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Chicken Marbella dinner on Sunday 8/29...

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Hi guys: Thanks for suggesting the chicken marabella; I will be making it this sunday for about 18 people( yup, I've got loads of friends). I've made quite a reputation with the roast chicken and pastitsio meals and I hope that the trend continues. So I need your help in continuing to make me feel like a culinary genius, even though, honestly, I have a passion for food but has never taken the next step of actually cooking. Now, I've totally jumped the shark!

Anyway, here's the recipe; my questions will follow:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

QUESTIONS:

1) The whitewine. I am not able to use this. Can you please recommend an acceptable subsitute? One liquid or a combo? appke juice/water/stock/lemon juice/ prune juice/other? I am not able to use white wine or other alcohol.

2) Many of the epicurious reviewers suggestd that I increase the marinade by 50 - 100 percent. How would you do that?

3) Please recommend prep times. What can I do the day before?

4) I will be serving rice as the starch because that is what was provided. I would have preferred couscous because I've never ever cooked rice in my entire life(redundant much?). How would I cook it? Technique? How much for 18 people? Ratio of water to rice? Spices? Visible queues to look for as I cook the rice, etc?

5) I will be serving ftozen green beans(yuck!) or green salad? How would I jazz these up? Vinaigrette? If you think about it, the watermelon/feta salad from 8/22 will be a hard act to follow?

6) Dessert ideas, please.

7) Is there anything else that comes to mind that will be very helpful? Like, is that amount of chicken ok?

Thanks again, guys!

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  1. 1) Chicken broth would work.

    2) I find the marinade with the recipe to be plenty.

    3) Marinate it the night before. If you want to serve it cold, you can cook it the night before but if not, cook it just before serving, as the recipe calls.

    4) What about doing a lebanese rice pilaf?

    http://middleeasterncuisine.suite101....

    5) A green salad, with a lot of fresh chopped vegetables would be perfect for this. A vinaigrette would be good, or if you want to go with a creamy route, green goddess dressing.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

    6) Peach cobbler since peaches are in season? With ice cream.

    8) I like chicken marbella with thighs and drumsticks, not white meat. I find it gets dry since with the mix of pieces, you can't time both white and dark meat to be done at the same time, in one tray. If you do both white and dark, I'd separate them in different trays so you can take each out when done.