Herbed Chicken Thighs Roasted in a Paper Bag

By • June 21, 2011 • 79 Comments



Author Notes: This is a great do-ahead dish because it must be marinated to tenderize the thighs and is equally delicious served hot over steamed rice or cold alongside roasted new potato salad with a simply whirled lemon zest and juice, olive oil and garlic vinaigrette until emulsified. Pack it and place in your picnic basket, do not forget a bottle of Pinot Noir.
I like to roast poultry or meats in a brown paper bag because it keeps the juices and in the same time allows the chicken thighs brown evenly. - Kukla
Kukla

Food52 Review: Have you ever come across an unusual, almost whacky method for preparing an ordinary ingredient, then asked yourself, “Why isn’t it always done this way?” That was exactly my reaction when I made this. Chicken thighs are marinated in the time-honored combination of fresh herbs (lots of them), olive oil, wine vinegar and seasonings. You put wine in the baking dish, then put the whole thing in a paper bag and then into the oven. The wine and marinade duo create a luxuriously fragrant sauna in which the chicken is sort of roasted, yet sort of steamed, to produce some of the best tasting chicken you’ll ever eat. It’s tender, it’s juicy and it’s so easy to make. A truly outstanding recipe! - AntoniaJamesAntoniaJames

Serves 8

  • • 8 large free ranch chicken thighs
  • • 6 garlic cloves
  • • 3/4 cup mixed fresh herb leaves (such as thyme, sage, rosemary)
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • • 2 tablespoons fine red wine vinegar
  • • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • • 1/2 cup good dry white wine for the baking dish
  1. Finely chop garlic and herbs in food processor; then blend in oil and vinegar, salt and peppers. Place chicken thighs in a baking dish.
  2. Spread herb and seasoning mixture over all sides of chicken. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Get out the baking dish with chicken thighs from refrigerator. Pour 1/2 cup of good quality dry white wine into the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the baking dish with chicken thighs inside of a large brown bag and transfer to the middle rack of the oven.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer thighs to a large platter, pour the accumulated jus into a small sauce pan and simmer until reduced to sauce consistency.
  6. With a pastry brash smear the sauce over the chicken thighs. Let cool and absorb the sauce.

Tags: can be made ahead, delicious, savory, travels well

Comments (79) Questions (2)

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3 months ago Cindy Mills

I like this site! I had more fun laughing while reading the qusetions and answers! BUT, must admit.... am confused about whether the bag aids in making the chicken moist or crispy.

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3 months ago Kukla

Hey Cindy!
The best way to find out about the things you are confused is to try this recipe yourself and then decide whether this method satisfies your taste.

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3 months ago LE BEC FIN

cindy, the fun thing is that it does both!

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4 months ago Robert

An Old Indian (Native American) way to cook fish is to make a snowshoe shaped racket and place the fish in a butterfly style or fillets on it. Then place other Willow green shoots ( or Apple?) to hold them fast in a across pattern, This can then be cooked over a bbq or open fire as well; I see NO reasons it could not be done in an oven as well. What say you good cooks?

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4 months ago nllawn

I'm sorry if this was answered, but is the lid on the baking dish inside the paper bag?

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4 months ago Kukla

You don't need a lid when roasting in a brown paper bag nllawn

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4 months ago keno

I have to ask again - is the baking dish covered inside the paper bag ?

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4 months ago Kukla

Yes keno, the paper bag should be inside the paper bag.

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4 months ago Kukla

I am sorry keno for the typo! You shouldn't cover the baking dish, just place it inside the paper bag.

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4 months ago mark

left over wine from the night before ? how does that happen, we will sacrifice a 1/2 cup of a new bottle . . . any difference in taste say a reisling vs an oaked chardonnay ?

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4 months ago jay sanders

That is a good question; I thought the same thing!I hope the editor can answer that question.

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4 months ago Karen Zipper

Can you put a paper bag in a gas oven without it catching on fire???

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4 months ago Kukla

Yes you can.

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4 months ago Robert

Put it in a metal container where it will Not have moving air perhaps?

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4 months ago Robert

Aluminum foil?

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4 months ago Kukla

Parchment paper and than foil.

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4 months ago Karen Zipper

OK, now I'm really confused using the gas oven. Paper bag, metal container, aluminum foil, parchment paper?? Which one will work best and how do I do it?

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4 months ago Karen Zipper

It would be a shame not to cook a wonderful recipe because I fear burning the house down.

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4 months ago Kukla

The best thing is to read the recipe as many times as you need to understand it and follow each step correctly.

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about 1 month ago stevecoh1

Remember Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451"? That's the temperature at which paper catches fire. See http://en.wikipedia.org..., which gives a range of 424-475. So at 350 we shoiuld be okay.

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4 months ago Mariya

To the editor: correct "at list" to "at least" at step 2!!!!

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4 months ago jay sanders

Kukla, I hope i am understand the recipe correctly. I put the thighs and the bake dish in a papaer bag or do i place the baking dish on the bottom rake and the thighs above the rake. thank you for your anwser

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4 months ago Kukla

Jay, you need a clean brown grocery bag without any ink and large enough to completely hide the baking dish and you place it on the middle rack.

