Dinner party - your best chicken dish??!!
I would do a boneless, skin-on thigh. Stuff the thighs with sauteed mushrooms, a bit of Gorgonzola, minced garlic and herbs, wrap in clingfilm and poach. Once done, just brown the skin on a pan. Make a gravy by deglazing the pan. You can stuff them up the night before.
Or fry them?
I know that you don't like olives, but they are easy to pick out and don't taste olivey in the dish. I just love how the lemon, cinnamon, and olives work together. And since it's a braise it isn't too labor intensive which leaves you more time w/guests (I just put it in my dutch oven and stick it in the oven instead of simmering it).
Moroccan Chicken w/olives and lemons. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
I serve it with a couscous pilaf and string beans.
Spinach stuffed Chicken Breast
8 split chicken breasts, with bone and skin
1 10 oz box frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted and well drained
1 cup sour cream
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 pkg Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 can chopped water chestnuts, drained
Mix all ingredients except chicken to make stuffing. With your fingers, release the skin between the breast to form a pocket. Split the stuffing in 8 equal portions, stuff into the space between the breast and skin. Place chicken in one layer in greased casserole. Season with salt, pepper, dust with paprika. Cover with aluminum foil and roast at 375 for 20 min. Uncover casserole and roast another 20 -30 min uncovered till golden. Chicken should register 165 in flesh. Time may vary, depending upon size of chicken breasts. This may be made ahead about 75% and re-heated 20 min. I usually serve this with wild/white rice and green vegetable.
This is very rich but so tasty and always gets rave reviews when I cook it for people....take a smallish chicken breast per person and bat it flat between sheets of clingfilm. With a fork, mash together some butter and stilton cheese, then spread it over the chicken. Roll them up, wrap in a slice of back bacon and secure with cocktail sticks. Brown, then add equal quantities of red wine and chicken stock. Bake in oven about 40 mins, then remove the chicken and keep warm while you thicken the sauce with cornflour or arrowroot. Serve with crusty bread or any kind of potatoes and a green veg or salad. should be doable for 8....
Wow... I don't suppose you could narrow it down a bit more? For instance if you could answer a couple of these it would help a lot.
1) Preference for a whole bird or pieced (like in fried chicken), or breast cutlets or cubed or diced or shredded?
2) Preference on whether in a sauce to go over rice or pasta or more on it's own with sides?
3) Are the Mexican and Chinese deletions due to over exposure (you eat them all the time) or because you don't like the spices, heat, flavors or styles etc.?
Sorry but chicken is just so versatile you could end up literally with hundreds of suggestions here.
Hmmm, no spicy ethnic dishes takes me a little out of my happy place, but that does leave France and Italy which some consider "ok" cooks. :)
You could do your own take on chicken parm by adjusting the breading or sauce flavors. Maybe Greek it up with lots of oregano and maybe lemon pepper in the breading and try feta in the tomato sauce (like a prawns uvetsi topping?)
There's always stuffing it with anything that comes to mind as well. I like flattened breasts with compound butters like in a Kiev, but tweaked. Here's a starting recipe from Alton Brown (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...). I've done sun dried tomato butter, bleu cheese butter, pesto butter etc.
And there's always the best advice my grandmother gave me... "When in doubt, add mushrooms or cheese. It's practically cheating!". :) A white wine, mushroom sauce makes any chicken awesome. I've expanded gran's saying to include bacon of course, so wrapping chicken tenders in bacon as an appy would be awesome too.
Hope that helps a little. If you still need more ideas let me know.
I've made this a few times. Really good and I'm not much of a chicken lover. If the livers freak you out then you can omit them, but they really add to the dish. The livers melt away and I bet your guests will not even know that the liver is in the stuffing. Still tasty without though.