7 Family-Style Dishes to Make for Dinner

Family-style dishes are perfect for entertaining — especially when you’re hosting a big get-together. A well-done platter will save you time, creates a lovely centerpiece for your table, allows your guests to eat as much or as little as they’d like, and typically calls for budget-friendly ingredients. Ready to prepare your own perfect platter? Here are seven delectable, must-try family-style recipes.

1. Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

Lemon garlic chicken

Lemon garlic chicken | Thinkstock

This recipe is simple and tasty, making it a great go-to dish. The Kitchn has created a recipe, which yields 2 to 4 servings (anticipate having some leftovers too) that is effortless. Rub the chicken with seasoning, add some lemon juice and chicken broth, and set the timer. When the tender chicken is done, you’ll taste the perfect amount of lemon-garlic flavor in each tantalizing bite.


  • 4 to 5 pound chicken

Seasoning Rub

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped and minced

Cooking Liquid

  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, but left in their skins
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 1 teaspoon bouillon paste, divided (optional for richer flavor)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs rosemary


  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

Directions: Remove the bag of gizzards and discard (or reserve for stock.) Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Mix all the seasoning ingredients together in a bowl. Gently work your fingers under the skin covering the breast meat and slide them back and forth to separate the skin from the meat without tearing it. Scoop up a dollop of the seasoning and work it under the skin covering both breasts. Rub any remaining seasoning over the drumsticks and thighs. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker, breast-side up. Squeeze and reserve the juice from one of the lemons. Stuff the rinds into the cavity of the chicken along with one whole bouillon cube and a few garlic cloves. Crumble the other bouillon cube over the chicken and rub it into the skin. Arrange the remaining lemon quarters, the rest of garlic cloves, and the thyme around the chicken. Combine the reserved lemon juice, soy sauce, and broth, and pour it over the chicken.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high heat for 4 or for 6 hours (according to your slow cooker’s instructions and particular settings.) Thirty minutes or so before the time is done, add the rosemary sprigs. Remove chicken from the slow cooker and allow it to rest on a baking sheet, tented with foil, for about 20 minutes. The wings and drumsticks may fall away as you lift the chicken; this is normal. While the chicken is resting, strain the cooking liquid into a sauce pan and bring to a rapid simmer. Scoop out a half cup of the liquid and whisk it with the flour in a separate bowl. Slowly pour the flour slurry back into the cooking liquid while whisking. Continue simmering and whisking until the gravy thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

When ready to serve, remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Use your fingers to pull the meat away off the bones; it should come away easily with gentle pressure or use a knife as needed. Serve the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks right away and tear the remaining meat into shreds for using in leftovers. Serve with the gravy alongside.