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Need sauce idea/recipe for dinner party

We're having a dinner party in 10 days, and my husband wants make the "protein" dish. I'd prefer a pork loin roast, but he wants to roast a couple of whole chickens (maybe beer-can method) on his gas grill. I want to make a simple pan sauce to serve with the chicken. (I can saute up some thighs a few days in advance, in order to get the drippings needed for a pan sauce, since I might not get what I need from grill-roasting, and I don't want too much smoke flavor anyway.)

I need some SUGGESTIONS about what flavors to incorporate in the chicken, and maybe a good pan sauce recipe. Here is our menu:

1. Roasted Chicken
2. Whole Roasted Pumpkin stuffed with a Parm-Emmenthaler Bread Pudding, Wild Mushrooms, and Black Truffle
3. Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Hazelnuts, and Fried Capers
4. Tarte Tatin w/ Whipped Creme Fraiche

I'd like to keep the meal Autumnal. And I'm also trying to keep it in the French/No. Italian vein, if possible.

My first thought was lemon-garlic-rosemary, but since I already have lemon in the Sprouts, I'm wondering if orange-garlic-rosemary would work well. Tarragon might be better, but that's a spring herb. So, I was considering making a pan sauce using Grand Marnier or other orange liquer (or O.J.?) and a bit of Dijon. But I would welcome any other ideas for the chicken and sauce. Thanks!

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  1. Shallot, White Wine and Thyme.
    Fairly simple but the rest of your meal has a lot going on.
    I think that going with Orange/Grand Marnier will add a sweetness that will clash with some of your other dishes and the Garlic-Rosemary combo i associate more with Tuscany.

    1. I'd make a pan sauce with white wine, dijon mustard, and fresh thyme. Just spoon over the chicken.

      If the mixture of dijon and wine is a bit much for you, skip the wine and substitue with chicken stock.

      4 Replies
      1. re: FoodChic

        This is exactly what I was going to suggest. Mount with butter for some extra richness. Perfection.

        1. re: biondanonima

          +1

          Tarragon - you either love it or hate it. Perhaps something more neutral .

          1. re: C. Hamster

            I was going to suggest tarragon instead of thyme but you're right about it being a divisive ingredient.

          2. re: biondanonima

            Yes, I will add butter at the end if it seems to need a bit more richness.

        2. A sauce with sage would be a warming welcome to the menu you describe.

          It could incorporate mushrooms or mustard or lemon or all three..., your choice.
          Either way, I look forward to hearing in 10 days what you choose and perhaps a picture as well? Enjoy!

          1. what about a cranberry, rosemary, garlic pan sauce?

            1. Keep working on your husband. If you live in the US in a region with four seasons, it's time to move away from the grilled mains. Not to mention that your menu is similar to what people will be eating two weeks later on Thanksgiving.
              Roast pork is a better idea, IMO. The bread pudding sounds splendid but a better accompaniment to pork than roast chicken. For the latter, I'd expect either a typical stuffing/dressing, or NO savory bread style side. The stuffed pumpkin seems off-base alongside chicken, to me.