Ok, it is not Cooking For Two but still useful. This is something you can do and it really wasn’t that hard. We were hosting a large retirement party for several family friends. It was a pot luck type affair but we felt we should provide a “main course” of meat.
So my “what I wanted” list:
1) Not to make anyone sick. Any type of “mass cooking” can easily lead to food poisoning. Well, not at my house!
2) Not too much work. There was a lot of other things that needed attention also.
3) Had to have good taste and be able to be kept warm.
After flirting with several plans that involved:
1) Grilling only – maybe not safe enough to get the right temp on all the chicken without a lot of continuous attention.
2) Oven baking the day ahead and then crisp up on the grill the next day. This was too fussy but did work out well in trial runs. Would work well for 20 to 30 but not 100. The grilling took too much direct time.
3) But finally, the oven won the day. Easy to control the final outcome, being sure to get to a safe internal temperature and staying moist.
1) Start with 45 to 50 pounds of chicken. Half split breast and half drumsticks.
2) Trim the breast and cut into hand eating friendly sizes (thirds or quarters).
3) Spice with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little cayenne.
4) Oven bake the breast pieces to 165 and the drummies to 180. I had tried the drumsticks at 165-170 and the connective tissue was still intact and they were not tender. 180 gives good results.
5) Keep warm in a large roster. You will need a rack in the bottom or the draining moisture will pool with the bottom layer will be effected.
I was quite happy with the results. Tasty and moist.
Notes: It took about 1/2 hour rinse, trim and cut the chicken. The breast had to have the rib suction cut off, any visible fat removed and then cut into 3-4 pieces each depending on the side. I did about 50 pound that make about 150 pieces total pieces. I did this earlier in the day so it would be ready when needed.
I cooked on racks to get as much crispness as possible. I did two pans at a time in the convection oven and one at a time in the regular oven.
Pat dry the chicken. Trim the breast of rib section and then cut into 3-4 pieces each. Check the drumsticks for any loose bone and extra skin.
You can now cover and refrigerate or proceed to cooking.
Mix seasoning and place in shaker with large holes. I’m not hand sprinkling 150 pieces of chicken.
Place on prepared pans and sprinkle seasoning on all sides.
Place in 425 degree oven. I put two trays in the convection oven and one try in the non-convection oven. Both set at 425. Check temp at 30 minutes. Aim for 165 on the biggest breast pieces and 180 plus on the drumsticks. Most of the time this was 35 minutes.
Place in a large roster preheated to 150 with a rack in the bottom.
September 24 2014