You've heard of "beer-can chicken", right? There's been a huge trend this year for canned wine, so it seemed to me that "wine-can chicken" should be a thing — so I made it today on the premiere episode of "GMA Day". It's easy to prepare, and the cooking method provides a lot of fantastic flavor while keeping the chicken really moist. Best of all, this is what I call "passive cooking" — just a few minutes of prep time, and then it just roasts in the oven while you do something else!
What I also like about roasting chicken at home is that you can do a lot with the leftover chicken. Throw the deboned meat into the stand mixer with the paddle attachment, and turn it one at low speed (I use 2), and it will shred the chicken in a flash. Use it the next day for chicken quesadillas at dinner, or mix with your favorite barbecue sauce for easy pulled chicken sandwiches.
And don't forget to take the bones from the chicken to make a flavorful chicken stock. Simply put the carcass into a large stockpot, cover with water, add a whole onion, quartered, a couple of roughly chopped carrots, a few sprigs of thyme, and a bay leaf, bring to a boil, and then let simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then remove the bones, onion, carrot, and herbs, skim off any fat from the surface, and freeze in 1-cup amounts, the perfect size to add flavor to mashed potatoes, use in place of some of the water for cooking rice, or as a base for gravy or soup.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
2 3- to 4-pound whole chickens, patted dry, giblet sack removed
2 cans white wine, opened
1 tablespoon lemon zest (zested with a microplane)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh thyme (leaves only, stems removed) or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F.
With your hands, mix the lemon zest into 4 teaspoons salt. Add the thyme and parsley. Mix well.
Rub the chickens all over with extra virgin olive oil, inside and out, and then repeat using the lemon salt/herb mixture. Be sure to get into those nooks and crannies. Grind fresh pepper over the chickens.
Pour 1/4 cup of the wine from each can into a roasting pan large enough to fit the two chickens. Set each prepared chicken on a wine can, so that the chickens are standing upright. Place the chickens in the roasting pan and adjust the racks in your oven to the lowest level to accommodate the pan.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F and the juices run clear when pierced into the thigh joint.
Serve the chicken with the pan juices.