A few years back Bev and I decided to invite all the family over to our house for Thanksgiving. I wondered if I should cook a turkey. I’d never cooked one before. So the pressure was on. ?

But then I was listening to Kidd Kraddick, and he spoke of his perfect, but obscenely simple, recipe for turkeys. I told Bev about it. She wondered if it was legit or would really work. I decided to give it a go with a backup plan of running to KFC for chicken.

Kidd Kraddick Brown Bag Turkey

But it turned out wonderfully! And now in our new home in Oxford, we have a lot of family coming over for Thanksgiving again. So I’m dusting off the [sorta] Famous Kidd Kraddick Brown Bag Turkey Recipe for everyone.

You can check it out here for yourself. You’ll amaze your family.

  • No, this turkey recipe won’t burn your house down because you’re using a brown paper bag … but it will taste great!
  • First, take everything out of the inside of the turkey. There will be a giblet bag and some other stuff. You don’t want to leave that in there.
  • Next, add vegetables to the inside of the turkey. This is easy because the veggies are just for flavor … you’re going to throw them away later.
  • You don’t even have to peel anything. Take an onion and cut it into quarters. Roughly chop a nice long carrot. Do the same to a couple of stalks of celery. Add several cloves of garlic that you mash between a broad kitchen knife and the counter.
  • Throw it all inside the turkey.
  • Then rub the turkey all over with olive oil. . . not butter because butter usually has salt in it and that will dry out the turkey.
  • Salt is the enemy of a moist turkey! Make sure the whole bird is covered!
  • Put the turkey in a roasting pan and cover it all with a large brown paper bag.
  • Staple shut. If you have a huge turkey, use two bags, sliding one end of the turkey into one bag and the other end of the turkey into the second bag. It won’t stick to the bird because of the olive oil. Sprinkle the bag all over with water. Place into pre-heated 375 F oven, ON THE MIDDLE RACK.
  • The bag won’t burn because paper burns at 451 degrees (remember the book?) and we’re at 375 degrees. The advantage of the brown paper bag over the Reynolds’s cooking bag is that the paper breathes so the turkey roasts. In the Reynolds bag the turkey steams, giving it a different taste. Also the brown paper bag retains the same advantage of the plastic cooking bag … no splatters all over the oven.
  • Roast for 13-15 minutes per pound. When you think it’s ready, shove a meat thermometer through the bag and into the turkey and give it a minute to register. Make sure it doesn’t touch the bone. The thermometer should register between 163-170 degrees.
  • Remove from oven, cut away the bag and remove from basting pan. Don’t throw out the drippings! To make the gravy, strain the pan juices into a really big pot. Any juices that accumulate on the turkey platter get poured into the pot.
  • Add six oz. of boiling chicken broth and 1/8 cup of cornstarch to the gravy to thicken it up. Cook at low heat and stir and cook and stir. If it seems like it isn’t going to be thick enough, add a little more corn starch.

Question: Can I use one of those disposable foil basting pans?
Kidd: Yes. It doesn’t matter.

Question: What about the talk that brown paper bags are unsafe for cooking?
Kidd: If you mean unsafe because of fire, it is important that the bag doesn’t make contact with the heating element of the oven. If you mean because of the recycled paper bag releasing toxins into the turkey, all we can say is that this recipe has been around for over thirty years. We’ve been posting this recipe for over ten years and never had a single complaint that anyone got sick. We’ve had hundreds and hundreds of emails that it’s the best turkey they’ve ever tasted and the perfect recipe for first-time chefs!