Chicken in a Brown Bag from the 1960s

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Finally home after an amazing weekend with Tall Ships in Chestertown, I began digging through my boxes looking for chicken salad recipes.

I’m not usually a chicken salad person but after sampling a 150-year-old family recipe at the Lemon Leaf in downtown Chestertown, I decided to search through some recipes I had collected.

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Tall ships in Chestertown.

Instead I was sidetracked with this recipe for Chicken in a Brown Bag. Not sure how this would turn out, I was pleasantly surprised at the results. The chicken was nicely browned and the meat very tender and moist. I may try the chicken salad recipes with the leftovers, if there are any.

Wash and pat dry a 4-5 lb. fryer.

Chicken in a Brown Bag, 1960s, Pennsylvania Recipe Box

Flour, salt, & pepper chicken. First rub with a little butter or oil. Enclose in a brown bag. Heat oven to 450 degrees and cook 1 hour. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook 1 hour. Fold end of bag under.

Chicken in a Bag, 1970s, California Recipe Box

Rub chicken with Italian Salad Dressing, season with salt and pepper. Add herbs or lemon juice to cavity. Place in brown paper bag; fold end of bag under. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Once the chicken has been placed in a bag, set it in an ovenproof container to collect juices. Recycled aluminum pans work well.

Chicken getting ready for the oven.
Chicken getting ready for the oven in the brown bag, of course.

The secret? No peeking!

Not all 1930s cooks had the luxury of starting with a ready to cook chicken. The butchered chickens had to be dipped in boiling hot water to aid in removing the feathers. Cookbooks had directions for removing the internal organs and singeing the pin feathers. Better Homes and Gardens, 2002

Defrost chicken by soaking in cold water that’s been heavily salted. Meat will be pure white and very flavorful. Dental floss is good for trussing turkeys, chickens and other meats because it does not burn and is very strong. Mary Ellen’s Kitchen Hints, 1980

Interested in Chicken Music? There’s a Chickenstock music festival in Chicken, Arkansas. Might be something to crow about.