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Old 10-08-2014, 06:43 PM   #1
tessiemae
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Default Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

I need to cook chicken for 20 people on Sunday night. These are homeless people who are sleeping at our church. They aren't picky at all, but I really want to make supper nice.

How much chicken do I buy? I'd like it to be already cut up because I don't want to handle it too much. If you have an easy, yummy way to bake chicken, I'd love to hear it!

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Old 10-08-2014, 07:30 PM   #2
FlyingBlueKiwi
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

I'm not good enough a cook to provide you with a recipe, but will suggest sage, tarragon, etc. as good for flavoring.

The reason I really posted is that, if you can get it reasonably priced, you might want to make a lot. A homeless person who doesn't eat regularly might eat 3-4 pieces or more.

Are you planning side dishes, or is that someone else?
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

We find very large packages of chicken breasts at Samsclub. They are big ones usually.I put between plastic wrap and pound fairly flat and then coat with mixture of olive oil,paprika,sea salt pepper and parsley flakes and bake in 350 oven until juices run clear on large baking trays or sheets or lasagne pan type dish.I dont like touching raw meat either so can do with a minimum of that. Can even make up oil and spice mixture ahead and pour in bottom of baking dish and then take a fork and put pieces of chicken in and run over to coat.One large breast is more than enough per person.can cut 1 into 2 portions after you bake them and they can come back for seconds if they like.When we helped with homeless meals fulltime there were usually tons of sides.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

Here is a recipe that I've made and liked.
http://moneysavingmom.com/2013/10/ov...d-chicken.html
I don't make it often, since we don't usually have large pieces of meat for dinner (to save money since I like to get good chicken). It is tasty, and I agree with the others that you will need a lot. This recipe says 3 lbs feeds 4 people!
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Old 10-09-2014, 05:47 PM   #5
tessiemae
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

Thank you, esperanza! I'm going to do that. I really need very basic help and ideas. I don't want to dry out the chicken or under cook it.

Thank you for the serving size suggestion, flyingbluekiwi. I'd so much rather have a lot left over than not enough. If I have left over cooked chicken, I can chop it up and freeze it for cooking something else for church another time.

I'm supposed to be cooking with someone else but haven't heard back from her. So, I have to prepare to be on my own in case she doesn't show. (Does anyone else's church work like this?!?) Anyway, I'm going to have rolls, salad, a carb-heavy side dish -- like potato salad or mac-n-cheese cassarole, and brownies. I made a lot of homemade baked items last time we hosted families, and people seemed to prefer the purchased brownies and cookies. So, that's what I'm doing this time.

Thank you all for the help!
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Old 10-09-2014, 05:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

Wow, what a blessing you are for the people you are serving! That is a lot of food to prepare. I think people would love mac and cheese with "fried" chicken (though it's not really fried. That is real comfort food, and probably something they don't eat often. I hope you get some help, since that is a lot of cooking! I'm sure it will be delicious.
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Old 10-09-2014, 05:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

Here's a super easy and cheap way to cook lots of chicken: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2011/05/...ast-a-chicken/
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

I was going to say to roast them whole like Mary posted, that is the easiest way to cook lots of chicken nearly fool-proof that I know of.

Chicken tips I've learned over time:

For keeping chicken moist: Leaving the skin on coated in some sort of fat (oil or butter) will crisp the skin and make it nearly impossible to dry out since the juices can't escape a crisp skin. That is the key to keeping a chicken from drying out (no matter if it is baked or fried or whatever) - crispy skin saves the day!.

For making sure they are done evenly: It helps if your chickens aren't cold when placed in the oven. I will leave my chicken on the counter, in a dish so I don't contaminate the kitchen, for an hour or so (covered of course!) before coating in oil, salt, and pepper, and baking whole. This is because if the thigh bones are cold, it keeps that thigh meat cold and it won't cook properly. Then you have very well done breasts and raw thighs and it becomes a mess trying to work it out without drying out the breast meat. Of course, if you have the chicken broken down like Esperanza's recipe already into pieces, then that is less of a concern because you can remove the breast pieces from the oven and still bake the thighs longer.

If you want to get fancy roasting whole chickens, you can cut a lemon in half and stuff it in each one. Or stuff in several cloves of garlic (I don't even bother to peel, just smash a bit). Or fresh thyme or rosemary. Or half an onion (again - no need to peel - no one eats these "stuffings" - it is just for the aroma to flavor the meat) Or any combination of the above. But if you don't want to handle raw meat, you don't need to do any of that that. I only stuff my chickens about half the time because I'm lazy.

Esperanza's recipe also sounds delicious. No matter what it sounds like these folks will eat well! I hope the other lady comes through so you aren't too overwhelmed!
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

I'm also a vegetarian who hates touching meat and this is what I would do. Buy several big bags of IQF (individually quick frozen) chicken breasts. Cut the bag open and dump them into a pot (then you don't have to touch them at all). One good way to cook chicken like that is with BBQ sauce (you will need several bottles) and several cans of pineapple. Cook it long and slow for a long time. Then it becomes this pulled chicken stuff that is really good on rice, and you didn't ever have to touch it. But if you don't like that recipe, I'd look for another recipe that uses the IQF chicken breasts. You can buy them in the frozen section in any store- Costco might be good for a bunch of them.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

We are just home now from tonight's dinner. Thank you for all of your help! Esperanza's recipe smelled really good cooking, was pretty and brown on the outside, and many people complimented the meal. I was glad that I cooked a lot of rice to go with it. You all helped me with serving suggestions too, and I was relieved to have planned for 3-4 pieces per person as suggested. The other lady did come. She brought a fruit salad and brownies.

It worked out really well that my teen-aged boys did the dishes and that my husband helped too. Men seem to appreciate that. It's never a good thing to be homeless, but I'm happy the families seemed to be good families. There were more dads this time than last time, and several of the families from last time have secured employment and housing.

peace,
tessiemae
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Vegetarian needs to cook chicken

I'm so glad it turned out well! I'm glad I could help. What a blessing to those families.
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