Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 19, 2010 01:57 PM

got any suggestions for a chicken dish for an open house party??

Hello you wonderful chowhounds....I have been lurking and reading and reading..this is a great site. Thank you all for being so generous with your ideas and expertise.

That being said I am having a dinner/open house/cocktail party for 25 this coming weekend. I am stumped as to what to serve for a chicken dish..needs to be easy to eat if the plate is in your lap on a couch, or standing up...AND something that can be warm and/or room temp so things can be left out for awhile. Got any ideas? recipes? places for me to order something from??

thanks again for listening : >

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. something along the lines of a satay? grilled skewers of chicken with a peanut dip. really food on a stick always says "party". not so sure about leaving at room temp for any length of time any chicken dish. but cold from the fridge and replenished often would work. room temp chick on a stick doesn't say "party" quite as much.

    or summer rolls with chicken, lettuce, basil and vermicelli rolled in rice flour paper again with peanut sauce would stand up cold.

    or any poached dish could be kept hot on a buffet safely.

    1 Reply
    1. re: appycamper

      I agree about the satay. I would use boneless skinless thighs.

    2. I know it's been said again and again, but Chicken Marbella fits the bill. Just google it, and you'll find a recipe online. It can be served at room temp, it's great with rice pilaff on the side, a green salad, and rolls and butter. It cooks long enough so that even on the bone, the chicken is tender and easy to eat. I usually add some dried apricots in with the dried plums. Another plus is that it's better cooked a day or two ahead and just reheated for the party.

      9 Replies
      1. re: critter101

        Second this suggestion. If made with chicken breasts, it's easy to cut the chicken into one-bite pieces after it cooks & cools. I tend to cut way back on the oregano in this recipe because it's overpowering, to my taste. Otherwise, a wonderful dish.

        1. re: weezycom

          Just made with boneless chicken breasts. Cut them into strips (each half breast into about three strips) to make smaller servings. Very easy to eat at potlucks and buffets if boneless. Serve with some good noodles to put the pan juices with.

          Here's a recipe:

          1. re: karykat

            ok i am reading alot about chicken marbella and i think i may take the plunge. Some people suggest couscous, some noodles. I have 2 4qt chafing dishes, 2 1.8 qt ceramic chafing dishes and another big one with rectagular sections my menu has a lot of easy munchie things..roast beef and tons of shrimp so i am thinking the chicken will be something people make a special trip to get and eat during the evening. How would you suggest I cook and serve the couscous or noodles? How do I keep them moist? I like the idea of making the CM the day before and then reheating for the party, but unsure what to do with the starch. I dont want to be boiIing stuff when my guest arrive. I am still deciding btwn making the CM with the thighs or the breasts. Would you suggest bowls so people can put the starch and chicken together? Please forgive my nervousness, I am not usually shy. This Christmas I took a huge plunge and served Guy Fieri's brussel sprouts ( as a side with filet mignon for my Italian in laws. I had never had them they just looked great on his show.( I would give them a 7/10 needed to cook sprouts longer to soften a bit more). I am very nervous about making something I have never cooked for this group of friends so that is why I am sweating these details. I appreciate all of you and your kind encouragement!!

            1. re: millriver

              Don't be nerveous with us! I use Mrs. Weiss Kluski egg noodles. They look like a homemade noodle -- kind of thicker. Something like that would work. Also I think the couscous would be good for mopping up the sauce.
              I've reheated the thick noodles at low heat just for me and my boyfriend when we had leftovers and it worked. Others will have advice on whether you can reheat the noodles or couscous. The couscous would take only a matter of minutes to do. Boil water, pour over couscous, let sit for a few minutes, fluff and done.

              Chicken thighs would probably be more moist. I like using boneless breasts though, cut into strips. I think it's easier to eat in a group - no dealing with bones.

              I forgot to mention before that I use black olives instead of the green ones the recipe calls for. Just like them better.


              1. re: karykat

                Ok, some recipes mention serving the remaining pan juices in a separate bowl...have you done that? or do you serve the whole thing wet and juicy in the chafing dish and let people serve with slotted spoon...I think I will take out 1/2 the dried plums (lol) and add apricots..sounds like it would be pretty. I am still thinking about some of my guests sitting on couches eating their food. One blogger suggests that the thighs would be so soft it would easily come off the bone, but if i do the bonelss breast am I doing more of a strip or a cube.. I know I can get either in bulk pkg at BJ's. There is a mediterranean curry couscous from Near East that I've made before I wonder if that would pair well or stay with something more basic so the juices from the chicken do the work. I think I just asnswered my own question there..hahahaha.

