Chicken for a hundred

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.

The Plan:
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.

The rating

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 crispiness as possible. I did two pans at a time in the convection oven and one at a time in the regular oven.

Rinse the chicken under cold running water. 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.

Preheat ovens to 425. Prep cooking pans. Line the pans with foil. Use a rack if you have them and spray heavy with PAM.

Mix seasoning and place in shaker with large holes. I’m not hand sprinkling 150 pieces of chicken.

Pat dry.

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.

Chicken for a hundred
by DrDan at 101 Cooking For Two June-12-2011
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.
Ingredients
  • 45-50 pounds Split chicken breasts and drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 cup cayenne pepper (increase if you want spicy)
Instructions
1) Rinse the chicken under cold running water. Trim the breast of rib section and then cut into 3-4 pieces each. Check the drumsticks for any loose bone and extra skin.2) You can now cover and refrigerate or proceed to cooking.3) Preheat ovens to 425. Prep cooking pans. Line the pans with foil. Use a rack if you have them and spray heavy with PAM.4) Mix seasoning and place in shaker with large holes.5) Pat dry. Place on prepared pans and sprinkle seasoning on all sides.6) 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.7) Place in a large roster preheated to 150 with a rack in the bottom.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 150 pieces

Updated
September 14 2011

Comments

  1. says

    Just watched a video that showed how you spread raw chicken germs all over your work area and yourself when you wash chicken…it was really yucky. You don’t need to wash chicken, there is no “bone dust” to wash off like you have with bone in pork chops and T-bone steaks…and it’ll save you a lot of time too.

    • says

      Google “Don’t wash your chicken” – Drexel University for the video…I saw it on NBC News. I’ve spent the last couple of hours enjoying and copying your recipes. I’m pretty sure your pineapple/mango salsa will become a staple in my kitchen and one of the Mac and Cheese recipes a favorite dish at my church’s Wednesday night suppers…I really appreciate all the work you put into perfecting the recipes!

    • says

      Thanks for all the comments… The FDA has said for years that it was not a good idea. We all need to be careful about food safety and splatter is one of those things. I have stopped washing skinless chicken but I have always felt (along with others) that chicken skin will be more crisp if washed first. I’m planning some test cookings soon. I doubt if I will be going back and rewriting 400 recipes…

      My wife loves the pineapple/mango salsa so I do it frequently.

      The mac and cheese recipes are a little funny. I never liked mac and cheese until a few years ago. Too much “blue box” I think. The Roadhouse mac and cheese is excellent and considered to be one of the top comfort foods but I’m more proud of the uncooked crock pot one which is all mine…

      I use the “Ultra Simple” white chili for all the pass the dish events. I now take copies of the recipe with me since I’m always asked.

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