Herbed Chicken Thighs Roasted in a Paper Bag

By • June 21, 2011 • 94 Comments

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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 brush smear the sauce over the chicken thighs. Let cool and absorb the sauce.
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Tags: can be made ahead, delicious, savory, travels well

Comments (94) Questions (2)

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3 months ago Kinda Sorta Maybe

I hope you read this, brown bag cooking was very popular in the 70's but people were warned to stop cooking in them because of the pesticides within the wood used for bags. Here most of the natural grocery stores will bag in paper bags, and even in all stores you can find the lunch sacks, but they are all toxic.

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3 months ago Kukla

You guys and girls amaze me!!! You do not need to look for some kind of fancy paper. Whole Foods or Trader Joes brown bag will do the job perfectly; just take of the handles from the bag and turn it in such way that the words on the bag are under the bottom of your baking dish.
People are roasting meat and poultry, baking fruit or berry pies in brown bags for a long, long time and love this method. The paper in brown bags keeps the juices and browns evenly everything you make in them, and most of all it is 100% harmless to your health.

Missycat

3 months ago Carol Higgins

Must be an American thing. I am in Canada and I haven't seen brown bags for groceries since I was a kid and the only ones you can buy are really small, for putting mushrooms in.

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3 months ago SharonKay

Thanks, Robert! Apparently I've been out of the loop on this method so am looking forward to trying it!

Missycat

3 months ago Carol Higgins

Where do you find craft paper? They certainly don't sell it in any groceries where I live.

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3 months ago Robert

A roll of craft paper from which most paper bags are made seems to me a cheap solution to un-inked paper bags.
Comes in 12"-48" sizes on the rolls and up to appx. 500 ft long.
Many are about 100-250' length.

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3 months ago Robert

Fold on edges of a length and then the top opening as well.
Staple for regular ovens, or even use a paper clip. (large)

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3 months ago Robert

This 'bag' confines the moisture a lot and that aids the fowl to stay moister.

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3 months ago Robert

Shipping supply stores sell craft paper in rolls. Go online to ask if such is in your area. packages of craft paper are likely sold on Hobby and Craft stores as well.
Also, dressmaker supplies might carry craft paper in sheets or rolls as they make a great reusable pattern.

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3 months ago Robert

Just found a lot of listed sources for Kraft paper, craft paper online.

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3 months ago Robert

Look also for Butcher paper, same thing
And, food safe for use. I have a roll of it now that came as a 250' roll that is 36" wide.


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3 months ago SharonKay

Hi ... one of the rare times I'm more confused after reading the comments! :) (1) suggestions please on where I can find paper bags without ink - all mine have store logos and (2) if I can't find bags without ink, am I correct that I can use just parchment? Thanks!

Doug

3 months ago MenCanCook

My suggestion would be to got straight to the aluminum foil/parchment combination... Either one or the other will work fine. I'm partial to the parchment, but that's just me.
I'm reading all these in awe and amazement at the longevity of the 'questions/comments' about this matter 3-4 years down the road. Kukla is a great cook and I haven't known her to intentionally or UNintentionally harm anyone with her recipes... Nuff said.

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3 months ago Kukla

Thank you MenCanCook for your kind words!!!

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12 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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12 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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12 months ago LE BEC FIN

cindy, the fun thing is that it does both!

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12 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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3 months ago Robert

I did this on a National Guard training where I caught 5 large trout; then I sat in front of the other guys that had fishing gear and would not share it to cook 'my' fish. Ate all 5 by myself too ! lol
I used willow branches I cut and bound the long tail with willow bark strips. same for the cross pieces.

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12 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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12 months ago Kukla

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

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12 months ago keno

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

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12 months ago Kukla

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

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12 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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12 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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12 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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12 months ago Karen Zipper

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

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12 months ago Kukla

Yes you can.

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12 months ago Robert

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

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12 months ago Robert

Aluminum foil?

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12 months ago Kukla

Parchment paper and than foil.

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12 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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12 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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12 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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10 months 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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12 months ago Mariya

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

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12 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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12 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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12 months ago Lisa Pineau

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

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12 months ago Kukla

Of course you can roast any chicken parts you like.

Stringio

12 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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12 months ago Kukla

Thank you Lydia!

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12 months ago keno

is the baking dish covered inside the bag ?

Stringio

12 months ago Dawn Hayes

How would this do on grill?

Doug

12 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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about 1 year ago Paula Arevalos

Brown paper bag, like grocery bags?

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about 1 year ago Kukla

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