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Ok how weird is this?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I've got a wedding for 200 offsite at a really cool museum, the "only problem" is that the staging room is that....a room with tables and a few outlets.

The menu is a bear! 2 hours to haul in and set up.

Grilled cheese station (can you say 40 kids?) cojack, then a couple more adult verisons....but the gig is that it's kid friendly and they'll have food automatically at 6:30....the dinner buffet is at 7:30.

Passed hodos....4...

Then, even after two tastings the couple decided on HOT salmon instead of cold, carved leg of lamb instead of stew (even though they preferred the stew), chicken fingers ....gonna have to have a server on that.

mashed potatoes, rice, veg, salad.....Arrrgh.

So, I've got it now where staff sets up goes back to the kitchen and cooks off the salmon and lamb bringing it back in cambros.....
Okey dokey...so now on to the chicken fingers....why oh why did I agree to them? Must have been the 40 kid thing and the choice of Salmon or Lamb...So instead of having 2-3 table top friers going I'm thinking of having a
place in the area fry a mess of them and my staff picks um up right before service. thoughts? Less stress/hassle for my crew....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 34

Chicken Finger

We have done chicken fingers a number of ways. If you are bringing fryers into a building, they can't run on propane which eliminates the rental stuff. In any case, if you fry on site you are going to have a big mess to clean up schlepping the hot oil out of the building.

We cook the chicken fingers back at our kitchen and crisp them up on site in ovens. When ovens are not available and space does not permit us to bring in our own, we tell the client who MUST have chicken fingers that we will be happy to do them for her but they will not be crispy. Most clients don't care since it's for the kids and for the most part, to kids, a chicken finger is a chicken finger is a chicken finger, crispy or not. To reduce soggines somewhat, store in aluminum pans with holes poked in the top for air circulation. Doesn't totally eliminate the sog but it does help some. Gina
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks Gina....I was contemplating using cornflakes or something with more crunch in the breading.

As of this moment though I'ma thinkn' of looking for a fried chicken place down near the site. OR a slow restaurant with big hunkin' friers.

Reminds me of the stupid fried turkeys I cooked at a Christmas Eve party....swore never more.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 34

gotta love catered fried food....ummmm

I'm a chef at disney, so yes I've run into a child or 2. Depending on how hot good the ovens are...We used to put full hotel pans on the bottom rack of the oven (or directly on the bottom of the oven) crank the oven all the way, and put a light coating of canola(veg) oil in the pans. Basically you end up with a very shallow, oven length fryer. Just make sure the oils hot enough...some ovens we used, if the rack wasn't right on the bottom, the oil wasn't hot enough and the chicken didn't fry....
Does it matter if the glass is half full or half empty?
Somebody's gonna end up knocking it over anyway.

Assumption=The mother of all f**kups
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Does it matter if the glass is half full or half empty?
Somebody's gonna end up knocking it over anyway.

Assumption=The mother of all f**kups
Reply
post #5 of 34
Dang that's a rockin' good trick!

Shroom, I'd try before I'd buy though, not that I don't believe cheflusch.

I'd go with fryers in the back and running it out.
post #6 of 34
chef's are very untrustworthy....:D

no, but seriously...electric coil ovens were the best. We put the large metal cooling racks right on top so there was no more than an inch between pan and coils. sometimes we had to leave the oven door open a bit to avoid burning the tops..but it was always the easist way when you had way too much for 2 or 3 fryers to handle...
Does it matter if the glass is half full or half empty?
Somebody's gonna end up knocking it over anyway.

Assumption=The mother of all f**kups
Reply
Does it matter if the glass is half full or half empty?
Somebody's gonna end up knocking it over anyway.

