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24 Chicken Alternatives for Your Next Banquet

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Entree ideas that don't include chicken.

Image © flickr.com/martinscaterers

Meeting planners often steer towards chicken entrees because they are ultimately the safest selection. When it comes to pleasing a crowd, chicken is not only well-accepted, but it also offers a seemingly endless array of preparation options. However, even the most creative take on this popular banquet entree is not likely to make a lasting impression on guests who have been exposed to dozens of similar dishes.

The only solution for curing “chicken-induced boredom” is to drift off the beaten path and select an entree that is perhaps just outside of the meeting planner comfort zone. To help you make the leap, I browsed through several venue websites to create this list of 24 Alternatives to Chicken Entrees.

5 Ideas from the Indiana University Memorial Union:
Pork Cutlets
Lightly Breaded, Pan Sautéed in Dauphinoise and Chasseur sauce. Served with Fresh Broccoli, Carrots, and Cauliflower, Smoked Gouda Potatoes, Dauphinoise and Chasseur sauce.

Braised Burgundy Beef Tips
Presented with Spaetzle, Sweet Peas, Carrots and Caramelized Pearl Onions.

Grilled Ahi Tuna
With Herb Garlic Oil over Sweet Pea Risotto and Baby Carrots with Charred Red Onion and Citrus butter.

Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Served with Sautéed Spinach, Tuscan Tomato Sauce and Chef’s Blend of Seasonal Vegetables Tossed in Olive Oil, Garlic, and Herbs.

Creole Shrimp
Served Over Rice Pilaf with Peppers and Onions in a spicy Tomato Sauce.

5 Options from the Cintas Center at Xavier University:
Chipolte BBQ Pork Loin
Roasted pork loin basted with a spicy chipotle BBQ sauce topped with candied walnuts. Served with mashed sweet potatoes and chef’s choice of vegetable and fresh rolls.

Eggplant Parmesan
Lightly breaded eggplant slices layered with a blend of ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, served with our homemade marinara sauce.

Gorgonzola Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Served with roasted wild mushrooms, horseradish and sour cream mashed potatoes and chef’s fresh seasonal vegetable.

Pan Seared Tilapia Scampi
Fresh tilapia filet pan seared in garlic, herbs and butter finished with a sun-dried tomato pesto cream sauce. Served over orzo confetti pasta with chef’s choice of fresh vegetable medley.

Basil Encrusted Salmon Filet
Salmon filet encrusted with basil and served with a duo of sauces – roasted red pepper sauce and roasted yellow pepper sauce, garlic potatoes Anna and ratatouille.

3 Entrees from the Dallas Convention Center:
Barbeque Glazed Halibut Filer Oven Roasted Halibut Filet glazed with House made Barbeque Sauce, served with Vegetable Julienne and Roasted New Potatoes.

Grilled Carneasada Style Beef
Strip Loin of Beef marinated in Carne Asada Spices, served with Mexican Rice Pilaf and Roasted Corn and Peppers

Herb-Crusted Flat Iron Steak and Maryland Crab Cake
Served with Local Grown Shitake Mushroom Ragout, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Baby Vegetables.

3 Selections from the San Diego Convention Center:
Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs
with Braising Au Jus and Parmesan Duchess Potatoes

Grilled Steak Au Poivre
with Cracked Black Pepper Sauce and Braised New Potatoes in Glace de Viande

Maple Honey Brine Turkey Breast
with Garlic Smashed Potatoes and fresh vegetable medley.

5 Ideas from The Black Canyon Conference Center:

Roast Breast of Pheasant
With Grande Marnier Sauce & Maple Chestnut Dressing

Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut
With Vanilla Bean Cream Sauce

Grilled Salmon Fillet
With a Champagne Crab Sauce

Grilled Pork Chop
Served with a Compote of Dried Cherries, Apricots & Nuts, and Topped with Brandy Sauce Panko & Sesame Seed Crusted Mahi Mahi. Served on Shitake Mushroom Sake Sauce.

3 Entrees from Chicago’s Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center:
Vegetarian Lasagna
Creamy cheese lasagna topped with sautéed spinach, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers. Served with garlic bread and seasonal vegetables.

Roasted Pork Loin
Loin of pork rubbed with herbs & spices, roasted to perfection and topped with calvados sauce. Served with whipped sweet potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Asian Ahi Tuna
Grilled ahi tuna marinated in citrus juices, brushed with sesame glaze. Comes with mandarin orange relish, wild rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables.

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