Turkey in a Bag - The Moistest Turkey Ever
Do you like moist Thanksgiving Turkey? Well do we have a recipe for you! Although I'm typically a traditional slow-turkey-roasting kind of guy, this year I want to try to use one of the famous Reynolds Oven Turkey bags. I've been told that it makes an extremely moist turkey and it has not disappointed. Check out our video for the perfect thanksgiving bird!
Turkey (12-16 lbs, thawed)
1 gal water
1 gal chicken stock (1 gal water, 4 bouillon cubes)
1 c salt
½ c brown sugar
1 tbs peppercorns
6 cloves garlic
1 onion, quartered
10 bay leaves
Reynolds Kitchen Oven Bag
1 tbs flour
4 oregano springs
8 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
2 tbs vegetable oil
3 cubanelle peppers
1 bunch cilantro
To maximize the moisture in our turkey, we are going to do an overnight wet brine. Start by placing your thawed turkey in a large container and add your water and chicken broth. Next add the rest of your brine ingredients: your salt, your sugar, your peppercorns, your bay leaves, your garlic, and your onion. Mix all of your ingredients together, in order to dissolve the salt and sugar. Once your brine is ready to go, just make sure that your turkey is lying with the breast down, so that it is fully submerged. Depending on the size of your container, the back of the turkey might be a little out of the water, but that’s fine, as there isn’t much meat on that anyway.
Once situated, cover your turkey with plastic wrap and put it in your fridge overnight.
The next day, pull your turkey out of the brine and rinse it with cold water. You want to rinse off the excess brine, in order to prevent your turkey from having a weird, pickly taste.
Once rinsed, transfer your turkey to a tray and use some paper towel to pat the turkey dry. We are going to rub the turkey with a garlic paste, and it won’t stick to the turkey if the turkey still has a bunch of water on it.
As you are drying the turkey, just remember to dispose of the paper towel safely, as it has come in contact with raw poultry. Also remember to disinfect any surfaces that come in contact with the turkey. The last thing you want to serve your guests for thanksgiving is a side of food poisoning.
With the turkey dry, let’s prepare our rub. Just add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend them into a rough paste. Start with your oregano and pull the leafs off of the stems, discarding the stems. Then add your garlic, your salt, and your oil. Blend this mixture until it forms a paste, scraping down the food processor sides as necessary. Then transfer the rub to a bowl, to use while rubbing the turkey.
Now let’s season the turkey. Start by using your hands to separate the turkey skin from the meat. To do this, push your hand under the turkey skin on the breast and move your hand side to side, pulling the skin up and away from the meat, without breaking the skin. Repeat this process along the turkey thighs and drumsticks, and on both sides of the turkey. Separating the turkey skin from the meat allows the skin to cook better, ensuring that as much fat as possible will render out of the skin, resulting in a more flavorful meat. Additionally, it will allow you to spread the seasoning directly onto the meat, ensuring a tastier turkey.
With the skin separated from the meat, go ahead and rub the turkey with your garlic paste. Start by rubbing the paste underneath the turkey’s skin, both on the breast and the legs. Try to evenly distribute the paste, and don’t forget to also rub the outside of the turkey.
With the turkey seasoned, let’s go ahead and get it in the bag. Start by opening your turkey bag and placing it in a deep baking pan, at least 2 inches deep. Then add one tablespoon of flour to the turkey bag and shake it thoroughly. This prevents the turkey bag from getting stuck to the turkey while it cooks.
Now add your aromatic vegetables to the turkey bag. These vegetables will infuse the turkey with a lot of flavor and also keep the turkey suspended above the pan, in order to prevent the bottom from overcooking.
Once your vegetables are in place, add your turkey to the bag, breast side up. Some people add the turkey breast-side down, claiming that it makes it more moist. In my experience that hasn’t been the case, and placing it bread-side up makes for a much nicer presentation later on.
Once your turkey is in place, tie up the loose end with the provided zip tie. It’s important to use the provided tie, as it is heat proof. Once the bag is securely closed, use a knife to cut 5-6 slits, 1/2 inch long, into the oven bag. This will allow air to escape the bag, preventing it from popping. You are now ready to bake your turkey!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Once hot, add your turkey to the oven, in the lower rack and cook for the amount of time indicated on the turkey bag’s instructions. For a 12 to 16 pound turkey, the instructions said I should bake it at 350 for two to two and a quarter hours. That said, I wanted to make sure it was fully cooked so I cooked it for two and a half hours.
At the end of the cooking time, you can use a thermometer to confirm that it is done. You want to make sure that all parts of the turkey are at least 167 degrees, in order to be sure it’s safe to eat.
Once your turkey is cooked, pull it out of the oven and cut open the bag. As you can see, there is still a lot of moisture in the bag, including an inch or so of liquid in the bottom. This liquid is super delicious and makes a great gravy, so don’t discard it.
You’ll also notice that the skin has started to brown, but not fully. One of the downsides of the turkey bag method is that the skin doesn’t get crispy, because of all the moisture in the turkey bag. However, if you wanted to, once you opened the bag, you could put the turkey back into the oven, at 400 degrees for a little bit, in order to get the skin a little more brown. The only downside is that you will sacrifice some of the moisture because the oven will dry out the turkey since the bag is open.
Once your turkey is done in the oven, cover it with aluminum foil for 10-20 minutes. This rest period is important because it allows the meat to reabsorb any liquid it lost, so you don’t lose that liquid when you cut into the turkey. Again, this helps the turkey be a lot more moist.
Once rested, move your turkey to a cutting board and carve it as you see fit. You now have some of the most moist turkey you’ll ever eat. Just put that on top of a little yellow rice, with some gravy and you have the perfect thanksgiving feast!
Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.