What to Cook This Week

Peruvian roast chicken, tofu-ginger stir-fry and more recipes.

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By Sam Sifton

Good morning. When my children were very small, there wasn’t a lot of time to cook proper meals. Each evening my wife and I found ourselves sliding down a chute that led from dinner for the kids to bath to books to bedtime, and emerging at the bottom ready only for takeout food and some shut-eye before, invariably, one child or both awakened in a cry.

We ate a lot of takeout Peruvian roast chicken. It was our staple meal: salty-skinned and moist, with an addictive spicy cilantro sauce. That phase of our lives didn’t last that long in the grand scheme of things, but I still seek comfort in those flavors, and remember those days with warmth.

And now I can cook the chicken myself with Melissa Clark’s ace recipe (above). I usually double the amount of sauce so I can use it to anoint chicken sandwiches during the week. Would you consider joining me in doing so today?

As for the rest of the week …

Monday

Hetty McKinnon has a new recipe for a tofu-ginger stir-fry that’s an excellent fast-and-flavorful meal for the start of the week. The slivered ginger sweetens in the pan, while the tofu achieves the miracle of being both bouncy and crisp.

Tuesday

There’s something deliciously heretical about Kay Chun’s smoky tomato carbonara, which brings a bright tang to what is usually a velvety rich dish. “I don’t care what you call it,” one subscriber noted on the recipe, “this tastes great.”

Wednesday

Ali Slagle’s sheet-pan roasted chicken with greens is a reminder of the ease and joy of one-pan cooking, with dark, leafy greens beneath the chicken absorbing its fat and juices so that they emerge almost braised.

Thursday

Here’s a 30-minute salmon and couscous salad with cucumber-feta dressing from Yasmin Fahr, inspired by both green goddess dressing and mast-o khiar, a Persian side dish of cucumbers and yogurt. (Eat the leftovers cold for lunch, enlivened by a squeeze of lime juice and more fresh herbs.)

Friday

And then to round out the week, join me for some kitchen freestyling with a no-recipe recipe approach to a kale salad with cranberries, pecans and blue cheese. When I made it the other night, I swapped in dried cherries, roasted almonds and dabs of triple crème Brie for the headliner mix-ins, and then topped the salad with a variation on Melissa Clark’s recipe for chicken schnitzel. (I used chicken thighs in place of her cutlets.) This was an outrageously good meal.

Many thousands more recipes to cook this week are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking, along with additional inspiration on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Go forth and discover them!

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And write for help if you run into trouble along the way. We’re at [email protected], and someone will get back to you. You can also write to me, if you’d like to say hello or bark: [email protected] Even if I can’t respond, I read every letter I get.

Now, it’s nothing to do with mulberries or goat, but the novelist Russell Banks died last Sunday at 82. That’s reason enough for you to read — or reread — his 1985 novel, “Continental Drift.”

My old colleague Alastair Macaulay is in The New York Review of Books this week with an accounting of a huge new biography of the dancer Bronislava Nijinska. If there’s no way I’ll read the book, I’m very happy I read the review.

David Zipper is in The Atlantic with a smart and counterintuitive take on American carmakers going all in on electricity, “Electric Vehicles Are Bringing Out the Worst in Us.”

Finally, we need only five minutes to make you love Sun Ra. Read and listen to that, cook something delicious and have a very good week!

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