Turkey for 35 - what to do??

We have about 35 people coming for Thanksgiving and I traditionally make turkey, stuffing and gravy and eveyrone else brings sides. This year everyone has accepted the invite which means we are WAAAAY more than last. my oven only fits one bird at a time and i'll need at least 2 big birds to feed so many. any suggestions? cook one day before and reheat? how do I do that without it drying out? can I make stuffing day before and reheat that too? everyone comes at 2pm so really have not got time to cook 2 birds from scratch plus make stuffing that day I don't think...
all help gratefully received!

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11 Comments

susanm November 7, 2012
my aunt + uncle cook 2 massive birds every year to feed about 30 people. they do one in the oven and one outside on a weber grill. the one done on the weber is the one i always prefer. not sure of their recipe, but if you google grilled turkey you find a bunch of options.
 
Sadassa_Ulna November 6, 2012
Do you have nearby neighbors who happen to go away for Thanksgiving? Maybe you could borrow their oven for one turkey. I feed our neighbors' cat when they go away and they let me use their oven. Best of luck and have fun at your gathering!
 

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ChezHenry November 6, 2012
I'm married into a large Asian family that prefers dark meat. I normally cook for over 30 persons each year at Thanksgiving. So I purchase one whole bird, and another set of complete turkey legs (leg/thigh). For a group this size I would make an additional 4-6 legs. I remove the breast from the whole bird, and take off it's legs also, then use the carcass to make stock. Then I cook the breast/legs separately. The legs are extremely forgiving as is most dark meat, and the family all gets what they want.
 
PattiinMS November 6, 2012
Living in Mississippi, we fry turkeys all of the time. Doesn't take long and can be done safely in the driveway. Cook several 10 to 12 pound turkeys. Or pull out your Nesco Roaster Oven and use that as a second oven. I am amazed how often I use it through out the year!
 
Monita November 6, 2012
I could a Thanksgiving dinner for 60 people for a local charity with one oven. So I break down the turkeys (16 pounders) and cook them in parts which is faster, I start at 7:30am and can usually get them finished by 1pm. Then I make a number sides that can be done on the stove top, so that I only need the oven for the turkeys and maybe one other side
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 6, 2012
Cook one large bird in the oven, another on the BBQ, and cook a turkey breast to supplement in the oven.
 
Sam1148 November 6, 2012
I'm always suspicious of 'fried turkeys' on holiday events. Too many horror stories, fires and with families and kids running around...it just isn't good.

However. I've seen good things about oil free radiant heat friers. Which 'fry' the bird with radiant heat in a similar form factor---which could sit on the deck and do it's job as a oven/fryer for the second bird.
http://www.amazon.com/Char-Broil-Oil-Less-Infrared-Turkey-Fryer/dp/B000W74HI2/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_1_1
 
Have your butcher butterfly (aka spatchcock) your turkeys for you. You should be able to cook them at the same time. Make your dressing ahead, and reheat while the turkeys are resting. Use the removed backbones for the stick to make your gravy.
 
jamcook November 6, 2012
why don't you make a 20 pounder, and have someone else make another smaller unstuffed Turkey instead of a side.
 
Miafoodie November 5, 2012
You can always go to a grocery store that sells cooked Turkeys and make your own
stuffing. As for the gravy, you can make the vegetarian Mushroom Gravy from Food52.
Just sayin.....
 
Sam1148 November 6, 2012
I Agree with this...with 35 coming and one oven. It's time to outsource.
Even the set up, dishes, silverware, tables, etc would be daunting without having to cook anything at all.
 
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