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Un-boring Chicken

Help please.

I am catering a party in two weeks and want to come up with a delicious and attractive chicken recipe for a Buffet that will work with pork tenderloin stuffed with apricots,prunes and almonds in a cognac, cream gravy as well as an East Indian dish of curried eggs and peas. I know , the latter two sound like a weird combination, but they are two of my client's favourite dishes.(that is my dilemna with the chicken - trying to come up with a recipe that will compliment, or at least exist peacefully, with both of them).

Any suggestions will be both welcomed and appreciated.

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  1. The first time I made moroccan chicken my husband thought it was french (sort of weird). But since the french (I'm thinking French because of the cognac and cream) had a foot in North Africa and also use things like apricots and almonds in their dishes, AND use interesting spices that should work with the curry stuff, I think this could easily work. There are many great recipes, but I'm fond of http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... (and usually skip the final step in the oven.

    3 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      Thank you - I had not thought about Moroccan. That might just work.

      1. re: LulusMom

        I think you have found the rights balance and tie between the two dishes. Truth be told, nobody reallu cares as long as it is good and the smells are not too conflicting. Should consider some sort of potato of the non mashed variety that would be well suited to both meat dishes and the eggs.

        1. re: LulusMom

          Here's another moroccan chicken recipe:

          I use breasts cut in half rather than dark meat. I garnish with candied orange zest. (sort of a riff on perserved lemons, I guess)

        2. Chicken Marbella. Recipe is all over the interwebs.

          4 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            That's a wonderful dish, but may be too many prunes/fruity things at one meal. :-) I love this make ahead dish by Nigella, it's very homey, smells great... http://cooking-books.blogspot.com/200...

            If you're not afraid of spice, serious spice, I mean, just marinate pieces overnight in Walkerswood spicy jerk marinade (the large bottle, not the small jar of rub) and bake, broiling at the very end for rich color.

            1. re: mcf

              Or Just Make it yourself...


              3 scallions, chopped

              3 cloves garlic, peeled

              1-3 habañero chilis, seeded

              1 small onion, chopped

              1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

              1-2 springs of thyme, leaves stripped from stem

              Juice of 2 limes

              2 tablespoon soy sauce

              3 tablespoon olive oil

              1 tablespoon honey

              1 tablespoon salt

              2 teaspoon pepper

              2 teaspoon allspice

              ½ teaspoon nutmeg

              ½ teaspoon cinnamon

              1. re: Matthew Wainwright

                Matthew- this sounds amazing!! How long do you marinate the chicken, and would you recommend grilling afterwards? I'm thinking of doing this with boneless skinless breasts...

                1. re: Matthew Wainwright

                  That looks delicious, but doesn't have the scotch bonnet peppers... I've made a lot of marinades, tried other jerk marinades, but something about WW is just the most divine one I've ever tasted, so I'll keep buyin'. Yours sounds great, though.

            2. How about a Chinese stir-fry with diced chicken, walnuts, bell peppers, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and baby corn?

              1. What about a glaze with pomegranate molasses? It is beautiful, festive and compliments all kinds of spice...esp East Indian.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sedimental

                  I make delicious oven roasted chicken thighs by rubbing a paste on them of pomegranate molasses, olive oil, crushed garlic, crushed coriander seeds, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper.
                  You have to be careful baking them so the sugar in the pom molasses doesn't burn. But people love them and always ask for the recipe.

                2. Just this week I roasted chicken thighs with rosemary and a satsuma-cranberry glaze. Plopped the finished thighs on some mesclun dressed with a dijon vinaigrette. Turned out very nice. Easy, exceptionally seasonal, festive.

                  1. I have tried over 100 new recipes so far this year, and by far my favorite one is "Rigatoni with Braised Chicken and Saffron Cream" http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...
                    which appeared in Bon Appétit, back in September in a great article titled “The 10 Best New Restaurants in America.” It comes from Bar La Grassa in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It's a fresh take on coq au vin. I think it would be delicious in a buffet.

                    8 Replies
                      1. re: MichaelBeyer

                        ooh, i saw that recipe in BA, and it sounded so delicious i was considering making it with gnocchi or rice since i can't have the pasta. glad to hear from a fellow CHer that it would be worth trying!

