How to Cook Whole Fryers in a Cooking Bag

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A convenient way to prepare foods with less mess and fuss, oven cooking bags allow you to cook an entire meal in one pan. They are designed to hold any type of meat, such as chicken, turkey or a beef or pork roast, along with vegetables that supply additional flavor and round out the meal. The bags keep all the heat and juices inside and redistribute them during the cooking process. Oven cooking bags are available in different capacities, depending upon the size of the bird or roast; the large size can easily accommodate two fryer chickens, ranging in weight from 2 1/2 to 3 pounds each.

Things You'll Need

  • Two fryer chickens
  • Paper towels
  • Large oven cooking bag
  • Large roasting pan
  • Flour
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Small sharp knife
  • Large platter
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the fryer chickens from the packaging, taking care to not splash any juices on the surrounding surfaces. Pat the chickens dry with paper towels and discard the towels immediately.

  • Place the cooking bag in the roasting pan and put about 2 tablespoons of flour in the bottom. Close the bag tightly and shake it to distribute the flour as evenly as possible. Place the fryer chickens side by side inside the bag; brush the skin with olive oil or melted butter; and season with salt and pepper.

  • Close the bag with the enclosed tie and cut five or six slits in the top to allow the steam to escape and to keep the bag from bursting, or as the bag manufacturer directs. Roast the fryer chickens for 1 1/2 hours, or until the skin is golden brown and the bottom of the bag contains all the drippings.

  • Take the chickens' temperature by inserting an instant-read meat thermometer through one of the slits in the bag, into the thickest part of the breast away from the bone. The chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat at an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add more flavor to your bag-roasted fryer chickens by placing a layer of sliced onions, a couple of celery stalks and minced garlic inside the bag. Place the chickens on top of the vegetables, then seal the bag as directed. You can also add other vegetables such as small new potatoes and baby carrots to the bag before roasting. Place the chickens in the bag first, and group the vegetables around and between them.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, warns against washing chicken, as the practice promotes the further spread of illness-causing bacteria such as salmonella; the heat from cooking is enough to destroy any disease-causing substances in the meat. The FDA advises simply transferring the chicken from the package to the pan and washing your hands and any surfaces the chicken comes into contact with hot soapy water.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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