Put That In Your Bird and Roast It: Wine Can Chicken

wine can chicken roast whole chicken thyme

Garlic and Thyme Infused. Perfectly Wine-ily Moist

As summer approaches, we, in our small, no outdoor space, apartments know we are about to suffer through endless Facebook and Instagram and WordPress/Tumblr/Blogger posts of suburbanites grilling everything from lobster to steaks to chicken to vegetables.

Just the way it is. Men off of the island will be boasting about giant meats grilled to perfection. Women will be mastering marinades. Even the vegans will get involved with newly purchased vegetable griller trays.

OK, we admit it, we’re jealous. We wish we had a gas grill. We also wish we had won the PowerBall. We wish a lot of things.

It’s all moot because, not only are gas grills illegal on the island of Manhattan…but even if you did manage to sneak one up the freight elevator while no one was looking, transporting propane through any of the tunnels is also a big NYC no-no. Sure, you might have shared outdoor space in your building and you could charcoal it up, but, let’s face it, that all sounds a bit messy. And, carting a 40lb bag of charcoal from Food Emporium to your apartment is next to impossible. Plus – you’ll be damned if you’re going to get one of those roll-y carts.

No fear, my dears – We can do lots of grillish meals in the comforts of our tiny kitchens. And this wine-can chicken may actually change your mind about always relying on the rotisserie option.

Wine Can Chicken (Serves 4)

Tiny Apartment Tips:

  • Ideally you might have a deepish roasting pan to sit the chicken in…but if you only have a lasagna or even a baking dish, use those. Just line with Reynold’s Wrap to ease clean up
  • OK, you have to have fresh Thyme on this one…But remember, you can freeze the unused Thyme and use it in future dishes for up to 6 months. Just put the thyme in a ZipLoc baggie and throw it in the fridge. I might wash it first too.
  • Remove all but the lowest oven rack before heating the oven…I put mine on top of my cabinets when not in use. You can hide it behind a door or something…
  • Invite someone who likes dark meat – I don’t…


chicken roasted wine infused can

Always Mise En Place – partial MEP…forgot to photo the garlic and Jane’s Krazy stuff

  • 1 Whole Chicken (3.5 – 4lbs) bought mine at Fairway who had the best price that day
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Smashed
  • 2 Lemons – juiced
  • The zest of 1 Lemon
  • 5 Sprigs of Thyme plus the leaves from 2 add’l Sprigs
  • 6 Oz Good-ish White Wine – whatever you have leftover. Consult @grapefriend.com for suggestions if you like. I used a chardonnay left over by my white wino friends
  • 1 TBSP Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Lemon Pepper
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 empty 12oz Can, rinsed and cleaned inside and out – I used a lemon San Pelligrino can thinking that any left over flavor in the can from the lemon would be AOK

Preheat the Oven to 400 degrees F

1. In a small bowl whisk together the Olive Oil, Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Lemon Pepper and the leaves from 2 Sprigs of Thyme

2. Into a Cup Measurer with oz – Pour 6oz of Chardonnay

3. Into the Chardonnay add the juice of 1 lemon PLUS the zest of 1 lemon

4. Whisk together wine and lemon

5. Pour the wine and lemon mix into the empty San Pelligrino can

6. Into the can shove the smashed cloves of garlic

7. Add the 5 sprigs of Thyme into the Pelligrino Can

wine can chicken in oven

Doesn’t have to look perfect – I removed the tab from the can, but not sure you have to

8. Give the can a little swirl

9. Unwrap the Chicken and rub the front and back with the Olive Oil, Lemon, Thyme Leaves, Krazy Mixed Up Lemon Pepper

wine can whole roasted chicken in oven

Rubbed with flavorful goodness

10. Sit the Wine-Filled San Pelligrino can on the center of the lined lasagna/baking/roasting pan and then sit the whole chicken atop the can – inserting the can into the Chicken’s ‘cavity’

roasted whole chicken in oven herb infused

Can on pan…I used a lasagna pan

wine can beer can chicken roasted in oven

Violate the Chicken with the Wine-y, Herb-y Can

11. Put into the oven – and roast for 1 hour – turning the pan 180 degrees about halfway through to ensure even cooking

12. Check with a meat thermometer beginning at :45 mins. Breast area should read 170 degrees and Thighs should read at 180 degrees when done

13. Take out of the oven and let sit for :10mins before moving chicken off of the can and onto a cutting board

wine can chicken herb infused recipe food

Perfectly Roasted Wine-Can Chicken – Next time I might take the Chicken off of the can and lay flat for the last :15 of roasting to even the browning on the skin. Next time

14. Slice and serve!

wine can chicken oven recipe dinner food

Served mine with pan crisped yellow zucchini

Yes, people make beer-can chicken on their outdoor grills all the time. But, beer is so gauche.

