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Picnic Dish?

raisa Feb 6, 2012 09:21 AM

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?

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  1. monavano RE: raisa Feb 6, 2012 09:27 AM

    Chicken Satay on a stick. Works at room temp.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monavano
      raisa RE: monavano Feb 6, 2012 01:08 PM

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

      1. re: raisa
        monavano RE: raisa Feb 6, 2012 01:09 PM


    2. iL Divo RE: raisa Feb 6, 2012 09:51 AM

      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: iL Divo
        raisa RE: iL Divo Feb 6, 2012 01:08 PM

        Recipes please. :)

        1. re: raisa
          iL Divo RE: raisa Feb 6, 2012 07:31 PM

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

      2. g
        gourmanda RE: raisa Feb 6, 2012 11:40 AM

        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
          raisa RE: gourmanda Feb 6, 2012 01:06 PM

          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
            mariacarmen RE: raisa Feb 6, 2012 01:25 PM

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

            1. re: raisa
              iL Divo RE: raisa Feb 6, 2012 07:33 PM

              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
                sandylc RE: iL Divo Feb 7, 2012 10:56 AM

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

              2. re: raisa
                wyogal RE: raisa Feb 6, 2012 07:36 PM

                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
                  raisa RE: wyogal Feb 7, 2012 04:51 AM

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

                2. re: raisa
                  Ditdah RE: raisa Feb 7, 2012 05:06 AM

                  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
                    gourmanda RE: raisa Feb 7, 2012 07:32 AM

                    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
                      wyogal RE: raisa Feb 7, 2012 11:04 AM

                      "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
                        Ditdah RE: wyogal Feb 7, 2012 01:27 PM

                        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. i
                    INDIANRIVERFL RE: raisa Feb 7, 2012 05:56 AM

                    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. w
                      wyogal RE: raisa Feb 7, 2012 06:18 AM

                      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.

                      1. iL Divo RE: raisa Feb 7, 2012 06:47 AM

                        Ham rollups:
                        buy whatever brand of sandwich ham you like, I buy Primrose [it's not sliced ham like the Wonder bread size sandwich bread it's longer and bigger more the size of bread like sourdough]
                        boil a few eggs and turn them into egg salad, however or whatever you typically put in your egg salad [I do mayo a little mustard salt and pepper plus a tiny bit of sweet pickle relish]. lay out the slice of ham, spread it almost to the edge with a thin amount of egg salad, slice either black or green olive lay down middle of egg salad, roll from long part of ham until it's a tube shape, secure with toothpicks then cut into bites. kids love them.

                        Mini pizza's on English muffins:
                        using a small round cookie cutter of about 2 1/2" cut in middle of English muffin so you have smaller rounds. using a jarred spaghetti sauce, spread the muffins, place a couple pieces of thin pepperoni on top, top that with shredded mozzarella cheese, bake.

                        Ants on logs:
                        wash and dry several celery sticks. spread your favorite peanut butter on celery and cut into the sizes best suited for your picnic friends. top each celery log with raisins and/or dried or sour cherries or craisins. < if using these as well as raisins you now have ants on logs with black and red ants.

                        1. Uncle Bob RE: raisa Feb 7, 2012 07:12 AM

                          Pimento & Cheese Sammich......
                          Fried Chicken Strips.....(breast meat)

                          1. r
                            raisa RE: raisa Feb 8, 2012 01:17 PM

                            I am going with the fried chicken legs. That sounds good and something I am less likely to mess up. Thank you everybody for every single piece of advice. I may not follow all your advice this time but next time I cook for a picnic I won't freak out. I'll simply look into this board.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: raisa
                              Terrie H. RE: raisa Feb 8, 2012 03:30 PM

                              I think your chicken legs will be a hit. After you fry them, allow to come completely to room temp before putting into a container. Steam that might be trapped will mess up the crust. Have fun!

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