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Turkey in a Bag

December 14, 2014

We had a spread out Thanksgiving turkey dinner this year: Apple pie and vanilla ice cream Wednesday (with leftovers the rest of the week), added the stuffing on Thursday, and then on Friday we went to Meijer and saw fresh turkey for $0.49/lb. We couldn’t pass that up. At under $7 for a 12lb bird, that’s quite a bit of meat (and cheaper than a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts!).  So Friday night we added turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce to our leftover stuffing and pie with ice cream.

This was my first time cooking a turkey and I wanted to try this turkey in a bag technique from Cook’s Country, which had a variation from the instructions that come with the turkey bags. It turned out great. I would definitely do it this way again (including waiting until Friday to get a fresh discount turkey :)).



1/2 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp butter, softened

1 Tbsp flour

1 tsp pepper

a 12 to 14 pound turkey

1 turkey-size oven bag

1 2-yard package of cheesecloth

heavy duty aluminum foil

cooking oil spray

Bring soy sauce to a boil in a small saucepan and simmer until thick and reduced to 2 Tbsp (5-7 min.). Remove from heat and whisk in butter, flour, and pepper.

Prepare the turkey by removing the neck and giblets from the cavity and discarding the liver. Dry the turkey with paper towels and tie the legs with kitchen twine and tuck the wings under the bird.  (Cook the neck and giblets in a small saucepan if you want to add the water to the gravy.)

Lightly spray the inside of the oven bag with cooking spray. Place the turkey in the bag and rub the soy paste evenly all over the turkey. Fold the cheesecloth into a 10 x 7 -inch rectangle and place it over the turkey breast. Cover the cheesecloth with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. (This helps the turkey breast cook more slowly so it doesn’t overcook). Tie the bag closed, trim the end to 1-inch and cut four 1/2-inch slits in the top of the bag.

Place the turkey in a bag on a rack inside the roasting pan. Make sure the bag does not touch the walls or roof of the oven. Roast at 350 degrees F for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the breast meat registers 155 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven up to 475 degrees F. Cut open the bag, discard the cheesecloth, foil, and bag, and let the juices fall into the pan. Return turkey to the oven and roast for about 35 to 45 min, until breast meat registers 160 degrees and thigh meat registers 175 degrees. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let it rest for 30 min (uncovered).

There was a gravy recipe that went with this turkey recipe, but I made my mom’s gravy recipe because it’s my favorite.

(Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country Oct/Nov 2010)


From → Main Dishes

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