                1. re: millriver

                  if you have the time/desire, why not try doing a test run one of the nights before? it's not too difficult to make, and it might put your mind at ease for cooking for the party... if you work, set the chicken to marinate in the morning, then bake it off when you get home!

                  i'd serve the chicken and whatnot on a platter, then put the juices in a separate dish just for ease of serving. that way, those that want juices can easily spoon them over, and people aren't "fishing" through the serving platter, disturbing the plating, trying to get out some juice.

                  bowls will be a great way to serve, and my preference is for plain couscous to sop up the flavors, and provide a nice vehicle. i wouldn't want to serve anything that would have competing flavors. i've also served it over barley for a nice toothsomeness...

                  it's hard to screw up this recipe, so just relax and enjoy the process... and your guests!

                  1. re: millriver

                    If you have guests sitting on couches with their food, I vote for boneless breasts. Easier to eat when you're not at a table without the bones to deal with.

                    I just served this and we put most of the juices in a bowl. That way people can spoon the juices over whatever starch you have. Left some of the juices in the dish with the chicken to keep it moist.

                    I think apricot would work well instead of the prunes.

                2. re: millriver

                  Here are my ideas about the Chicken Marbella. When I cook this dish, I generally use thighs, since the meat stays juicy. Because I keep the skin on, I find it best to cook them the day before service, and when cold, remove any fat that has solidified. I also add a little Kitchen Bouquet to darken the sauce a bit. I use some of the sauce to moisten the noodles I serve along with it, use some with the chicken itself, and I serve the balance on the side (you get a lot of sauce with this dish. I cut back a bit on the brown sugar, since I found the original amount a bit too sweet. If you want to do a test run, just cut the recipe down and cook 1/4 of it for your family. It freezes very well.

                  1. re: critter101

                    AHHHH I made the commitment and right now there is a TON of chicken marinating in my fridge. This smells so good I can't stand it!! If it tastes even half as good as it smells I am going to be one happy hostess tomorrow!! I went with the apricots instead of the prunes, and black pitted calamata olives. OH this looks great. Tomorrow when I cook it I will most likely cut back a bit on the brown sugar, that seems to be a running suggestions throughout CH and other recipes on the web. I will let you know how it all goes. Thanks again for helping, I am so glad I found this website, you are all so awesome. I'll post my results..wish me luck!!

          2. Can't find the recipe online but I have at home a chicken Pistachio risotto with lemon juice and zest that is perfect. Reply if you want me to find the recipe could post tommorrow.


            3 Replies
            1. re: don515

              Don I would love the recipe..if I cant use it for this weekend I can still give it a try!! Thanks

              1. re: millriver

                Ok here goes

                1 1/2 cups aborio rice
                4-5 Tbs evoo
                zest and juice of one lemon
                3 cups cubed chicken
                3/4 shelled pistachios (I like dry roasted)
                1 sm red onion finely diced
                1/2 cup finely chopped flat parsey
                1/4 cup finely chopped basil
                3 Tbs drained sm capers
                freshly ground pepper

                lg saucepan bring 10 cup water to a boil stir in 1 Tbs salt add rice cook uncovered till al dente about 15min
                drain rinse with cold water and drain again.
                Small bowl mix 1/4 oil lemon zest and juice and pour over rice add chicken onion parsley basil capers toss.
                Add 1 Tbs of evvo season with salt pepper lets stand for at least 20min add pistachios just before serving.

                For milder onion might want to soak in icewater for 10 min then train well on paper towel

                This is a perfect recipe


                1. re: don515

                  Thanks Don..this one sounds yummy!

            2. "Birthday Party Paella" from Bon Appetit isn't exactly authentic paella, but it's great for a crowd.

              1. easy to eat... with toothpicks... might be some chicken/turkey meatballs in a marinara or a bbq sauce (these were a HUGE hit at my last buffet/afternoon affair)

                teriyaki or satay also tends to go over well

                you might even consider a gourmet version of a nugget or tender

                that said, i third the recs for chicken marbella!