Almost Turkish Recipes

Chicken in a Bag (Fırın Torbasında Tavuk)

I have hard to please young clientele at home when it comes to chicken. If it is served in any other form than  nuggets and tenders, they complain that it's chewy and implement famous 'whine and negotiate your way out of chicken' method, which doesn't necessarily work but helps them form into better negotiators. Finally, I won them over with my mom's chicken in a bag recipe; growing up this was our special Friday night dinner for many years during 1990s when oven bags were introduced to the Turkish market. Surprisingly, oven bags are still strong in Turkey. Chicken baked in a bag is the easiest and juiciest chicken recipe. You can marinade it ahead of time and bake it the day you need it. 40 minutes and viola! You need whole chicken legs, thighs, drumsticks, or wings--bonny and fatty parts of chicken. Chicken breasts are fine as well, but not as good as the dark parts.

enough chicken thighs, drums to fill a bag, ~2 lb
1 oven bag
juice of 2 lemons
paprika, enough to cover the chicken pieces, don't be stingy
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp or more dried oregano leaves, thyme, or rosemary
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced

-Place the chicken in a big bowl and squeeze lemons on top. Make sure every piece is covered with lemon juice. If you don't like the chicken smell like me, lemon juice gives chicken a nice tangy flavor and helps with that smell. Add paprika generously, oregano, black pepper, garlic, and salt. Mix them well with chicken. Let marinate for at least half an hour before you bake. Do not forget, the longer you marinate it the more tender it will become. (You can marinade a night before and keep it in the fridge for the next day)
-Place an oven bag on a oven dish/tray so that its opening will be facing the side. Put marinated chicken pieces in the bag side by side. Close the bag with a twisty tie. Make a couple of small holes on top with a knife. Bake it in preheated oven at 400 F for 45 minutes.
-If you want a very crispy top, after 45 minutes cut the oven bag on top and broil the chicken for 5-10 minutes.
-After you put the chicken in the bag, if you still have room put a couple of potatoes (cut in halves) and carrots (chopped into two or three pieces). They will be very very delicious.
-Serve with salad, rice or any type of grain, mashed or baked potatoes, and/or greens.


  1. Sher, thank you. You're so nice!

  2. Anonymous7:48 AM

    This recipe is delicious and so easy. Thank you!

  3. I absolutely love this recipe! My only change to it was to cook it in a casserole dish with foil on top. For the last 10 minutes I cook it with out the foil to get everything a bit crunchy. The vegetables come out sooo good!! Thank you for sharing this recipe. Its going to have a permanent place in my recipe box!