Have you ever heard of cooking your Turkey in a brown paper bag? This roasted turkey recipe is a little different from the norm but this is how I have been cooking our Turkey for the past three years. I just love how the Turkey turns out every time! No basting required, just prep, cook and serve a beautiful juicy turkey, full of flavor.
This is my version of the Brown Bag Turkey recipe, a spin off Kid Kraddicks original recipe. You can get the original recipe here. I do a few things a little different and I have learned from mistakes in the past. Plus like I said, I just cannot resist adding butter plus a few extra ingredients to the inside.
Must Try Brown Bag Turkey Recipe – You will be amazed what baking your turkey in a brown bag can do
I had never heard of such a thing until Kidd Kraddick (an awesome radio host here in Dallas that has unfortunately passed) from the Kidd Kraddick Morning show put out his recipe on their website. I never tried it until a few years ago when I was reminded of the recipe when the show talked about it one morning.
I tried the original recipe and it was really great and I could not believe how golden the skin turned out. The next year I made it again but I just had to put my spin on the recipe. I love cooking with fresh herbs and in my book, a turkey needs butter for roasting.
We like to add celery, oranges, apples, garlic, carrots, onion, sage, rosemary, thyme or whatever else I can find in the kitchen that might sound good. I kind of take the brown bag recipe and mash it together with how I remember my family’s roasted turkey recipe. I definitely remember my Dad always stuffing an apple an/or orange in the turkey.
We are in full planning mode and I swear I have been going to the grocery store everyday for the past week. I like to get everything I need the week before Thanksgiving. Shelves start to go bare and stores are way overcrowded the closer it gets to Thanksgiving. So I try to get everything ready so I am just going to the store for last minute items, if anything, the week of.
Our menu always includes our favorite Thanksgiving sides. Like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing (aka stuffing), gravy, corn casserole, green bean casserole, mac & cheese. There are always at least two types of dinner rolls, and at least five desserts. When we get together with our cousins we are talking 8-10 desserts maybe more!
Thanksgiving is the time of year that our stomach’s can magically eat WAY more than usual in one meal. Usually followed by a second dinner of warmed leftovers later that night while watching Football (at least for me). My absolute favorite side has to be green bean casserole, and I always ask myself why we don’t make it more often.
Back to our star of the menu though, THE TURKEY. Here is what all I add to our turkey before sticking it in the bag. Make sure you have thawed out your turkey. This can take a few days depending how big your bird is. Here is a good guideline you can use for thaw times.
Making the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey
Be sure to remove neck and gizzards. I totally have cooked a Turkey with this stuff inside, not going to lie. It was my first time and I had no idea what I was doing. It was a good laugh when my family found the bag inside.
Clean that bird – Be sure you rinse your Turkey with cold water inside and out then pat COMPLETELY dry. I have recently watched some Turkey tips and learned a thing or two. You can choose to season your turkey the night before and let all that flavor marinade. Or you can season it right before cooking. If you do this be sure to store the turkey in the fridge UNCOVERED.
Perfect crispy golden brown skin – To get that perfect skin, your turkeys skin needs to be super dry. Letting it sit in the fridge UNCOVERED overnight is a great way to achieve this. Your turkey might looked “dried out” before you put it in the oven but that is just what you want!
That super dry skin will turn to a delicious golden brown turkey in the end, don’t worry. Basically in a nut shell – Wet skin equals soggy crust once cooked. Dry skin before cooking will result in a deliciously crusty golden brown skin while your meat stays nice and juicy.
Brown Bag Method – Place Turkey in the brown paper bag (like one from the grocery store). You might need a hand for this next part. The first time I made this recipe I wrestled a buttery 20 lb turkey into the bag and it was not pretty. My arms and clothes were covered in butter by the time I was done.
If you have a big turkey you may need to put two bags together and staple shut once you get your turkey inside and seasoned.
Perfect seasoning – Add a stick of room temperature butter, salt/pepper, and your favorite poultry seasoning to a small bowl and mix well. If you have a large Turkey you might want to use more butter. Now rub that turkey down with the butter mixture, I mean ALL OVER.
Be sure to get everywhere, behind the wings and thighs, lather up those breasts and even add some under the skin. If you are using a digital meat thermometer place it in the turkey NOW. I cannot tell you how many times I have forgotten to do this before hand.
Stuffing your turkey – You can either choose to do this step or skip it. In my opinion this is more for the flavor of the gravy! All the drippings from the turkey and all the veggies and fruit will drip into your pan which wil make for a delicious flavored gravy.
Roughly chop carrots, 1/2 onion, a few stalks of celery, 1/2 an orange, 1/2 an apple and stuff in the Turkey. Add herbs and smash a few garlic cloves with a knife and throw inside as well. If you have a smaller Turkey you may have to use 1/4 of your apple and orange. Use your judgment on what all you can fit inside your turkey.
Roasting times – Once you have added all your ingredients inside the turkey close the bag, fold ends and staple shut. Place your bag of turkey on your roasting pan and place in the oven. Cook at 375 degrees and 13-15 minutes per pound. Temperature of bird should reach 165-170 internal away from the bone.
Let your Turkey rest for 15-20 minutes so juices can be absorbed. You can take this time to make the gravy with the drippings.
Serve turkey off the bone at the table, or on a platter. Enjoy with your favorite Thanksgiving sides. The only time of year I do not mind my food touching (yes I am one of those people) how else am I supposed to fit everything on my plate.
I would love to hear your favorite Thanksgiving traditions or sides to eat. If you make this recipe be sure to use #moerecipes so I can see how your turkey turned out!
Brown Bag Turkey Recipe
- 1 whole Turkey
- 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
- 1 carrot roughly chopped
- ½ yellow onion roughly chopped
- ½ red apple roughly chopped
- ½ orange roughly chopped
- 3-5 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 stick of butter
- Poultry seasoning
- Herbs sage, rosemary, thyme
Make sure you have thawed out your turkey. This can take a few days depending how big your bird is.
Remove neck and bag of gizzards etc. Wash your Turkey and pat dry.
Place Turkey in the brown paper bag (like one from the grocery store.
Add a stick of room temperature butter, salt/pepper, and your favorite poultry seasoning and mix well.
Rub turkey down with the butter mixture. Be sure to get everywhere, behind the wings and thighs, breasts and even add some under the skin.
If you are using a digital meat thermometer place it in the turkey now.
Add all your veggies, and fruit to the inside of the turkey. Add herbs and smash a few garlic cloves with a knife and throw inside
Once you have added all your ingredients inside your turkey close bag, fold end and staple shut.
Place bag of turkey on your roasting pan and put in the oven.
Cook at 375 degrees and 13-15 minutes per pound. Temperature of bird should reach 165-170 internal away from the bone.
If you have a smaller Turkey you may have to use 1/4 of your apple and orange. If you have a larger turkey you may need more butter and herbs. Use your judgment on what all you can fit inside your turkey.
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