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How Much Turkey Will They Eat?

I am preparing turkey for 40 people. Please tell me how to calculate how many whole birds I will need?

How generous do you wish to be with your diners? A whole turkey yields about half its weight in edible meat. So if you wish to provide a modest 3-ounce serving, you need a single 15-pound turkey. A modest 3-ounce serving is apparently not what people plan to serve on major holidays, however.

Most of the recipes we've looked at with your question in mind want you to buy a pound of turkey or more per person, which would yield approximately 8 ounces of meat each. Should your guests be eating a half-pound of turkey each? Will the top button on their trousers hold? Probably not. But with plenty, you won't have to worry about getting every speck off the bone at serving time. And, as all these cookbooks glowingly state, you will want to have leftovers.

Unless you choose the miserly single-turkey route, make sure the turkeys you buy are essentially the same size so they cook at the same rate.

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