Assumption=The mother of all f**kups
Reply
post #7 of 34
So you have to flip them I guess?
post #8 of 34
We've done this for private parties with alot of children and made it an activity for the kids by setting it up as an area where they can cater to their own plate. Nothing to fancy for the chix, kids like it simple and familiar. We simply warmed & crisped the chix (along with fries) and set them in a chafer to keep them warm on a LOW table, so they reach and help themselves, 6" lower is enough, bowls of ranch, ketchup, mustard, bar-b-q sauce. Long carrot & celery sticks up right in cups. They help themselves, and are little ladies and gentlemen about it. We've even added hot dogs and buns; chips, a bowl of oreos; ice cream cups staged in a bowl of ice. This has become a frequent request at our events.
post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
REMEMBER GUYS.....no kitchen.....just a room with tables and electrical outlets.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 34
Shroom- I do my chicken fingers out of chicken tenders. They take a lot less preparation than cutting breasts. I bread them in seasoned flour, then egg wash, then panko. You have to press the panko into the tender with your palm to get the crumbs to adhere well. It also makes them thinner and they fry quicker. You can do them ahead of time and freeze them in the raw state, then fry from frozen just like premades. Duck tenders are good too. I would think you could fry them, drain well and stack in layer between paper towels and keep warm in a cambro then transfer to a chafer. You could also bring an electric griddle and give them a quick turn on the griddle with a touch of steam to get them quickly up to temp for the chafer if they cooled down too much. Good luck.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #11 of 34
WOW, don't envy the situation.
As far as fried foods go with off prem, any time Ive done fried chicken, Ive always gone with the name "chilled pic nic chic" and done the cool tenders/fried8way on a big spread with the whole pic nic theme...never once had a complaint, and ppl LOved the idea. Sometimes fried chic is better the day after, and that was my whole idea. NAD it eliminates the need to schleep grease or cook on site, especially if it is just for the rug rats.
Sorry i cant offer any more input.
Like all good meals, this too shall pass
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Like all good meals, this too shall pass
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post #12 of 34
Shroomgirl...Let's go back to basics...the fried chicken things are for KIDS, right? Fry them before you go and keep'em hot in hot boxes you can rent if you don't allready have them. Maybe layer them with parchmentment paper so they don't get too soggy, but you know...if they're fried, hot and seasoned well, the little rugrats will gobble them down! Focus more energy on your carved lamb station and make the adult remember you! Goodspeed!
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks all!

Chicken fingers may have been put on the buffet for the knee nippers but bet there are an awful lot of young 20ish guests that would go for them over/combined with salmon or lamb.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 34
I almost don't dare to answer as you all are so much more experienced than I, but here goes anyway... Not only to I make tenders for customers, but I make them for my kids who don't hesitate to tell me when they don't like something.

I do something similar to what Peach does; I use an egg wash (or have even used a light coating of mayo) and then press panko onto the tenders. I then spray them with a little oil and bake them in a pretty hot oven. It works well, and they reheat well also.
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine is exec chef over a massive Marriott downtown and will fry the delivered chicken....it's 8 blks from the party....I've got electric griddles for grilled cheese will put them to use if I need to....just cut down buffet time to 1 hour!!!! the bride wanted to start 1/2 hour later. Works for me, the small children will be STARVING by 7pm though.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #16 of 34
City Museum?

Ever done anything at the Science Center? I've done some large events there - no picnic.
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
nope, not done anything at the Science Center.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #18 of 34
This may be an unpopular opinion, but, there are
frozen oven ready chicken tenders or sometimes
called fritters that are just what kids expect. They
are tumbled in brine and come out better than you
could imagine. If your catering co. orders food
from vendors you should be able to get 10# cases.
Its a split in regard to cost, but you'll have a product
that will last in the hot boxes and mantain moist texture.
No worries about fresh chicken, breading storage, etc.
These days everyone young and old eats chicken fingers,
so I would buy extra and keep cold leaving an option to
cook more in oven if need be. IMOHO!
post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
Even Stephen, one of my good friends has been saying the same thing....I'm with you. I'd rather buy a product that's got a chafer life that's longer......
Thank goodness the bride wants to start the buffet 1/2 hour later so aps at 7pm, buffet8-9.....only 1 hour instead of 1.5! That last 1/2 hour was pushing the fingers.

Got any commercial brands you'd recommend?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #20 of 34
Shroomgirl,
Its rare that anyone responds to me. I am what you'd call,
out of the clique. (Chicken/OK foods or food/BRST TNDR/
Fritter RB/1-10lb. case)Possible product code #028522.
I was thinking about the last time I did lamb leg. I used one
bone in lamb leg for presentation at the carving table and had
precooked MR presliced brt lamb leg. I just kept putting out
sliced lamb around the leg. It reheats just fine. I might suggest
stacks of veg to keep people from cleaning out certain types of veg
and boiled finger or gold potatoes garnished with lemon zest and
rosemary or mint. Lemon juice kills boiled potatoes. Mashed is so
hard to heat and hold in a presentable fashion. The boiled potatoes
can be pre steamed or boiled and reheated in hot boxes with a little
liquid, then garnish with lemon zest and herbs. Go with a greek
style rice salad if you can. Again great with lamb or the salmon.
I suppose you have to stick with what the guest has already tasted
though. Again, it was very nice to get a response. I am a mushroom
fan myself. Northwest cepes or italian porcinis, fresh or frozen. Not
a big fan of dried shrooms. South Georgia pecan tree truffles have
been good lately also. Kind of a shot in the dark sometimes though.
Good luck with the party.

