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Number of Servings

Hi All,

I'm having a dinner party this weekend and am wondering If I will have enough food. There will be 15 people in total. I'm making the mains and others are bringing appies/dessert.

Will the following be enough:

- 2 roast chickens (4 pounds each)
- wok full of fried rice
- roast yams
- roast broccoli/cauliflower
- big salad
- one 15x10" tray of veggie moussaka

The moussaka/chicken will be the mains.

What are your thoughts?

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  1. Two chickens will make 16 pieces or 18 if you cut the breasts in half. Considering that that includes wings and legs, two is probably skimpy. I'll let others weigh in on the rest.

    1. I agree that 2 chickens might be a bit skimpy. Some people will consider the moussaka a side dish since it's vegetarian, and might eat 2 pieces of chicken. You don't specify how much of the sides you're making but you should be fine there.

      To make it easier, why not roast chicken parts instead of whole chickens? That way you can have more of the "substantial" parts (ie thighs and breasts) and less of the less substantial, like wings and drumsticks. And, no carving to worry about before serving.

      5 Replies
      1. re: juliejulez

        Good idea about the chicken. Costs a little more but, IMO, well worth it.

        1. re: c oliver

          Yeah my store sells parts for the same price per pound as whole chickens so it probably costs a bit more because the "good" parts weigh more, but at least it's the same per pound!

          1. re: juliejulez

            If there are dark meat fans in the room, the leg quarters are often the cheapest part of the chicken.

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              If buying leg quarters, I remove the section of backbone that is included on the thigh and bag those up for future stockmaking, then sever the joint and cook as two pieces.
              It's almost always cheaper to do that than to buy separate drumsticks or thighs.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                But never forget that there are weirdo - like me - who actively don't like dark meat so make sure there are some breasts also. I always cut breast halves in half prior to serving as they're so big.

        2. Yams, at least one four to five ounce potato per person, broccoli about 3 lbs..
          What do you include in your big salad?
          Appy's....what kind and how many?
          Are there any vegetarians?

          1. yield on a whole chicken is about 75- 80%, so a 4 pound bird will give about 3 pounds of meat, times 2 birds that is 6 pounds. with 15 people that gives only 4 oz per person. as a host i would not consider that enough, even with all the sides. unless you're expecting lots of vegetarians?

            11 Replies
            1. re: hotoynoodle

              I've never had 75-80% yield from any whole chicken. I usually estimate 50-60%

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                75% is the industry standard on bone in meat, although of course your yield may vary.

                Me, I don't serve the dark meat at all, we don't like it. So you'd have to know your audience. I do use it, but it goes in the stock pot, or a casserole. My yield for dinner portions is probably 25%!

                1. re: coll

                  Interesting. I've weighed nearly every chicken I've ever made and never had 75%.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Did you count all the liquid that exudes too? The last chicken I bought I swear had at least a lb or two pumped in there.

                    1. re: coll

                      I don't usually but injected birds. I usually just dice and save for later so juice from cutting board goes in too. Hmm now I'm really going to be weighing. I was fascinated I seemed to always have the same yield.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        I should have weighed that last one, it was marked 10.5 lbs on the package but I bet it was just an 8 pounder in the end. No wonder it was 99 cents a lb!

                        1. re: coll

                          Yea I try to avoid paying for injected solution. Also your yield is likely higher as you roast much larger birds than I do.

                          1. re: coll

                            You're talking about 'parts,' right? Not whole chickens. I've had turkeys that didn't weigh much over 10# :)

                            1. re: c oliver

                              No I'm talking one big heck of a chicken. It was from a small farm and very tasty. Something Amish or similar IIRC.

              2. Thank you all for the suggestions.

                We are all students, so I have to keep the cost down. A portion of us are environmentalists/vegetarians. More people (including myself) would eat ethical meat, but I can't afford it now. Hence the vegetarian Moussaka.

                - Whole chicken was on sale for a very good price, cheaper than parts. I'll roast the two and get some more pieces (at least another 10?)
                - Not sure on the salad yet. Will make sure it is hearty (nuts, some sort of goat cheese)
                - Not sure on the appies. I trust my guests will figure it out. Usually this works out with our events.
                - I'll add some lentils to the moussaka instead of mince to make it heartier.

                6 Replies
                1. re: rhonagov

                  instead of adding lentils to the moussaka, skip the green salad and make a room temp lentil platter with crunchy stuff like carrots and radish. dress with some olive oil, plenty of lemon juice and black pepper.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    yeah don't add lentils to the moussaka, that's just sort of weird. maybe orzo, but not lentils. since you have veggie folks who don't want/demand meat that's a nice size of a dish (but be warned the meat-eaters will likely join in) - so THAT's the one you may want to increase)

                  2. re: rhonagov

                    How many will be eating chicken? If its only 8-10 people of your 15 then you are ok for chicken with just two

                    1. re: rhonagov

                      Thanks for the lentils suggestions.
                      And not quite sure how many will be eating chicken. I might just send an email asking how many are OK with meat right now.

                      1. re: rhonagov

                        Just saw that you are all students. Male students (at least in my day) were always starving and ate alot so I would definitely up the chicken.

                        1. re: rhonagov

                          Not much meat on wings or back. With economizing a concern, I would absolutely take the birds apart. Freeze livers separately and make liver with onions or chopped liver when you have enough. The necks, gizzards, hearts, backbones, and wings can be used to make stock, with the addition of any cooked bones that haven't been gnawed on. It costs very little for carrot, onion, celery, and a starch to create an additional meal of soup to accompany sandwiches or good bread and butter. And it's easier and neater to roast the chicken in parts. Google the sheet pan roasted chicken and vegetables from the ATK/CI/CC people. Roasting them on the same pan adds flavor to both the chicken and the vegetables (they use potato, scallion, carrot, and Brussels sprouts but I do potato/sweet potato, carrot, turnip, winter squash, and sometimes apple and/or plantain). And it only takes 40 minutes. You'd have to do more than one pan, and rewarm everything before serving.