The wine-can chicken technique seriously may have changed my mind about defaulting to the store roasted bird. It was amazingly good and so very easy.

So this weekend when all of those suburbanites are busily posting pix of their outdoor grilling bonanzas, you just rest comfortably in your tiny kitchen with your perfectly roasted wine and herb infused whole chicken. Put that in your bird and roast it!


Emily Litella and The Legitimate Crepe

Savory Crepes with Thyme

Legitimate Crepe. Savory with Thyme

Emily Litella Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner as Emily Litella Saturday Night Live

Gilda Radner’s Emily Litella was the queen of mishearing and one of my favorite characters. If you don’t know or remember or were born in the ’80s, Emily Litella was a sweet little old lady that visited the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update desk to give editorial on a current issue she had mis-heard about. She did pieces about ‘violins on tv’ and the ‘deaf penalty’ and called Chevy Chase ‘Cheddar’. One week she opened with; ‘What’s all this fuss about endangered feces.’ She then went on her diatribe wondering how we could ‘possibly run out of such a thing. Just look around you, you can see it all over the place’. When corrected, Emily Litella didn’t apologize for her rant, she simply said; ‘never mind’ and moved on. That simple ‘never mind’ was her own admission of error. She didn’t try to justify it or explain it away. Nope, just ‘never mind’ and move on.

Then there are things that are misspoken; verbal farts or momentary lapses. No one is immune to this. I had back to back boyfriends in my 20s (not THE ’20s, MY 20s) who had the same first name. One might think this would eliminate all opportunities for calling one by the other’s name…No, no it did not. In a verbal battle/heated argument, I shouted out an obscenity followed by the former boyfriend’s last name. Like if Ben Affleck yelled ‘Eff You, Lopez!’ at his now wife, Jennifer Garner. You get the idea. Not my proudest moment. Still, my mistake didn’t mean that I wasn’t angry at BF #2. I was. The talking doctor might also argue that I had BF #1 on the brain. Probably.

So…we all make mistakes. We get riled up or react too quickly to something we misheard. We misspeak in the heat of an argument. It can happen.

But, let’s face it – somethings are exactly what they seem to be. There isn’t a universe, circumstance or situation where anyone in his right mind would ever use the term ‘legitimate rape.’ I’m not political, but Todd Akin’s recent verbal farts infuriate me. AND, more infuriating is his refusal to back away from a political run – even though his own party has disowned him.

So, in the spirit of mishearing, I like to think that Emily Litella would have heard Akin’s comments and done an editorial piece on Legitimate Crepes.

Crepes can go two ways – sweet dessert crepes and savory dinner crepes – both are totally legitimate. This weekend,  I was all about the savory.

Savory Crepes (22 – 28 crepes)

1. In a blender (you can also do this by hand with a whisk or in a Cuisinart) combine 4 large eggs, 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 1 cup of water,  2 cups of flour, 6 tbsp melted butter (cooled), 1/2 cup thyme, 1/2 tsp of salt.

NOTE: any fresh herbs will do here…I’m just on a thyme kick right now.

2. Blend/pulse for about :15 seconds until all ingredients are combined and the mixture is a little frothy on top.

Crepe Batter in Blender

Let the batter rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour. You can also leave it in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Savory Crepe in Pan

Savory Crepe batter coats pan

3. Heat a small non-stick pan over medium/high heat and add butter just to coat. I used a steel crepe pan…but, then abandoned it for a 12 in non-stick All-Clad pan because the steel pan got too hot.

4. Put about 1/4 cup of batter in the center of the hot pan and swirl the pan around to coat the bottom.

5. When the batter is dried (:30 seconds or less, it’s fast), flip the crepe and continue cooking for about another :10 seconds or so.

6. Remove and allow to cool. Repeat until all the batter is gone.

Warning…If you have too much butter in your hot pan, the batter will NOT swirl around and you can end up with a sad, ugly crepe.

Sad Ugly Crepe

Sad Ugly Crepe

The sad, ugly crepe did taste just the same. And, I ate it right there at the stove while making the rest of the crepes.

Once the crepes have cooled, according to Alton Brown, you can keep them in the refrigerator for several days or freeze them for up to 60 days.

The next two days will follow with savory filling recipes for the crepes.

Emily Litella apologized and didn’t try to explain. She said, ‘never mind’ and moved away from the editorial desk. I think all parties (even that tea one) can agree that Akin should move away from a political career. Akin is a legitimate creep.

Until then, if you get a chance, google Emily Litella and watch some of the skits on youtube.  Sadly, as this election year heats up, we now know that Emily Litella was right – there are not so-endangered feces all around us.