The last thing you want when you've got company is to be stuck at the stove. When it comes to serving chicken at a dinner party, Chowhounds have a bunch of favorite recipes that allow them to do a little predinner mingling with their guests. Always good: recipes you can prep in advance, then bake while you socialize. CHOW's Asian-Marinated Baked Chicken (pictured) is perfect; so is this spicy roast chicken with marjoram and tomatoes. Chowhound home cook lineybean assembles this chicken cordon bleu through the breading step and refrigerates, then pops it in the oven after her guests arrive.
Some recipes call for only minimal intervention, such as turning. That's the case with David Lebovitz's roast chicken with caramelized shallots and Nigella Lawson's baked chicken and sausage, to which ZoeLouise adds button mushrooms.
If you're willing to pop into the kitchen to do some occasional basting, biondanonima recommends substituting bone-in chicken thighs for the rabbit in this recipe that calls for fennel, onions, and wine. The little bit of fussing is totally worth it, since the caramelized vegetables that result are "really something special."
Photo by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com