Monday, August 29, 2011

Impromptu dinner for 18 - barbecued chicken and salads

After the the Boat Festival, the executive and volunteers repaired back to Nancy's house for a swim, a debriefing and of course dinner.  This had not been planned so a quick assessment of fridge contents and a trip to the local IGA was in order.

Nancy had a large bag of frozen tail on shrimps in the freezer so we ran them under cold water in a sieve to partially defrost, and pan fried quickly in olive oil and garlic.

This made a great nibble to assuage everyone's hunger along with some homemade salsa, chips, vegetable platter, hummus and foccacia bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar brought by some of the guests.

After considering the possibilities, it was decided to barbecue some chicken and serve it with assorted salads.

For the chicken I used Moroccan spice rub that I had used before, but added a little smoked paprika.  After rubbing the chicken all over I cooked the chicken pieces over indirect heat on the barbecue, putting the chicken on one side of the barbecue and the heat on the other.

This took about 3/4 of an hour to get them all cooked through, but is worth the extra time to avoid the flare ups.

We found several red peppers and some campari tomatoes so we decided to make piedmont peppers as these were easy and could be served at room temperature.

While I was preparing these dishes, Nancy (Queen of salads) threw together a wonderful potato salad with a vinaigrette dressing tossed with, onion, celery. and fresh herbs

She also made a green salad using the romaine lettuce also found in the fridge and again a light vinaigrette dressing.

enjoying the view and a beer waiting for the chicken to cook
The secret to cooking for a crowd with out stress, is to have some tried and true dishes that don't require much fussing and to have a great friend who can pull together their own specialties as well.

This was a wonderful way to finish a wonderful day with good friends in beautiful surroundings.  

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