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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 06-29-2010, 08:05 AM   #1
big blue bbq
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I have a church picnic to cook for this weekend and they are wanting pork and chicken. I have never done chicken for the masses. They are looking right now at 70 people. I think I have enough pork left over from my comp last weekend to cover the pork, but which version of chicken is preferred for this? Halves, whole, leg quarters? Was leaning to some leg quarters and breasts, but am really open for advice here. They have a sign up sheet, but our church is big on not signing and then showing up. Add in a new pastor ordination service and who knows. Extra food will go to the local food bank so leftovers don't really worry me a lot.
Any help appreciated!
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Unread 06-29-2010, 08:20 AM   #2
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Leg quarters and breast quarters will appeal to the most people since you have both white and dark meat.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 08:36 AM   #3
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Leg quarters and breast quarters will appeal to the most people since you have both white and dark meat.
I agree. Quarters are a lot less work for the cook too.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 08:40 AM   #4
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For my mothers 90th birthday last week I cooked legs, thighs, and breast tenderloins. Satisfied both the dark meat lovers and white meat lovers. I bought a 10 lb. bag of leg quarters .39/lb. then divided them, a lot less waste that way. I got the boneless/skinless chicken breast tenderloins at Sams, 8 lb. package for around $12.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 09:12 AM   #5
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Leg quarters and breast quarters will appeal to the most people since you have both white and dark meat.

i agree too. plus, the 10# bags for $6.00 are the cheapest route.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 09:18 AM   #6
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Leg quarters are a great way to go. If you slide your knife along the fat line between the leg and the thigh it will open up that joint a little bit to allow them to cook a bit faster as well as enable you to check easily to see if the juices are running clear before taking them off the smoker. Another idea that a buddy of mine does is to cook chicken 1/2's and then cut them up after smoking them so you get legs, thighs, breast and wing sections. Doing them as a 1/2 chicken or leg quarters makes the cooking process much easier than doing individual pieces.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 11:10 AM   #7
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My vote would be leg quarters, they are very cheap and if they don't like dark meat then they can eat pork.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 05:03 PM   #8
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I once cooked over 100 tri-tips for a charity and one lady came back to the kitchen and wanted some well done. I told her the nearest McDonald's was right across the street.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 08:38 PM   #9
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Years ago I was a white meat boy. But the competition world showed me thighs. I have cooked for 70 - 350 and thighs are a great way to go and everyone raves. I've done skin on and bone in, and recently skinned and boneless. I've done grilled and smoked, and smoked and grilled! My tip is for chicken do ONE piece to unify the smoke. It's all about ease for the cook AND quality product.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 10:53 PM   #10
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People cook chicken different ways for different reasons.

If you are cooking the chicken in a smoker with a rottiesserre, or your smoker cooks in a manner that the chicken never has to be flipped over ----then small pieces are great.

If your smoker cooks in a manner that the chicken pieces need to be flipped over then larger pieces are easier to manage. If you are grilling chicken on a Santa Maria style BBQ pit then half chickens are easier to cook.

When cooking chicken only I serve 1/4 chickens---I cook them as 1/2 chickens and then split into leg and thigh quarters and breast and wing quarters. If I am serving 2 meats then I serve 1/8 chicken---I simply cut the quarters into eighths.

I have found that it is quicker to cook large pieces and cut them just before serving. Some people think that cutting after cooking is not time effective--but we have found that it is actually quicker. We have cooked chicken for over 2000 people and had no problems serving.

Leg and thigh quarters are always the cheapest way to buy chicken---If cost is an issue I would cook legs and thighs. I always find deals on split chicken WOGS---so the cost is not that much different.
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Unread 07-01-2010, 07:01 AM   #11
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The number of people has gone up. They ask me for 85 to 100. I was thinking have 20 chickens cut in 1/4. That will give 80 pieces. On my smoker I should not have to handle them much. Maybe one flip. According to the catering calculator found on here I need about 26# of pork. I have 24# in the freezer from the last two competitions, and I told them they could not afford to pay for that type of meat, but I will give it to them at regular price just to keep me from pulling all my equipment there and cooking it all. They said ok. I plan on cooking 4 more butts Saturday on my wsm for back up and I have a comp this weekend and am going to try some vending from the booth so leftover will go toward that.
Anyone see any flaw with this reasoning?
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Unread 07-01-2010, 10:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Anyone see any flaw with this reasoning?
I always cut chicken into eights when serving more than one meat. People like to try a little of everything and they may not want a whole quarter chicken. When I cut the white quarter, I shoot for one piece to have about 2/3 of the breast meat and the other piece to have 1/3 of the breast meat and the wing.
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Unread 07-01-2010, 07:33 PM   #13
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When I used to work for a chicken restaurant that had whole rotisserie chiskens, we would cut them up using shears wearing insulated kitchen gloves. Get really good shears and you can cut a bird up into an 8 or 10 piece cut in no time. Same works for half chickens that I do now.
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