Bagged Roast Turkey With Cornbread, Chestnut, and Sage Stuffing

This Bagged Roast Turkey recipe won second prize in The 1989 Old Farmer's Almanac Recipe Contest. The recipe was submitted by June Stewart of Wheeling, Illinois.

Note on below: We recommend using an oven-roasting bag, not a brown bag such as often found at grocery stores, for this recipe. Refer to the oven-cooking bag package for specific directions of how to use it.

Roast Turkey


large turkey (15 to 22 pounds)
1 large, plain oven-roasting bag
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted


Remove giblets from turkey. Soak turkey in salted water to cover for 1 hour; meanwhile, prepare giblet stock and stuffing (see below). Drain and rinse turkey; pat dry. Rub cavities with minced garlic. Brush inside of bird with melted butter. Bird is ready for stuffing.

Giblet Stock


giblets and neck from turkey
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, quartered
1 parsnip, quartered
1 teaspoon each salt, pepper, marjoram, and sage


Combine all and cook in 1 quart water, covered, while turkey is soaking and stuffing is being mixed. (Stock will be used in stuffing and gravy.)



4 to 6 slices cornbread (depending on size of turkey)
2 cups cubed wheat bread
2 onions, diced
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped chestnut meats
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 tablespoons ground fresh sage
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup giblet stock, strained
giblet meat, chopped fine


Crumble cornbread and toss with bread cubes and remaining ingredients. When stuffing is well mixed, stuff lightly into cavities of turkey, and sew them shut with needle and cotton thread. Tuck wings in and tie legs together. Follow the direction on the oven-roasting bag package for cooking. Place bagged bird in roasting pan and roast at 350° F, allowing 20 minutes per pound. Check after three quarters of the time has elapsed, and add water if necessary. Cut away bag and let turkey brown during last 20 to 30 minutes. Use turkey drippings and remaining stock to make gravy.

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Sounds great, but I'm

Sounds great, but I'm confused. Can someone help me 'see' how this all fits together? Does the bag cover both turkey and the pan? In other words, does the pan, with the bird, slide into the bag for cooking, or does the bird go into the bag, and the bag sits in the pan? If so, when adding water, does the bag (with bird inside) get wet and absorb the water in the pan? Pedantic, I know, but so far none of the above instructions really tell me the entire process.

These are specially made bags

These are specially made bags to cook meat in - the turkey goes in the bag, as the directions will tell you. Buy them at your grocery store.

Regardless of the

Regardless of the recommendation teh brown paper bag seems best to me I have done it both ways and the brown bag just seemed better overall.

According to the United

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, the glue and ink on brown bags are not intended for use as cooking materials and may give off harmful fumes. In addition, brown bags are usually made from recycled materials and are not sanitary.

In a nutshell, do not use them.

Thank you. Correct. As

Thank you. Correct. As mentioned above, “We recommend using an oven-roasting bag, not a brown bag such as often found at grocery stores, for this recipe.

I did this many many years

I did this many many years ago, I had forgotten how great it turned out. I think that I'll try it this year.

I have been making this for

I have been making this for years too, but I put the turkey on a rack and then put it in a bag that has been rubbed with oil on the inside. I also rub oil on the breast of the bird so it doesn't stick. Another bag goes over the end. There is no need to baste or look at it, the bird will come out nicely browned, let rest and carve. It cuts the time for baking also, at usually 15 min a pound instead of 20.

When do we eat!

When do we eat!

This is a wonderful way to do

This is a wonderful way to do a turkey, I've done the brown bag for yrs. but to make it even easier. I stuff my turkey, spray the inside of the brown bag with Pam, put the bird in and roll up the bag tight. It will hold all the moisture inside while it bakes for 4 hrs. I never open it to baste it or brown it but when it comes out and I cut it open to put on the platter it is a picture out of a magazine. So evenly browned. someone might want to try that. I never cut the bag to brown the turkey and its works beautiful. I also place the whole bag into a thin aluminum pan with a cup of water in the bottom before putting in the oven.