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Apr 16, 2011 07:27 AM

Chicken dinner, tonight!

So we invited friends over for dinner, intending to make gazpacho and paella, with chick, sausage, mussels, shrimp, and scallops. Just fond out the wife 'only' eats chicken (don't know why I am surprised, she sent a steak back at a wedding to be butterflied and cooked until very well done).

There, we are saving paella for those who might appreciate it more. Any thoughts or suggestions for a nice, dinner party-worthy chicken dish? Right now, all I can think of is chicken Marsala but mainly because I have all of those ingredients on hand! Thanks for your help!

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  1. Not a whole lot beats a preferably roasted chicken in my book. And given the possibility that the wife might be pickier than already known, a safer solution?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Quine

      And if the Zuni Chicken with Bread Salad, OP would have TWO surefire winners.

      Oops, just realized the dinner is tonight so Zuni won't work. But OP could still do the bread salad. OP could also consider a paella-ish dish with chicken thighs and legs and chicken sausage.

      1. re: c oliver

        A good roasted chicken is still doable. Maybe those famous Crash potatoes by Pioneer Woman as well. With a person who is self important enough to send back a wedding dinner entree, I'd stick to as minimal and basic as possible and still expect some attention getting food issues.

        1. re: Quine

          Yeah, there's truly no way to anticipate what a picky eater will find unattractive, except perhaps that they tend to balk at mashed or slimy textures, indeterminate blends of components, and often most every vegetable.

          On the other hand, apparently almost all picky eaters like french fries, not that it helps the average home cook much....

          1. re: Quine

            Yes, it was interesting- her husband asked if they could just cook it until it was well done, hen cook it 10 minutes more! I think she just 1. doesn't care about what she eats and 2. Is super picky. She as really grossed out by the pink in the steak, like some people (myself included to be honest) if the steak was bloody rare and dripping blood all over.

            1. re: DCLindsey

              I guess no tasting menus for that couple huh? : )

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. You can go ahead with your Paella just do a Chicken one. Many Paellas do not contain seafood.
          Rabbit, Snails, Garbonzo Beans, Flat Italian Beans, Spring onions, Mushrooms are just a few of things you can find in traditional Paellas. As a matter of fact the Paella that is mixed Meats and Seafood is not vary typical in Spain at all.

          8 Replies
          1. re: chefj

            Yes, along the same lines, you could make a gumbo, and make the main part only chicken and vegetables. A roux is just butter and flour,and you probably have celery and onions.

            Add the sausage and seafood (and hot sauce) for everyone else, or serve in bowls that people can pick what they like.

            1. re: Windy

              The gumbo (or stewish-type dish) with extras others can add is a good idea- everyone else can add to make it a little more interesting. Either that or a simple roast chicken is what I am thinking... We weren't trying to do traditional take on paella, just trying to have a variety of things that we like!

              Regardless, people have made a good point that no matter what, there may be some issues. Oh well, I will just have another glass of wine and enjoy the night!

              1. re: DCLindsey

                You could also roast the chicken (in the wine you don't drink while cooking) and make jambalaya with the rice and sausage.

                No need to worry any more about a picky guest than necessary.

                1. re: Windy

                  Clearly you have never sat through a dinner you planned, made and labored over only to have one picky person moan and groan, sigh and give hurtful looks the whole time. What an appetite and hosting kill joy!

                  1. re: Quine

                    That behavior would shock me and is inexcusable. Sorry you had to put up with it.

                    The few picky people I spend time with tend to be pretty stoic and even make fun of themselves. I guess I've been lucky.

                    By the way, I'm with you on the roast chicken as a good bet. Much as I love the more elaborate preparations suggested here, it's the safe choice. Only problem is it requires closer monitoring for doneness and significant work right before serving.

                    1. re: Bada Bing

                      I have found that picky falls into two groups; folks who really really do have limited and few likes and often wish to expand them and folks who do it for attention,
                      The former get invited back and the latter I won't even sit in the same restaurant as them.

                    2. re: Quine

                      hey Quine, when did you have my sister over for dinner? ;)

                  2. re: DCLindsey

                    Oh well, I will just have another glass of wine and enjoy the night!
                    now THAT is the right attitude :)

                    one other thought for something easy, tasty, and simple enough not to scare off the picky eater...chicken cacciatore with polenta.

              2. Chicken pot pie perhaps?

                1. Right here on the chowhound recipe boards is a wonderful dish made with dijon mustard and honey that is quick, easy and absolutely delish. I always add more minced garlic, a little tamari sauce and increase, just a bit, the mustard. You should taste the sauce as you make it to get the proportion you like best. I have served it with many different sides including roasted broccolli or asparagus (again with a little minced garlic added in the last 10 or so minutes of roasting time, but this optional.) Sauteed mushrooms with shallots (add and reduce some cream and little white wine if you like) adds a nice earthy note as well.

                  I especially like this dish with chicken thighs because the end result is juicier and more flavorful, but breasts work too if you are careful of your cooking times.