I also had their Dal Makhani (basically just lentils and spices) and frozen garlic naan. Add two chicken breasts I already had defrosted in the refrigerator (I buy them frozen in bulk at Costco for just these occasions) and I had an almost instant Indian feast.
I recruited my husband to cut up the chicken, then I set the front burner on the stove to medium, got out a frying pan added Trader Joe’s Punjab Spinach Sauce, 1/2 cup water (the TJ’s instructions say 8 oz but it makes the sauce to soupy for me). Next, in went the chicken. Cover and walk away for 15-20 minutes. Just enough time to get the rice cooker going (I love my gadgets). Spray the rice cooker with olive oil, add 2 cups water and 1 cup basmati rice, press cook and walk away.
Next I set the oven to 400 and while it heated, the rice cooked and the chicken simmered, I opened a bottle of Murphy-Goode Reserve Fume and started to unwind while going through the mail – it was an all magazine day – hurrah!
After about 15 minutes, when the sauce had simmered down to the thicker consistency my husband and I like, I took the Dal out of its package, put it in a bowl and zapped it in the microwave for 2 minutes. My husband claims TJ’s Dal is the best he’s had outside of India and he could be right. While the Dal heated up, I put the naan in the oven for 2 minutes.
When the two minutes were up, it was time to serve. Basmati rice down on the plate first, chicken with Punjab Spinach Sauce on top, garlic naan on a side plate and Dal in side bowls, glasses of Reserve Fume to complete the meal. The Punjab Spinach Sauce had a mild spice and was really hearty. The Dal was spicy and just plain good. The garlic naan tasted like it had just been made from scratch. A real, healthy meal (lots of protein, some veggies) in 20 mins start to finish. Thank you TJ’s!