Recipe Review...."Turkey in a Bag" by Cooks Country Magazine

"Oh my", I thought to myself,  "Thanksgiving Day is here again".  This year I wanted to make the "perfect" turkey.  I wanted a beautiful brown and juicy bird to serve at our Thanksgiving table. You would think at my age I would have already devised a plan for the perfect holiday turkey...but no, that is not the case.  I thought my cooking prayers had been answered when I came across a magazine at Borders.  Cooks Country Magazine's Turkey in a Bag.  They had done all the work in their test kitchen so I thought I would give this method a try.   A week in advance I studied the article, highlighted the important instructions, and made my shopping list.  On the day of my cooking adventure I had two trusty assistants, Erica and Joe.  We gathered our ingredients.....
I went to Macy's and bought a roasting pan with a v rack, on sale of course, so that we could do this just as the recipe suggested...

We did as the recipe said and put the liquid and veggies in the bottom of the pan.  The problem was that in about 2 hours after putting it in the oven all the liquid had evaporated and was burning on the bottom of the pan.  With this in mind if I decide to roast in this manner again I would put in more liquid and check it more often.
We made the soy sauce rub.
Its suppose to help with
the browning of the bird.
Put my new v-rack in
my new pan:-)
Placed the turkey in the bag
& rubbed it with the soy sauce
Result..beautiful turkey!!

I did have to transfer it to a different container due to the burnt residue at the bottom of my new container.  But the bird was safe because it was in the bag and raised above what had been burnt.

Meal plan....
Turkey, stuffing
mashed potatoes, gravy
mac and cheese,
sweet potatoes,
green beans, rolls,
iced tea and wine.
Feast fit for a king:-)

Joe's Mom's mac and cheese

Here is the recipe for Turkey in a bag.  Only suggestion is that you add more liquid ingredients to the pan in the beginning so that you don't have to deal with a dry burnt bottom of the pan as I did.  
We did make gravy.  Pretty easy except for the skimming of the fat from the drippings.  I suggest you get a fat separator, it will make your meal prep a breeze. 

Turkey In A Bag
Serves 10 to 12
We recommend a “self-basting” turkey (such as a frozen Butterball) or a kosher turkey. You will need a turkey-size oven bag and one 2-yard package of cheesecloth. Don’t let the oven bag touch the oven wall or it will melt. If you end up with less than 4 cups of defatted pan juices, supplement them with additional low-sodium chicken broth.
1/2cup soy sauce 
2tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
7tablespoons all-purpose flour 
Salt and pepper 
1(12- to 14-pound) turkey  (see note), fully thawed if frozen
3cups low-sodium chicken broth 
2cups water 
3carrots , peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1onion , peeled and quartered
1celery rib , cut into 2-inch pieces
1. MAKE SOY PASTE Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring soy sauce to boil over medium-high heat in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thick and reduced to 2 tablespoons, 5 to 7 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
2. PREPARE TURKEY Remove neck and giblets from cavity; discard liver. Add broth, water, carrots, onion, celery, neck, and giblets to large roasting pan. Set V-rack inside pan. Lightly spray inside of oven bag with cooking spray. Fold cheesecloth into 10 by 7-inch rectangle. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Tuck legs into pocket of skin at tail end (alternatively, tie legs with kitchen twine) and tuck wings under bird. Following photos 1 to 3 (at left), transfer turkey to prepared oven bag and rub soy paste evenly all over outside of turkey. Top breast with cheesecloth and cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Tie oven bag closed, trim end to 1 inch, and cut four ½-inch slits in top of bag. Arrange bagged turkey, breast side up, in V-rack.
3. COOK TURKEY Roast turkey until breast meat registers 155 degrees, 2½ to 3 hours. Remove pan from oven and increase oven temperature to 475 degrees. Cut open oven bag. Discard cheesecloth, foil, and bag, letting juices fall into pan. Return turkey to oven and roast until breast meat registers 160 degrees and thigh meat registers 175 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
4. MAKE GRAVY Meanwhile, strain contents of roasting pan through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator; discard vegetables, neck, and giblets. Let liquid settle and reserve 4 cups defatted pan juices. Transfer ¼ cup fat from separator to large saucepan and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in remaining flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in pan juices and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until gravy is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Carve turkey and serve with gravy.

New and Improved Turkey in a Bag

Roasting turkey in the moist environment of an oven bag ensures juicy meat (fantastic)—and flabby skin (uh oh). We modified an old technique to take advantage of the moistness while achieving brown, crispy skin and an all-around perfectly cooked turkey.
1. RUB PASTE After you've placed the turkey in the bag, rub the concentrated soy paste evenly and thoroughly over the skin of the bird.

2. INSULATE BREAST Lay cheesecloth, and then aluminum foil, over the turkey breast to insulate it. The double shield will slow down the cooking of the delicate white meat.

3. BAG & ROAST Place the vegetables, neck, giblets, broth, and water in a pan. Set a V-rack in the pan and place the bagged turkey on it to keep it from stewing.

4. REMOVE BAG & BROWN Cut the bag open. Discard the cheesecloth, foil, and bag, and let the meat juices run into the roasting pan. Return the turkey to the oven to brown.
So how would I rate this recipe on a scale of 1-10.  I would have to give it a 9/10.  Moist and delicious:-)
Happy Cooking Everyone.  
Enjoy your world!


  1. I fully trust Cooks Country and get emails from them almost daily and love to see both of their shows on NC public TV. I have learned a lot watching their shows and getting their magazine. Thanks for the recipe and info.


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