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Chicken in a Bag

Updated on July 15, 2014

Barbecued Chicken in a Paper Bag

Make a barbecued chicken recipe in a paper bag! It is easy, delicious and clean up is as simple as throwing away the bag.

This vintage recipe for chicken in a bag is from an old Louisville Courier-Journal article published August 16. 1963. This was in my Aunt Madaline's collection of recipes I received when she passed away.

This barbecued chicken recipe is baked slowly in the oven, inside a greased paper bag. Cooking in the bag makes the chicken tender and juicy.

This vintage recipe was conceived before the crockpot had been invented. You could probably cook this in the crockpot with similar results, but I have not yet tried it. If anyone does, I hope they will come back and leave a comment so we know how it turned out!

This is an easy recipe. Just do not forget to turn the oven down!

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Granite-Ware Roaster - Great for Cooking Chicken in a Bag

A granite-ware roasting pan makes it easy to make a perfect roast! I still have two of my grandmother's granite-ware roasters. If you take care of them, they will last generations. This is cookware you can hand down to your children and grandchildren!

In addition to chicken in a bag, this roasting pan will make the perfect roast or Thanksgiving turkey. It comes in various sizes, but I find this size to be convenient and versatile.

Granite Ware 0509-2 18-Inch Covered Oval Roaster
Granite Ware 0509-2 18-Inch Covered Oval Roaster

Check the reviews! This one is just like Grandmother's! Available in several different sizes.

set oven to 500
set oven to 500

This recipe makes enough barbecue sauce for 3 pounds of chicken pieces.

Photo credit


  • 3 tablespoons catsup
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (dry or prepared)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. 1. To make sauce, combine all of these ingredients in a medium saucepan, and heat to allow flavors to blend.
  2. 2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees fahrenheit.
  3. 3. Grease the inside of a brown paper bag (medium size) and place in a roasting pan. If you do not have a paper bag, you may use aluminum foil.
  4. 4. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste. Then dip each piece in the sauce and place into the paper bag.
  5. 5. After all of the chicken is in the bag, pour any remaining sauce into the bag over the chicken pieces.
  6. 6. Close the bag carefully with a double fold and fasten with paper clips to prevent the sauce from leaking out.
  7. 7. Put the lid on the roasting pan and put into the oven.
  8. 8. After baking 15 minutes at 500 degrees, lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake another hour and 15 minutes.
  9. 9. Keep bag closed tightly throughout the cooking process.
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Chicken in a Bag Poll

Have you ever used a paper bag in cooking?

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Suggestions for Twenty-First Century Cooks - Making Chicken in a Bag Even Easier!

In 1964, medium-sized brown paper bags were everywhere. In the era before plastic grocery bags, every grocery store put items in brown paper bags. Today they can be a little harder to come by. Here are some suggestions for twenty-first century cooks who want to make chicken in a bag, but cannot find a bag.

  1. Make a bag using aluminum foil as suggested in the recipe. This is probably the most authentic option if you want to remain true to this recipe's vintage roots.
  2. Make the recipe in a crockpot or slow cooker without any kind of bag. Simply dip the chicken pieces into sauce, put them into the slow cooker, then cover with remaining sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. Substitute a commercial cooking bag.

You Will Need a Bag

Paper Bags amp; Sacks 8# Natural Paper Bag 500/Bundle (BAGGK8-500) Category: Paper Bags
Paper Bags amp; Sacks 8# Natural Paper Bag 500/Bundle (BAGGK8-500) Category: Paper Bags

This is the size you will need for this recipe. You probably will not need 500 of these bags, but you can use them for other things. This is a medium-sized bag, a bit larger than a typical lunch bag.

Reynolds Turkey Size Oven Cooking Bags, 2 Count
Reynolds Turkey Size Oven Cooking Bags, 2 Count

If you cannot find an appropriate paper bag, you can try substituting a cooking bag such as this one.


Have you ever baked anything in a paper bag? Are you going to try this recipe? After you try it, please come back and leave a comment to let us know how it was!

Chicken in a Bag Comments

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    • profile image

      moonlitta 4 years ago

      Do I notice a trend here? Your recipes all come from old cook books:) My mom had several, and I have none. All my recipes are on the Internet. Which, is a bit sad...:)

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      I never tried cooking in a paper bag. Seems like it would catch on fire. Thanks for the sauce recipe. I think I'll give that a try.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 4 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I bake fish in paper - works very well. Never tried chicken - it's on the list now.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Interesting recipe. This is actually the first time I've heard of this. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this is so cool! like the name and how to make this, thanks for the write up!

    • Beadsnresin profile image

      Beadsnresin 5 years ago

      Never, ever seen a chicken cooked in a bag or heard about it either, very interesting, thanks a lot, definitely something to consider!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Yummy! Thanks for adding this to my Recipes, Reviews and Food Collection lens.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

      Sounds interesting. I hope to try this one day. You learn something every day.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      I bake cookies and pizza on parchment paper and I've made microwave popcorn in paper bags but this BBQ chicken in a bag is new. I like this idea!

    • Sarah LM profile image

      Sarah 6 years ago from Minnesota

      How interesting, I've never heard of cooking in a paper bag before.

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 6 years ago from McLaughlin

      I have never baked anything in a paper bag --but I have used the see-through bags. Interesting idea.

    • profile image

      myshelle01 6 years ago

      Loved this Lens and I will give this a try. Thank you

    • tracy159 profile image

      Tracy Smith 6 years ago from Maryville, TN

      I would have never thought to try cooking in a paper bag. I would think it would catch on fire. This sure does sounds like finger licken good chicken, I'm going to put this on the grocery list.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I love cooking a chicken or a turkey in those cooking bags, the clear kind. I wonder how they compare for a recipe like this.

    • LakeMom profile image

      LakeMom 6 years ago

      I made bacon or eggs in a paper bag over a fire (must be done very carefully or you set the bag on fire!). This sounds really good!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I've cooked something in a paper bag, but I don't remember what! I use my granite roaster and always have good results! Your recipe sounds awesome!

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      It sounds yummy! I've seen recipes that bakes a ham in a bag. I would like to try this one.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Wow!! What a great recipe! I'm looking forward to trying it out. Thanks for sharing this lens.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I'm just now beginning to get back to the days of cooking when you had time to experiment with real recipes like this one. It's such a joy to read of tried and true methods from those "kitchen pioneers" before us. :) P.S. I also have a granite ware roaster that has never failed me; they are awesome!