For Thanksgiving this year I ordered 2 birds from a local farmer (12-14 lbs each) and will be hosting 24 people for dinner. I really wanted to buy local, and after much debate, tossed the notion of buying one gigundo 25 lb bird from the local supermarket. Now, my dilemma is this:
How to cook 2 birds, side by side, and still have enough room to do bake all of the side dishes. I can usually fit at least one in on the bottom rack with the turkey, and pop the remaining casseroles in while the turkey is resting. However, with 2 birds I will not have that luxury. (I should say that I have a 6 burner stove/oven combo so the oven is fairly wide, but not any higher than most ovens. The extra width allows me to bake a 13x9 dish alongside a roasting pan. If I have 2 roasters in there I lose all ability to cook any side dishes with the turkey, which leaves too many to do once the birds are out.)
I was considering the following alternate strategies:
1) Start one turkey an hour earlier than the other. That will free up oven space in the last hour but how should I hold the meat from the first bird at the appropriate temperature without drying out?
2) Roast one of the turkeys a day in advance, carve it, package and chill overnight and reheat on a baking sheet just before serving.
Please let me know your thoughts. I'm struggling here.