Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 6, 2012 09:21 AM

Picnic Dish?

I am invited to a picnic to celebrate a friend's child's first birthday. She asked us to bring food or drink. I don't know what to take. I would prefer to take a main dish with a side or an appetizer. I have some good puff pastry at freeze. Maybe do some starter with it? For the main I am angling towards chicken but I have absolutely no idea what type chicken dishes are good to eat cold or at room temp. It will doubly preferable if the food can be hand held as we won't have much tableware.

So, what do you all think?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Chicken Satay on a stick. Works at room temp.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      That would be nice. Should I make a satay sauce for that?

    2. it's for a kids birthday party right? I'd do a couple of appys.
      ham roll ups, mini pizza's with English muffins, ants on logs.
      for mini desserts I'd do Pioneer woman's strawberry fruit bars (I watched her make them, looked so good and easy) assuming there'll be birthday cake.

      2 Replies
        1. re: raisa

          raisa, I'll write them out tomorrow, easy, all three very easy.
          promise, check early in the AM

      1. Picnic, good cold or room temp, handheld, kid friendly---all of these immediately brought fried chicken to mind. I suppose shrimp on ice w/ dipping sauces would work as an appetizer, though it doesn't say "picnic" to me. You could roll ham and cheese in your puff pastry, bake it and slice it; that would be nice cold.

        10 Replies
        1. re: gourmanda

          Is fried chicken okay at room temp? I honestly have no idea. We always fry chicken and eat asap steaming hot. The picnic location is around half an hour from my home. So will it be alright to do fried chicken? I would really like that because I am comfortable with frying chicken. I don't eat ham or pork. How about a spinach and feta stuffing for the puff rolls?

          1. re: raisa

            room temp fried chicken is a picnic staple, people will love it.

            1. re: raisa

              I can't tell you how many times, I'll be it's 50, that's I've made and taken fried chicken to a picnic, along with potato salad that contains mayo and nothing, I mean nothing has ever gone bad. I'm just sayin

              1. re: iL Divo

                These days commercial mayo is considered to be a (short-term) preservative!! It is full of them, after all...

              2. re: raisa

                cold fried chicken, and the spinach/feta rolls sounds great! You can make it ahead, refrigerate, then put it in a cooler/insulated bag to transport. Maybe even just do up a bunch of legs. They are easy to hold and eat.

                1. re: wyogal

                  Yes, I was thinking about doing the legs only. The kids love to eat leg piece. Thnaks.

                2. re: raisa

                  Fried chicken is more than fine at room temp, and as mariacarmen says, it's a staple at picnics. Also, many people (including much of my family) love fried chicken cold. My mom always makes double the amount we need for a meal and sticks the extra in the fridge. Then we all could snack on it for a day or two - just grab a piece and eat it on the go. Now that we're all grown, she packs it up for us to take home with us when we leave. Nothing better than grabbing a homemade fried drumstick and eating it, standing in the kitchen, no plate or utensils, at 2 in the morning!

                  1. re: raisa

                    I don't think spinach and feta would be as appealing if it's not hot. Could you make the ham and cheese for others? Perhaps you could do roasted or grilled vegetables--zucchini, onions and sweet peppers--rolled in the puff pastry. Just be sure to pat them dry first so the pastry doesn't get too soggy.

                    1. re: raisa

                      "O.K." as in taste or safety? It's no problem if you don't leave it (fried chicken) out in hot sun for hours and hours.
                      And it is mighty tasty.

                      1. re: wyogal

                        Oh - I didn't even think of it that way. When they said "is it ok?" I assumed taste, not safety. That's a good point to bring up!

                  2. Kids birthday, but it looks like you are cooking for adults.

                    Fried chicken has always been my first choice for a picnic. Go to the Salvation Army and get a platter. Plastic is 99 cents while glass starts at $1.99 Don't worry about bringing it home. Now for a little southern variety.

                    Make a bunch of 2 inch biscuits. The freezer section is fine for this rendition. I recommend 150% of the number of eaters there. Go to the market and get a strongly flavored ham. Next some cheeses. Cheddar and a blue to start , than as many others as you like. Finally, get a mild Dijon mustard, a spicy mustard, and the most expensive squeeze bottle of mayo they have.

                    Assemble your biscuit ham and cheese sliders. Arrange tightly on the platter and cover with tin foil. Remember to practice safe picnic! Only open and apply condiments just before eating.

                    For an app, got this from a Thai student that lived with us. Get a glass less than 4 inches tall at Salvation Army. Get a habenero pepper and chop fine. Accept no substitutes and definately not any sauces. Put habenero with a pinch of salt in the glass. Get the largest hardest mangos you can find. Slice in 1/2 inch sticks, lightly salt and put vertically in the glass. Add toothpicks for the fastidious.

                    For the vegetarians, you can offer empanadas or pasties. I prefer the Caribbean ones with strong greens, peppers to your desired heat level, and sometimes boniato or yucca included.
                    Don't forget the allspice.

                    And my veggie friends enjoy deep fried ravioli. To cut corners, get the wonton wrappers at the market. From spinach to swiss chard and leeks to onions. Too early for ramps. Deep fry these first. Next do a batch of cheese. Strong cheese. Ricotta and marscapone will not come through the frying. Aged gouda has been a big hit. Shred, eggs, nutmeg, fry. Finally, any left over ham shredded with any left over cheese bound with bland mustard. Deep fry. Put on your tray and wrap tightly in foil. At serving time, split the jar of Newman's Own Marinara into bowls labeled VEG and MEAT.

                    We do a lot of outdoor entertaining in Florida.

                    1. There are others bringing food, right. like a potluck? You are not cooking all the food for everybody, right?
                      If so, the chicken legs should suffice. and maybe some small cans of drinks.