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Apr 2, 2008 09:12 AM

Good make-ahead chicken recipe for Passover?

a friend is doing the seder the second night, and doesn't want to make brisket because she figures everyone will have it on the first night. she needs a chicken recipe that she can make ahead and just reheat [or finish cooking right before serving] that will feed a very large group - about 20 or so.

I told her I'd put a request in to my fellow hounds to see if anyone has a good idea. the biggest challenge is obviously avoiding rubber chicken syndrome.


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  1. These 3 would work...they are both prepared the night before and just put in the oven to cook before the dinner.

    the ever-popular Chicken Marbella
    Barefoot Contessa Indonesian Ginger Chicken

    This year I'm making Alton Brown's Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. I also brown the chicken the night before, and get it all ready, and then just stick it in the oven on the day of.

    2 Replies
    1. re: valerie

      funny, i told her my first instinct was chicken marbella, and gave her a recipe for it. i'll run it by her again. i also like the indonesian ginger chicken idea, i just don't think she wants to have to wait until that day to do the cooking. but i'll suggest it anyway, i like the recipe. i'll also mention the 40 cloves.

      thanks for the great suggestions.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        The thing about the indonesian ginger chicken (and the 40 cloves chicken the way I do it) is that all you have to do the day of is to stick it in the oven. If the chicken was completely made the day before, it would have to be heated up anyway, and this way, it doesn't get dried out since its not being cooked twice.

    2. She could make chicken Vesuvio ahead with white wine, garlic, EVOO, rosemary & oregano. Roast the chicken pieces about 75% done. The next day, add the onions and potatoes (partially cooked), a little more oil, wine & seasonings and finish roasting.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Diane in Bexley

        ooh, love it! thanks.

        do you have a favorite particular recipe, or just do it on the fly? i have a good old one from bon appetit, but i'm always open to new ones...

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          This recipe makes enough for 4 people, I buy 3.5 - 4 lb. chickens, so I guess you can just multiply for number of people you are having. I have made it 75% and then cooked through next day with partially cooked potatoes:

          1 large roasting chicken (3.5-4 lb.) cut in 8 pieces
          olive oil, kosher salt, fresh garlic, 2 chopped shallots, 2 sticks fresh rosemary, 1 T oregano, fresh black pepper, 1 T paprika
          2 lb. small red potatoes, halved, blanched for 8-10 min in boiling water and well drained
          1/4 cup good white wine

          Spray large shallow baking sheet (jelly roll pan) with no stick spray or cover with foil. Preheat oven to broil. Season chicken on both sides (no garlic or shallots yet). Sprinkle both sides with 1-2 T EVOO. Place skin side down, broil 5-8 min, turn, broil another 5-8 min. Set oven to 400 degrees, convection if you have one. I like this method better than pan frying, but you can do that too. Turn chicken so skin side is up. Scatter chopped shallots and garlic. Sprinkle chicken with white wine. Bake 30 minutes, checking to make sure no burning. Cool chicken and refrigerate.

          Next day, parboil red potatoes for 8-10 min. Drain really, really well. Toss with 1-2 T olive oil, 1-2 T white wine, chopped garlic & shallots, season with s&p, rosemary, oregano & paprika. Make sure you use cookie sheet that is large enough to hold chicken & veggies in one layer or divide among 2 pans. Roast in preheated 400 degree oven for another 20-30 min till chicken is 175 in dark meat, tossing potatoes a few times.

          Note: if my DH wasn't allergic to bell peppers, I would throw some red & green peppers in with this for taste & color (family is Hungarian)

      2. I am having the exact same dilemma (and have posted recently also on this topic). After reading the suggestions (thanks all!) I tried the Chicken Marbella. It was great for making ahead of time. However, although I thought it tasted great (and so did a few other tasters) my husband did not like it. He does not like olives and thought it tasted too much of olives. I was not pleased - I thought I had finally come up with a great idea.

        So its back to the drawing board for me. I am currently thinking about making Chicken Thighs with Lime & Honey ( This recipe has instructions on maing ahead of time. It can be left to marinate all day and then cooked on the night. I like the fact that it uses bonless thighs, as I find them easier to eat. I did try this recipe a while ago and while tasty and simple to make, I dont know if it has enough Wow! factor for a special celebratory dish.

        I am eager to hear other posters ideas and opinions.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jaykat

          I've been "auditioning" chicken recipes for seder, and I think I've finally come up with the winner. I also am fond of Chicken Marbella, but my husband (also) is not a big fan.

          I made this the other night, and reheated this evening to see how it would do when not fresh--I actually liked it better reheated (flavors seemed deeper). Here's a link to the recipe:

          I used cut up chicken parts rather than poussins--and thought it was delicious.

