Catering Call Up

May 16, 2012 by

On a few occasions lately I have been called up to do the catering for family (and friends) occasions.  The latest was my nephew’s and godson’s First Communion.  Sis was going to get caterers and showed me the menu.  The thing that struck me was the total lack of concept with the dishes on offer.  Anything and everything seems to go.  The usuals – Beef Stroganoff, Beef Bourginion, Chicken Korma, Coq au Vin or as I call them pots of slop.  Standard salads and the usual suspects for desserts.  I maybe am very fussy but I don’t think mixing cuisines from lots of cultures together at the same meal works.  The very idea gives me indigestion.

She, in typical sister fashion said “well you do it for me so, since you are so critical”!  So off I popped with the brief – one main “Chicken dish”,  a selection of salads and a selection of desserts for 40. 

I did ask should I not cater for vegetarians or non-chicken eaters and was told no “feck them, there will be plenty of salads”!

I decided to do a chicken dish cooked with white wine and a splash of cream but wanted it to look “unanaemic” so chose flageolet beans and spinach to add to give it colour and texture.

Chicken and Bean “Slop

Chicken breasts (1 breast for 2 people)
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 stalks of celery finely sliced
1 tin of flageolet beans
Small pack of french beans blanched
1 pack of baby spinach leaves (washed, wilted and drained)
500ml chicken stock
2 glasses of white wine
100 ml cream
Handful chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
Beurre manié

Sauté the onions, garlic and celery in some olive oil until softened.  Add the stock, parsley, a glass of the white wine.  Add the beans, the blanched French beans sliced, and the wilted spinach finely chopped. Simmer 10 minutes.  Add the cream and season and set aside.

Poach the chicken breasts in enough water to just cover with a glass of white wine and the bay leaves and seasoning.  Bring to a slow boil, turn the heat right down and simmer for 20-30 mins.  Cool and remove from the poaching liquid and cut into pieces.  Retain the poaching liquor to add to the above sauce if needed.

When you want to serve add the chicken to the sauce and heat through.  To thicken use the beurre manié (this is butter say 25g mixed into 50g flour and dropped into the simmering sauce).

Serve with baby new potatoes and a selection of salads. If you are making above and use 6 chicken breasts this will give you approximately 10-12 servings.  Obviously if using more chicken say 12 breasts double up the other ingredients.

I chose to make a salad with black eyed beans and quinoa to “go” with the main.  We also did a pasta salad to keep the kids happy and a big green salad.  Both adults and kids “assaulted” the desserts on offer. More of that anon!

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1 Comment

  1. Sounds good… hope your efforts were appreciated!

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