A Bird in the Bag is Worth Two in the Bush: Conquering My Fear of Cooking a Whole Chicken - Stuff Parents Need (2024)

Does Pinterest ever cause you to believe that you are something you aren’t? Whenever I am on the site, my mind somehow gets confused and starts to believe that I am an expert chef. I pin things left and right that call for fresh herbs, hard-to-find produce, gourmet cheeses and other such things that you will never find for Buy 1 Get 1 Free at my local grocery store. They also make use of kitchen gadgets I don’t own, and techniques I have never even attempted. But for some reason, I believe, at least for long enough to hit “re-pin” that I could totally make that stuff. The caption swears that it is “so easy!” after all.

And then after I step away from the delusional fog of Pinterest, I realize that I’m a real mom, with real time and budget constraints, and perhaps more importantly, with real culinary challenges.

For example, I am 32 years old and even though I cook for my family at least 5 days a week and have for the past decade, I have NEVER cooked an entire bird of any sort. I’ve always assumed that it was too gross and too hard.

But today, my friends, I overcame my reluctance and found a way to make a chicken that was honestly easy. I documented the whole process so that you can learn with me if you have never done this before!

So, here are my elements for our dinner. Notice the complete absence of all those gorgeous veggies from Martha’s version. I just don’t have time for all that, you guys!

I did, however, pick up some Reynolds Oven Bags, which are rumored to be a secret weapon of home cooks, as they make dinner much less of a chore and cleanup nearly effortless. Sign me up!

And look what I found when I opened my box!

Saving me time AND money. You are seriously speaking my language, Reynolds.

Ok, so I printed off a recipe from the Reynolds website and was feeling super confident. I was about to stop being such a chicken about cooking a chicken!

Then I got to the part of the recipe where it told me to loosen the skin of the bird by massaging it with my fingers (why no, I didn’t read the recipe through before beginning…who actually does that?! Smart people….that’s who). This is how I felt about these instructions:

And then I promptly went to the Reynolds website and found a rosemary and basil chicken recipe with no massaging required. Gotta walk before you can run, right?

The first step was so much fun. Add a tablespoon of flour to your oven bag, close it with your hands and SHAKE, SHAKE SHAKE! I didn’t know this recipe would have a little bit of therapy wrapped into it. Mama worked out some aggression! 🙂

Then I melted some butter and poured it on top of the chicken. Again, no massaging required!

Then I put together the spice mix that uses dried herbs. This may cause the hardcore foodies to wrinkle their noses, but not me! My fresh herb garden is not equipped to handle requests on account of it NOT EXISTING. Rosemary and basil were blended with salt and pepper for this lovely mix.

Now here’s the part where I actually had to touch the chicken. But really, it wasn’t so bad. I mostly sprinkled the herb mix on the chicken and just patted some on in the places that weren’t covered as well by my culinary fairy dust. And look how pretty!

Now all I had to do was put the chicken in the Reynolds Oven Bag and use the tie to secure it. You simply run the tie through the outer loop and the pull it through until it clicks on the tightest possible hinge. Super easy.

Then you poke roughly 6 holes in the bag (I stayed near the top) to provide some ventilation during the cooking process. Then tuck the top part of the bag under the chicken to secure it, and stick it in the oven which has been preheated to 350 and set your timer for 90 minutes.

While I waited for the chicken to cook, I also used the Reynolds Oven Bags to make the most scrumptious herbed corn-on-the-cob. And don’t be fooled by the name, people! Reynolds Oven Bags also work in the microwave! That’s how I used them to make the corn.

Then it was time to clean up. Which of course, I loathe and despise. Just sayin’. But can I show you the pile of dishes I had after preparing the chicken AND the corn?

That’s it! So those Reynolds Oven Bags really did save me a lot of time in the cleanup department. But just as importantly, they cooked the food BEAUTIFULLY! I may have eaten two pieces of corn before my family even knew dinner was ready. Don’t judge.

And I can I please show you what my very first cooked whole chicken looked like? I am SO STINKIN’ PROUD!

It is golden brown, juicy and perfectly cooked. See?

Reynolds Oven Bags made cooking something I have feared for 10 1/2 years a total breeze, from start to finish. I am so impressed with just how easy it was! And now it has me thinking that cooking a turkey just might happen in the near future. A turkey!! The thing I swore I would NEVER even attempt! But now that I have my secret weapon and had such great success with so little effort, I’m ready.

Bring it on, bird.

I am a Reynolds Real Moms finalist and have received some complimentary Reynolds products as a thank you for my time. All thoughts, opinions, and culinary mishaps listed here are strictly my own!



A Bird in the Bag is Worth Two in the Bush: Conquering My Fear of Cooking a Whole Chicken - Stuff Parents Need (2024)


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