        2. Chicken Marengo is an old Joy of Cooking recipe that recommends making a day in advance. Have made it for 20 years on Succoth because can be served in a big casserole, is warm on cool night, and leftovers are even better the NEXT day. I have never made it for Pesach because we love it with rice, but should be great on Quinoa, or with a matzoh kugel to sop up the juices. There is nothing in it that would require a Passover substitution. It is not hard, and could as easily be made 2 days in advance—a good thing this year. Recipe works well doubled, and measurements don’t have to be exact.

          8 to 12 servings
          This was the dish served to Napoleon after he had fasted through his victory at Marengo. Composed of findings from the nearby countryside, the dish was such a success that from there on in, Napoleon’s chef had to prepare it after every battle. It is a good buffet casserole which profits by a day’s aging, refrigerated.
          Have ready:
          6 to 8 pounds chicken parts
          Sauté until delicately colored:
          1 thinly sliced onion
          1/2 cup olive oil
          then remove. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Add:
          1/2 cup dry white wine
          2 crushed garlic cloves (I use a little more)
          1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
          1 bay leaf
          Sprigs of parsley
          1 cup chicken stock or broth
          2 cups Italian-style tomatoes (Can use regular if you can’t find Italian for Pesach)
          Cover and simmer about 1 hour, until tender. When the meat is done, remove it to a platter. Strain sauce and reduce it about 5 minutes (I’d reduce a little further is regular tomatoes) and season to taste.
          16 to 20 tiny white onions, peeled (I buy frozen. Can do without but they do add flavor/crunch)
          1 pound mushrooms, sliced
          1/4 cup butter ( I use olive oil)
          Juice of 1 lemon
          Arrange chicken quarters, mushrooms, onions, and:
          1 cup pitted black olives
          in a deep earthenware casserole. Sprinkle over all:
          1 jigger brandy (don’t need)
          Add the sauce and reheat in a 350°F oven. Remove bay leaf. Garnish with:
          Chopped parsley
          Serve with: Cooked rice

          6 Replies
          1. re: Rose Ann

            Indonesian Ginger Chicken, which looks delicious, has soy sauce, which isn't kosher for Passover for Ashkenazim.

            1. re: marcia2

              marcia - great catch! i didn't even notice because the recipe wasn't really under consideration - once i mentioned vesuvio to her she was sold :)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Aside from containing soy, which isn't K for P for Ashkenazim, I'm pretty sure that soy sauce also contains wheat, making it not K for P for anybody. I have a friend with celiac disease, and avoid using soy sauce when she's coming over.

                1. re: GilaB

                  FWIW, there are wheat-free tamaris, such as San-J, that some Sephardics will use on Passover. I wonder if your friend might be able to enjoy this sauce.

                  1. re: btnfood

                    When I suggested this dish, I wasn't thinking about the soy sauce not being K for P. But yes, you can use the wheat-free versions and separately, people with celiac can use the wheat-free version.

                    1. re: valerie

                      i'm severely gluten-intolerant so the san-j wheat free tamari is a godsend for me most of the time. but as valerie pointed out, soy sauce in general isn't K for P because soybeans [or any legumes, for that matter] aren't.

          2. Reviving this thread, just wondering if anyone has any new ideas for a chicken dish to make for Passover? My brisket is on the sweet side, so I'm looking for a chicken dish that is not too sweet to serve along side it.

            Over the past few years, I have served the following...

            Chicken Marbella -- a hit, but again, don't want something sweet

            Patricia Wells Fricassee of Chicken with White Wine, Capers and Olives -- did not like this...chicken skin was flabby and it grossed me out

            Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic (Alton Brown's recipe) -- I served this a few years ago and it's always popular. Right now it's the front runner, but I'm not feeling the love for it for some reason.

            Pandora's Chicken -- a hit, but sort of like Chicken Marbella

            Braised Chicken with Lemon and Capers -- good but I would rather make the 40 clove chicken, I guess.

            Any other suggestions? Thanks...

            5 Replies
            1. re: valerie

              I so love sweet and sour chicken thighs with carrots. A great Passover ( as well as other times) dish:


              1. re: onefineleo

                Thanks for the suggestion. This sounds good, and I saved it to my recipe box for a different time. I just think this might compete with, not complement, the brisket. I use lots of carrots and onions for the brisket.

              2. re: valerie

                Chicken Chasseur would get my vote. Chicken, cognac, wine and mushrooms. Better the next day. What's not to love?

                1. re: RelishPDX

                  This sounds good too...thanks! If I don't end up using it for Passover, I will add it to my "to do" list.