Stay between the ditches,

Stephen
post #21 of 34
It's a cool venue, but costs an arm and a leg. The Science Center gets a huge cut of any catering revenue (at least that's how it worked when I was in STL about 10 years ago).
post #22 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks Even, I appreciate the details....the bride has had 2 tastings and I'm staying plain jane....Really gearring up for the grilled cheese I figure if it's the only thing out for the first 1/2 hour, it's next to the bar....we will be slammed.

Bride wants garlic herb mashed....I've asked around to find out what the heck herbs go into mashed....figured scallions and parsley.....will probably just do scallions/garlic. I'm pretty purest with mashed.

As to shrooms.....I'm cooking for my head waitstaff tonight, her 50th was last week. So I pulled out dried morels, hens and have rehydrated will saute shallots, add sliced button, then a hit of good sherry or bourbon, then add the rehydrating liquid cook down add some cream, throw in the shrooms serve on pappradelle with alittle green onion tops. Big loaded salad...baby greens, sugar snaps, asparagus, hearts of palm, haricot verte, dried cranberries, avacado and some affore mentioned green onion tops.....pomagranite/merlot viniagrette. Then some parsnips and carrots peeled into ribbons with a dillweed pesto.

choc cupcakes and vanilla ice cream for dessert. Some shrooms dry very well, as a matter of fact I perfer the more intense flavor that comes from dry in some cases (morels)....I add fresh for texture. Some do not dry well...chanterelles.....I saute and freeze when they are plentiful.
porcinis, black trumpets, hens, chickens, morels all dry well in my book.

I find chanterelles (bunches), oysters, sometimes black trumpets, puff balls, hens, chicks and wood ears. There are all kinds of edibles around here but only a handful that I'll eat.

City Museum charged the bride $2000ish + I pay 10% of food, service, bar....yippy....right off the top. AND it's crappy space too.....aw well.
I'm still making a good profit, and that's what makes it work.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
Chicken fingers from Sams, Tyson Homestyle $14 for 3# (30 fingers) stayed crisp throughout the event. Thank you Even Stephen.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #24 of 34
sysco has several diffrent types of prebreaded tenders, i would avoid the one called "fritter", there are a couple others which i like alot better.
post #25 of 34
Back to the chicken tender question...

I'm doing a wedding later this summer and am wondering what percentage of the cost pp I should charge for the kids' meal.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
post #26 of 34
Thread Starter 
know that large guests will eat them also....depending on if your service is buffet or plated.

I lucked out and had a friend at a major restaurant 8 blks away fry them off so we could pick them up right before the buffet service.....thus I didn't have the fryer issue....what a mess!! They just take alot of energy to get on the buffet. UNLESS you have a kitchen on site with a large fryer.

Factor in the PIA amount.

The wedding I catered had kids 5-under for 25%, 5-10years 35% of adult costs. Since there was a high number of children under ten coming I gearred a portion of the menu to their comfort zone which actually worked for the young adults too. Grilled cheese stations....work well for mixed groups. As the mom of 3 adult sons I cannot fathum anyone not putting out child friendly food until 8pm....whiny children are not my idea of a good time. They are already dressed in uncomfortable clothes, sat through a boring ceremony, for goodness sakes feed um something they enjoy and feed um as much as they want.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #27 of 34
Go to Costco and see what the chicken finger du jour is....

I'm dying to know how this all ends up! Maybe a bucnh of us could fly in and commis for you guys....
post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
The Wedding was 4/1/6.....went fine. Chicken fingers stayed crisp for 4 days.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #29 of 34
Glad it worked out well for you! It's good to know that they stay crisp; now I can buy mine for the 7/29 wedding and get them cooked ahead of time...:lol:
post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 
it's way scary....4 days?!!!!!
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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