Help! Dinner for 18 people

(14 Posts)
schmalex Mon 11-Nov-13 14:41:07

Chicken will be fine after 48 hours, probably even tastier! Just make sure you cool it down and refrigerate as soon as possible after cooking.

I think I would do dauphinoise potatoes (easy to do in advance and warm up, and always impresses people), but the mash also sounds nice.

Don't suppose you've room for a 19th person? grin

21mealspluscake Mon 11-Nov-13 14:11:25

The chicken will be fine for 48 hours, probably taste better for the extra time. If it was me I think I'd go for jacket potatoes and salad for that many people - 1 large or 2 smaller potatoes each, proper jacket ones that go all fluffy on the inside as they bake, with lots of crusty bread as well and a couple of dishes of butter because it will be easier to prep and to serve up. That way it's a couple of trays of spuds in the oven, a couple of large pans of chicken on the hob. Have you checked everyone eats coq au vin?

Tootiredtocook Mon 11-Nov-13 13:12:26

Thanks tilbatilba for the recipe.

21mealspluscake - I am just trying to think through the space/pans issue. I have a 4-hob gas cooker but only 3 hobs work! Green salad is a good idea instead of beans to free up a hob. That means I can heat 3 casserole dishes up at once on the hob (just about) and heat 2 large mash dishes in the oven.

Do you think 2 medium potatoes per person for the mash?

Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions!

Anyone got any thoughts on whether it's ok to leave the cooked coq au vin for 48 hours in the fridge? (Am hoping to borrow space in a neighbour's fridge to hide it from dh!)

21mealspluscake Mon 11-Nov-13 11:55:44

You need to think about having enough pans that are big enough and how you are going to cook each dish and if there's enough space on the hob/in the oven. Coq au vin for 18 is a lot of volume! The mash in advance sounds good but again you will probably need to do it in two dishes, have you got space? Maybe a couple of big bowls of green salad rather than beans would be easier?

tilbatilba Mon 11-Nov-13 11:44:47

Fabulous recipe for potato gratin is Annabel Langbeins. It is so simple ...I do it the day before and it is delicious.

Tootiredtocook Mon 11-Nov-13 11:35:13

Re. the mash I was going to do it the way my Mum does - mash in advance and then transfer to an oven proof dish, score along the top with a fork to get ridges, then heat in the oven so you get lovely hot mash with brown crispy bits on top. This way you can do it in advance and serve it nice and warm. Agree mashing on the night would be a disaster!

FeisMom Mon 11-Nov-13 11:29:06

Agree that rice and or potato dauphinoise will be much easier.

And yes need way more thighs per person - I would go with 2.5 per person as some will take 2 but others will take 3

StainlessSteelCat Mon 11-Nov-13 11:25:11

another no to mash potatoes - am trying to imagine size of pan needed grin I'd do jacket spuds. you can prep well in advance and timing not too exact. or prep something like gratin, dauphoise potatoes (am very unsure of name/spelling, imean spuds sliced thin, cooked incream, cheese). again this can be prepped ahead and cooked/reheated. can also do multiple dishes of it, makes it easier/quicker for everyone to serve themselves.

Tootiredtocook Mon 11-Nov-13 11:20:56

x-post cuckoonest. Thanks! Do you think 48 hours in fridge ok?

Tootiredtocook Mon 11-Nov-13 11:19:53

Good point funny re people helping themselves - and dh's friends are definitely not bird-like eaters I don't think (well the men anyway)! I think I will do 2 large casserole dishes and 1 small. Do you think it's ok to make them on Thursday to serve on Sat evening?

cuckoonest Mon 11-Nov-13 11:19:42

Oh, and I would triple the recipe, not double. One chicken thigh isn't much once it's cooked. Coq au vin will taste even better after being in the fridge 24 hours.

cuckoonest Mon 11-Nov-13 11:17:45

I would do brown rice instead of the mash, unless you have very strong arms. If you cook it by the absorption method (i.e. Precise ratios of water to rice volumes) you can bring to the boil, turn off heat and leave it to cook itself, and it will hold the heat better than mash. The taste would be great with coq au vin.

funnyossity Mon 11-Nov-13 11:14:06

I would do x 2.5 of chicken thighs.

My reasoning being if people are serving themselves from serving dishes they tend to take more than if you plate up. I was expecting leftovers for the next day from a chicken casserole recently and found it was hoovered up first time! (There were three teenagers present.)

But you know your guests, do they eat like birds?

Tootiredtocook Mon 11-Nov-13 11:05:53

I am (probably foolishly) throwing a surprise dinner for 18 people (including me and dh). It's for dh's birthday and I am now panicking about the number of people coming. Have never cooked for anywhere near this number of people before (nearest I have done is a chilli for 14). Can you let me know what you think of my menu and give me any tips on logistics? It's complicated by the fact of it being a surprise and also the fact that I have a toddler and a baby to look after!

Prosecco and canapes (bought in from Waitrose entertaining)

No starter (hoping people will eat lots of canapes so no need)

Main: Coq au vin served with creamy mashed potato and green beans

Dessert: Individual lemon possets (bought in from Waitrose entertaining) and chocolate birthday cake (hopefully made by me if time)

Cheese board

I am going to use the Mary Berry coq au vin recipe which I have cooked before and is nice. It uses 12 chicken thighs and says for 6-8 people. Do you think I need to multiply the recipe by 2.5 or do you think double would be enough - everyone will still get one chicken thigh??

Planning to cook the coq au vin on the Thursday night (dinner is on Saturday) - is it ok to keep it for two nights in the fridge?

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