                        1. re: MichaelBeyer

                          for a slightly different and simpler twist, i just got an e-mail from my mother telling me that my impossibly picky father who never likes anything *inhaled* two servings of this Williams-Sonoma recipe tonight:

                          1. re: MichaelBeyer

                            Great recipe from a great chef (I live in MPLS and am a big fan if Bar La Grassa). But this might be a tricky recipe to pull off in a buffet, depending on the guest list size. With chicken and pasta in the same serving dish (restaurant pan?), keeping the pasta from overcooking and turning flaccid after more than a couple minutes is a challenge, if not nearly impossible. Same with keeping the cream-based sauce from thickening too much as it sits.

                            (As a side note, it's hard to see how this dish is a take on coq-au-vin - just because wine is used in a chicken dish doesn't make it coq-au-vin).

                            1. re: foreverhungry

                              i gotta agree w you, four times here. great recipe, great restaurant, great chef. and. . . this is a made to order number. unfortunately, pasta is death on a buffet line. btw it's actually called a hotel pan, assuming she's using a standard steam table and not a chafer.

                              1. re: soupkitten

                                >>>btw it's actually called a hotel pan<<<

                                Doh! Yes, hotel pan. Thanks for the adjustment!

                            2. re: MichaelBeyer

                              This looks amazing, thanks. I'll give this one a try soon. :)

                            3. I do a roasted vegie and chicken salad that you can flavor with freash herbs to suit your table. I usually use potatoes, eggplant, peppers, onions, garlic, and green beans. To that I like to add drained marinated artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and olives. A mustard vinagarette goes well with it.

                              1. Maybe just a simple tandoori chicken? Has some spices that tie into the curried dish, but not so much that it will overpower/clash with the pork tenderloin.....

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: 4Snisl

                                  Perfect suggestion 4Snisl ( And thanks to everyone else - I am still pondering over the Morrocan with Harissa and will use that either this time or later).

                                2. When I used to cater, my go-to recipe for chicken on buffets was this:

                                  Boneless chicken breasts, but they need the skin on!

                                  Under the skin, put about a 1/3 cup of this filling:

                                  Onions, chopped and then fried until on the cusp of being burnt. Seriously, this is important.
                                  Spinach, (I used frozen), thawed, and with every possible bit of moisture removed.
                                  Ricotta cheese
                                  (Sometimes) Grated mozzarella or swiss....or any white mildish cheese that I'd have kicking around that needed to be used up.
                                  Season with pepper, a judicious amount of nutmeg, and much more salt than you'd think you'd need. The filling should taste ever so slightly over-salted.

                                  So stuff this filling under the skin, and then sort of tuck the sides down until you have a nice tidy bundle. Dust with a wee bit of paprika if you wish, it perks up the appearance on buffet.

                                  The nice thing about this is the portion control aspect. Actually that's the second nicest thing. This is a really yummy recipe, I still make this dish.

                                  A variation is to use skinless breasts, pop a nice blob of stuffing on the top, and then wrap in phyllo. Nice for home cooking, but for a buffet you might want to cut them in half after cooking.

                                  1. NIcely seasoned and well fried chicken would be my favorite, but the Chicken tandori would also please me. If you want something that presents well the Brazilian dish "Frango com Quiabo" (stewed chicken with okra) usually served over polenta exists peacefully with flavors (and I have had it on a christmas type buffet with something vaguely similar to the first dish). If you skip the polenta, add some potatoes to soak up some of the juices. If you were willing to get into finger-type food or stews there are other options too.

                                    1. My new favorite is Curried-Chicken and Vegetable Pan Roast by Kristen Kimball - loved her book too, The Dirty Life. Recipe was in Food and Wine Nov issue. Serves 12.

                                      1. Another good Indian take would be Moghlai chicken (I'm sure there are plenty of web recipes). Gives complementary spice profiles from your other dishes, but away from the overt curry-type preparations.

                                        1. I made a pretty easy, good crunchy dijon mustard and red wine then crusted with bread crumbs chicken dish tonight, all done in the broiler and. I wouldn't mind if that chicken was next to a cognac gravy at all. As far as texture goes, I like something crunchy with saucy foods. Thighs remained moist and were delicious and easy. Which with what you're already making might help take some pressure off.

                                          1. Bill Granger's Carmel Chicken is easy and delicious. I think it will hold up well in a buffet.

                                            1. Sorry about the double post, but I couldn't add the link for some reason when I tried in my first post. But I think Bill Granger's Carmel Chicken would do well with what you are serving.

                                              It's amazingly easy and delicious too. You could do a couple of batches on put them in a chafing dish. Here's the link and a picture.


                                              Have fun!