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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 : >

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  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 ..so 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 (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gu...) 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. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              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!

                1. Teriyaki - can be made ahead of time and is safe at room temp.

                  1. how about a chicken, brocolli and swiss calzone? A little carmelized onion and or peppers/mushrooms to moisten the whole thing.

                    1. Our go-to chicken--for 4 or 50--is:

                      For each 2 # fresh, boneless chicken--or turkey--breast, combine:

                      2 c sweet chili cauce (we use Mae Ploy)
                      1/4 c minced fresh ginger
                      6-8 cloves fresh garlic, minced

                      Cut chicken into large-ish, bite-sized pieces
                      Marinate in chile-ginger-garlic several hours or overnight.
                      Grill or broil chicken 5-10 minutes (until just done).

                      Serve chicken with additional sweet chili sauce.

                      Ridiculously good.

                      1. I've done Marbella for parties and it works well (I use all chicken thighs though and cut the sugar in half). I also second Satay with lettuce leaf wraps. Here's a great recipe from BBQ University(Published on the Web at Primal grill.com):

                        Source: The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing,
                        Method: Direct grilling
                        Makes 16 sates; serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entrée
                        Advance Preparation: 20 minutes to 2 hours for marinating the chicken
                        For the chicken and marinade:
                        1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I use tenders or boneless chix thighs)
                        PRIMAL GRILL – RECIPES
                        1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
                        2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
                        2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
                        2 teaspoons honey or sugar
                        2 cloves garlic, minced
                        1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
                        For serving:
                        Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
                        1 head Boston lettuce, separated into leaves, rinsed, trimmed
                        Diced cucumber
                        Rinse the chicken breasts under cold running water, then drain and blot dry
                        with paper towels. Cut the breasts lengthwise (with the grain) into 16 strips,
                        each 4 inches long, 1/2 inch wide, and 1/4 inch thick. Set aside while you
                        prepare the marinade.
                        Combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, honey, garlic, and
                        turmeric in a medium-size nonreactive bowl and whisk to blend. Add the
                        chicken to the marinade and toss thoroughly to coat. Cover and let marinate,
                        in the refrigerator, 20 minutes to 2 hours (the longer the better).
                        Preheat the grill to high.
                        Weave the chicken strips lengthwise onto the skewers. When ready to cook,
                        oil the grill grate. Arrange the sates on the hot grate and grill, turning with
                        tongs, until lightly browned and cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes per side (2
                        to 6 minutes in all).
                        Transfer the sates to serving plates and serve, accompanied by tiny bowls of
                        the peanut sauce. To eat, place a sate on a lettuce leaf and top the chicken
                        with a spoonful of the sauce and top with some cucumber, if desired; wrap
                        the lettuce around the sate and pull out the skewer.
                        Thai Peanut Sauce
                        Makes about 1 cup
                        2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
                        PRIMAL GRILL – RECIPES
                        1 to 2 Thai, serrano, or jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced (for a spicier
                        sauce, leave the seeds in)
                        1 clove garlic, minced
                        2 scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and minced
                        1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
                        1/3 cup coconut milk, plus more if needed to thin the sauce
                        2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce or soy sauce, or more to taste
                        1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste
                        2 teaspoons sugar, or more to taste
                        1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
                        Combine the ginger, chile, garlic, scallions, peanut butter, 1/3 cup coconut
                        milk, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons sugar,
                        and the cilantro (if using) in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over
                        medium heat, stirring well to mix, then reduce the heat to low and simmer,
                        uncovered, until richly flavored, about 10 minutes. The sauce should be
                        thick, but pourable; thin with coconut milk, if needed.
                        Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning, adding fish sauce, lime juice,
                        or sugar as necessary; the sauce should be highly seasoned. Serve warm or
                        at room temperature. The sauce will keep, tightly covered, in the
                        refrigerator for up to 3 days.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hankstramm

                          This sounds so good..I decided on the Marbella but I am going to keep this one close. I have rebelled the last few years when the crowds arrive here for Super Bowl Sunday. No huge sandwiches, orange wings and fried gunk.
                          Thanks for being so kind and taking the time to post this for me.

                          All of you have been so nice. Thanks so much.

                        2. Grilled chicken summer rolls. If you are ambitious, instead of rice paper, you can make the egg wrapper yourself and top the rolls with a rich peanut sauce.

                          1. Chicken skewers of some sort are always good for parties... However unless you have a considerable amount of help, cutting up and skewering that much chicken is going to be a pain, I can tell you!

                            You can try a Turkish dish called Circassian chicken which can be made ahead. It's basically poached shredded chicken in a walnut sauce. You can serve it straight from the fridge and it can be kept at room temperature for an hour or so. It can be eaten on its own with just some salad and bread and since you'll be shredding the meat ahead of time people can eat it with just a fork at the party. It's pretty easy to make as well:

                            Put a 3-4 lb chicken and an onion in a pot which is just big enough to fit the bird and cover with water. Bring to boil, cover, turn off heat and let stand for 30 min. Then repeat: Bring to a simmer (not a boil), turn off heat, let stand 30 min. You'll have a perfectly poached chicken. Throw away the onion but don't discard the simmering water.

                            Skin the chicken as best you can. Take the meat off the bones and shred it.

                            Put the following in a blender: 1.25 cup walnuts, 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp vinegar, 1.5 cups of the chicken poaching water. Blend and check, it should have the consistency of a thick spread. If necessary add some more of the poaching water and reblend.

                            Mix this sauce with the shredded meat in a bowl or serving plate and refrigerate. Just before serving, heat 1-2 tbsp of oil and 1/2 tbsp of paprika in a small pan then drizzle this over the chicken.

                            Assuming you'll be serving other dishes as well, for 25 people I'd double the recipe.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Ajax32

                              Thanks for your kindness in posting this for me.

                              1. re: millriver

                                Howdy Chowhounds!! Overall my party was a success. I had too much food, lol, made worse by the size of the roast beef we picked up from A&S. It was delicious but way too much. The Chicken was tasty, I did make too much of this too and probably would have used thinner breasts but the flavors were yummy and very pretty presentation with the black olives, apricots and the capers.

                                The little potatoes were such a success..wow..just boiled baby red potatoes with a scoop taken out and seasoned sour cream piped in, then i alternated chives, crumbled bacon or caviar for topping. I also made a blue cheese/cream cheese topped endive pieces with a smoked chipotle chili roasted pecan crumble..that also got rave reviews. Believe it or not the big frozen cleaned and cooked shrimp from BJ'S were delicious and impressive, many people thought I did all the work myself preparing the shrimp, I DID make the cocktail sauce from scratch, but all I did was slowly defrost the shrimp and arrange it pretty. Also I made a simple short skewer with grape tomato, small mozzarella ball, piece of fresh basil and some got a pitted calamata olive. Thanks to you all for your guidance and your patience.

                                1. re: millriver

                                  Excellent news! Stock your freezer with the extras. The reheated marbella has made good lunches for me with a little rice or noodles.