We are working on our Thanksgiving menu this week. The first major Thanksgiving I prepared was in Taiwan and we managed to pull off a traditional American Thanksgiving feast for many local and expat friends (see picture). After you figure out what you want to serve (and there will be some recipes coming!) you need to figure out how much to make of each dish. Here are a few good guidelines:
Turkey: You will generally need 1 lb. of turkey weight per person. That may sound like a lot, but remember that the turkey weight includes bones and things you won’t be eating. If you want to be sure to have a lot of leftovers to freeze or making into great dishes like turkey pot pie, purchase 1.5-2 lbs. of turkey per person.
Sides: If you are serving a lot of sides, go with smaller potions because people will want to try many of your dishes.
- Mashed Potatoes: 4 oz. of potatoes per person is a small portion, 8 oz. is a large serving. Base your choice of serving size in consideration of other sides being served. TIP: Use an ice cream scoop as a serving spoon to “suggest” a serving size to your friends.
- Stuffing: If you are having a lot of sides go with 3×3 squares per serving. If you are having a small number of sides, go with larger portions of 5×5 squares. TIP: Cut the stuffing into portion sizes before serving. This will let you control the serving size.
- Yams/Sweet Potatoes: Same guide as mashed potatoes – 4 oz. per person for small portions, 8 oz. per person for large serving sizes
- Veggies: 3-5 oz. per person
Appetizers: I don’t advocate these during Thanksgiving, because people still tend to overeat. But if you decide to serve them, go with only 4-6 pieces per person.
Breads: 1-2 rolls per person
Pies: 3 inch slice per person