chicken cacciatore as dinner party main

Having a dinner party for 8 in early November. Some guests are very healthy/mainstream, so don't want to go ethnic beyond something like Italian. Was thinking of chicken cacciatore for the main, but what else? Would do a pasta start, but I always find it's hard to make pasta for that many people. Should I do another protein option? Thoughts???

  • Posted by: lcast
  • October 20, 2017


pierino October 21, 2017
As a seasonal first course you could make a salad using fresh pears, arugula and a gorgonzola based dressing.
Cav October 20, 2017
Whenever I put together a menu for a dinner party, I try to stick to the idea that the starter should be light and easy to have prepared well ahead. So the last one I did we had cold smoked trout with a small salad of beetroot, watercress and creme fraiche mixed with a little horseradish. Similarly I've served salmon mousse, pate, tartar of beetroot (I like beetroot) or a simple soup. I don't want my guests to be too stuffed too early and likely to refuse a dessert.
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 20, 2017
I've made this dish numerous times in advance for a casual dinner party. Always well-received. I serve a salad beforehand. A make-ahead casserole thats easy and serves a crowd without stress.
PHIL October 20, 2017
pasta is probably the easiest thing to make for a crowd. I am making pasta for 20 this weekend. You can make the pasta and serve the chicken on top If you want to make a pasta starter I wouldn't make a red sauce as the cacciatore has tomato in it. You can make a simple pasta cacio de pepe sauce. You can start with a nice big salad or a cold antipasto / charcuterie platter.
Nancy October 20, 2017
Since the chicken will need (copius amouts of) a good starch to absorb its lovely sauce, I would stay away from a separate starch as appetizer.
Serve the pasta (or bread or rice) along with the main dish.
For appetizer:
1) go with Phil's suggestions of an antipasto appetizer
2) serve artichokes with good dipping sauce if there are some still left in your area,
3) make winter squash with pesto or other green sauce,
4) make salad of bitter greens, roasted sweet potato & dried or poached cranberries).
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