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Mar 5, 2013 07:41 PM

Chicken in advance

I am having a large party (50 or so people) and one of things I want to make is a chicken scallopini of some kind (picatta, marsala, etc). My question is, should I cook the chicken all the way through when I brown the chicken the day before? It will be reheated the day of the party with the sauce. I am not sure if I can leave it a little pink when browning to keep it from getting overcooked when reheated.

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  1. I haven't made that ahead, but I suppose you could cook the chicken through. I usually throw mine in a warm oven while i do the batches of chicken, and they didn't dry out in the time or two i have been sidetracked and left them in for almost an hour. I think it would be quite hard to get a nice golden brown without cooking the cutlet through.

    1. I wouldn't leave it at all pink even though that might help to prevent overcooking. A lot of bacteria will build up overnight in that semi-cooked chicken, and if any part of it doesn't get quite heated through the next day, it could cause problems.

      Do you know about a technique called "velveting" that they use in Chinese restaurants? It's marinating pieces of meat in a mixture of cornstarch, wine, egg whites and a little oil, and then poaching them in water or giving them a quick saute' in oil. This technique really keeps the meat very tender and velvety and might work for your piccata. Here's a link:

      1. I have done a similar thing when making arroz con pollo for a crowd. I have browned the chicken the day before and then put it in the casseroles with rice etc etc and refrigerated it, then baked it immediately before serving. The chicken seems fresh-cooked that way but I still have the convenience of preparing it ahead of time.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Querencia

          I have done this too particularly when I make Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. I brown the chicken and assemble everything in the dutch oven, refrigerate overnight and cook through the next day. The chicken always comes out great (and nobody has ever died!).

          1. re: valerie

            Agreed; also, if chicken breast meat is being used and you cook it all the way while browning, it may become dry when you heat it up. Cook it a little under to start; as long as it's refrigerated and not dripping uncooked juices, you have no danger of getting anyone sick.

            1. re: Cherylptw

              I agree, if you're going to cook it through the next day, there shouldn't be any problem. I thought you were just going to heat it up a bit.

        2. I've done just what you're going to do, works out well.

          1. It's fine to cook the chicken all the way and reheat it. That is the beauty of the sauce. Make a little more sauce. I do it all the time. Comes out fine.