Cooking chicken the night before to serve cold or at room temperature the next day is a brilliant plan for summer soirées, picnics or potlucks. Since the flavors of something cold are usually less pronounced than when they were warm, and since flavors are always muted during storage anyway, the key is to start with more flavor: a blast of herbs, a rub or a marinade. A fiery jalapeño and ginger spiked yogurt marinade to give life to my take on tandoori chicken, for example. The lack of any messy sauces means that they can all be packed up and taken on a picnic without worrying about dripping, leaking containers. A resealable plastic bag or sheet of aluminum foil will work just fine. You could even happily eat everything with your fingers — if, say, you eschewed (or forgot) the plastic forks and knives and just packed a stack of paper napkins.
Originally published in The New York Times Tandoori-Style Chicken, by Melissa Clark