Two weeks ago, I drew inspiration from every corner of the globe and explored a number of ways in which event planners can spice up a chicken for corporate events. As I barely scratched the surface, I'm back today with more ideas for chicken dishes that are not your standard fare.
Chicken Satay (Indonesia)
Chicken is not just for the main course. Chicken Satay, which originated in Indonesia, is the perfect appetizer. These delicious strips of grilled chicken seasoned with lemon grass, onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, sambal sauce and soy sauce are prepared and served on skewers.
You'll find varieties of this Chicken Satay in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and throughout southeast Asia. Here is a recipe for the Indonesian version.
Chicken Satay is traditionally served with peanut sauce but, due to the prevalence of peanut allergies, be sure to have trays or tables that are peanut free and clearly marked.
Portuguese Chicken Churrasco
I first discovered this delectable way to prepare chicken during my soccer mom days. One of the other parents brought chicken churrasco to a pot luck picnic we had during a tournament. It's officially called Frango No Churrasco. (Frango is the Portuguese word for chicken and Churrasco means grilled.) Ingredients typically include garlic, bay leaf, lemon juice, olive oil, white wine, a hint of piri-piri and the paprika that gives the dish it's color. The key to successful preparation is to marinade the chicken and also brush the marinade on the chicken as it is being grilled.
Pollo al Limone (Italy)
For event planners in search of chicken that is not spicy, Pollo al Limone is a perfect choice. It's light, fresh and easy to prepare.
Chicken is seasoned with fresh lemon juice, garlic, white wine or white wine vinegar, oregano, salt and a little bit of pepper.
Traditionally, a whole chicken is roasted but this recipe can be modified to use chicken halves, chicken breasts, strips of chicken and event Cornish hens.
Chicken Divan (USA)
You don't have to travel to the other side of the world to find recipes that add variety to chicken. I always thought that Chicken Divan was a French invention. Actually, it is an old American favorite that was the signature dish of New York City's former Divan Parisien Restaurant at Chatham Hotel on East 48th St. (The restaurant and hotel are no more but the dish lives on.)
Steam chicken breasts and broccoli separately. Debone the chicken and arrange the chicken and broccoli in a casserole dish. To create the sauce for this rich, creamy delight, melt butter, gradually add flour as you would when developing a white sauce and then stir in chicken broth and sherry.
When the broth is thick, add cream, whipped cream or Half & Half. Stir in grated cheese, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over chicken and broccoli and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. For variety, chicken divan can be served in puff pastry as in the photo.