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Small banquet for 25
I may be preparing a dinner for about 25 ppl. It would include Cornish hens, Green beans, Cornbread dressing, salad and tea. I think I will do half a cornish hen pp because of the sides and one 9qt pan of the dressing. Is it best to cook the hens whole and then cut into two pcs or cut it in half before I cook them. If I cut in half before cooking, how would I stuff them? Also, how much of the other items should I prepare? With the tea, should I only have unsweetened and let them sweeten it themselves? Thank you!!
I split them before cooking, lay skin side down on the rack, and fill each half with stuffing- makes a very attractive serving- then roast. Garnish with a bit of candied orange peel or some such.

For 25, either make both sweet and plain (tea is cheap, and sweet tea is better made with the tea hot) or just unsweetened, and do have some truvis or other artificial sweetener.

Thank you! I'll be making garlic mashed potatoes instead of dressing. This will be a buffet. How can I make the mashed potatoes 'attractive' in the chafing dish?
If you have the facility, you can use a large spoon to slightly scallop the top, brush with butter and run the pan under the high broiler for just a minute or two until the little mountains created by the spoon depressions brown right along each edge. Or if really ambitious, pipe some of the potatoes onto the top using a star type tip, then butter and brown; called Duchess or Duchesse potatoes, see this off site article:
If you are not stuffing the hens, turn them skin side up to roast, so the skin gets brown and crispy.
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