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4 months ago Lisa Pineau

Could you throw in some breasts if you like white meat?

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4 months ago Kukla

Of course you can roast any chicken parts you like.

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4 months ago Lydia

My Grandmother used to cook our Thanksgiving turkey with stuffing in a brown paper bag! Who would have known 40 years ago -- now we use cooking bags all the time. I will certainly try this recipe. Thank you!

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4 months ago Kukla

Thank you Lydia!

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4 months ago keno

is the baking dish covered inside the bag ?

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4 months ago Dawn Hayes

How would this do on grill?

Doug

4 months ago MenCanCook

Gonna try to help Kukla out with this one...
Dawn, should work perfectly on the grill... Keep the cover closed and use the same temps. If it works great, let me know... If not, let Kukla know. [Just kidding! Let both of us know...] Enjoy

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4 months ago Paula Arevalos

Brown paper bag, like grocery bags?

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4 months ago Kukla

Yes Paula, a clean brown grocery bag without any ink and large enough to completely hide the baking dish.

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4 months ago Barbara Moss

Are the thighs with or without skin? I made it tonight and it was tender and delicious. Getting the parchment to stay was hard. I will put foil over it next time.

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4 months ago Kukla

I keep the skin on the thighs Barbara. Foil will definitely help.

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4 months ago Kukla

Dears Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am not the one who invented this method; the famous pastry chef Gale Gand has a recipe for a fruit or berry pie baked in a brown bag. I tried it, liked it and use it when I bake or roast something and for my taste it is one of the best methods and I find all the warnings about the danger of cooking in a brown paper bag silly.

When you cook any meat in a roaster, casserole or Dutch Oven, the meat should be browned before cooking and this method is called braising, but when roasting in a brown paper bag the meat or whatever you make is stemming and browning in the same time. That is why this method is easy and unique.

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4 months ago Carol Higgins

Thanks Kukla. I don't know what stemming means. I tried to look it up on dictionary.com and it only has reference to flowers. So much I don't know! I have never browned meat before putting it in a roaster. I have only heard about browning before putting in a slow cooker. Thanks for all the info - the part about it browning in the paper bag makes sense; I was just wondering what the reason was and now I know! Thanks again.

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4 months ago MenCanCook

Carol, Kukla meant 'steaming'...
Good explanation, Kukla. By the way, I have several recipes [ my own] that I use a plain brown paper bag for. My favorite is Pheasant in a Bag! For all the naysayers out there, I'm 71 years old and haven't noticed any bag poisoning yet! Lot's of other stuff but no bag or paper related ailments...

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4 months ago Kukla

Thanks a lot MenCanCook!!! I really meant steaminig; sorry for the typo.

Missycat

4 months ago Carol Higgins

Thanks to both of you; I can't believe I couldn't figure that out!
I wondered if it was a typo but couldn't come up with steaming. Duhh....

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4 months ago Robert

My mother bakes certain kinds of pies in bags as a way to keep th surface from drying out.
And pitting in on a rack will allow pie crust to cook well on the bottom.

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4 months ago Kukla

I agree Robert, that is a wonderful method for many different things.

Missycat

4 months ago Carol Higgins

I haven't had a chance to try this yet but am still curious as to why you need a paper bag or parchment. What purpose does it serve? Would a different flavour be arrived at it if one cooked it in a roaster or casserole dish with lid (lid could be partially off for venting if necessary). Just curious. Does anyone know?

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4 months ago Natasha

this is an absolutely delicious recipe. But, and this is for the carnivores. I prefer my meat less cooked, so next time I will bake for only 40-45 minutes. My Lover and I thought it was delicious and a little overcooked for our preference. I even reduced the cooking time by 15 minutes. Also, I used dried herb, that of course does not affect cooking time, but is a difference in the overall flavor. Hey, and, it is what it is. Loved it, yummy.

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4 months ago Kukla

Thank you Natasha for the lovely comment!!!

Missycat

4 months ago Carol Higgins

This looks delicious. Could someone please tell me the reason for the paper bag? The reason I am asking is that I don't know where to buy large paper bags; none of our grocery stores carry them anymore; just the really small ones to put things like mushrooms in. Could one use one of those clear cooking bags?

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4 months ago Kukla

Reynolds dual Parchment/foil combination will work fine Carol.

Missycat

4 months ago Carol Higgins

Thanks. I have never heard of that and I don't know if we have it in Canada but I will go to a higher end grocery store to look for it. I assume then that one would just arrange the foil/parchment overtop the thighs, tucking into the dish at sides?

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4 months ago Kukla

Hey Carol! I think that you can just cover the baking dish with parchment paper and then with foil; roast the chicken for 1 hour and then for the last 15 -20 minutes uncover it and finish roasting.
Please let me know the final result.

Missycat

4 months ago Carol Higgins

Thanks. I will try it that way. I love herbed anything.

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4 months ago Barbara

This is how I cook my Thanksgiving turkey! The turkey comes out with the best skin all brow and it's so tender. Thank you for this recipe!

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4 months ago Kukla

Thank you Barbara for the nice comment!!!