10K to Dinner Party (or the day after I violated a chicken)

10K in the morning, dinner party in the evening. Sounds like great planning right? I think I didn’t really take in to account how tired I would be after the 10K. But after a nap, I was ready to host three of my guy friends for an Italian feast.

I ended up running the Amica Iron Horse 10K in Simsbury with my bud Nicole. In fact, she made it a goal that I had to accomplish before I left New Haven for Baltimore. I was definitely intimidated by the run–6.2 miles is LONG!!! It even seems long to me when I am driving…lol Added to the intimidation, my right leg decided to act a fool the day prior to the race. I don’t know if I slept wrong or what, but it felt like my leg was slightly numb–like I pinched a nerve.

But with all of my fussing and my crazy leg, I was able to finish the race under an hour and 20 minutes, so I am happy. But I also realized from training for this race that I need to step up my cross training game, so I can make sure I am steadily building up my aerobic capacity.  Thank God for running friends. Nicole gave me some great suggestions and I plan to implement them while I am in training for the next four months for this half marathon.

Now about that dinner party. I decided to have a few of my guy friends over for dinner because I had promised one of them that I would cook for them a long time ago. And you know when you mention food to guys they don’t forget, so I needed to find a way to fit in a dinner for him before I moved. Unfortunately, the day of the 10K was the only day that worked.

I decided to go with an Italian theme–I made broiled eggplant and served it with wine soaked cheese and tomatoes in balsamic vinaigrette, zucchini and yellow squash noodles sautéed with garlic, creamy pasta with pancetta and peas, toasted bread, corn (I know it doesn’t fit the Italian theme, but I needed to get rid of it…lol) and the piece de resistance– roasted “wine-in-a-mason jar” Tuscan chicken.

As always, I came across the idea for my chicken recipe by perusing the web. I knew I wanted to make a chicken dish, as it is a way to feed a lot of people for cheap, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to prepare it. I ended up finding a recipe called Tuscan Beer Can Chicken and decided to modify it to my taste. In this recipe, you basically take a beer can, drink about half of it and then stuff it up in the chicken’s crevice and then roast it until it’s done. I had to switch out the beer for another alcoholic beverage because I really don’t like beer.

So in my modification, I took a mason jar, filled it half way with a sweet white wine and then stuck it up the chicken. Honestly, I felt like I was violating the chicken when I was doing that. I know it was dead, but it just felt weird doing it….lol. After the mason jar was in place I sat the chicken on a roasting pan using the chicken’s legs as anchors. It sort of looked like the chicken was on the toilet bowl. I then made a rub using olive oil, brown sugar, and this Tuscan seasoning spice that I had bought from Penzey’s spices, and rubbed it all over the chicken.

It then roasted in the oven for about 2 hours until the internal temperature read at 180F and came out looking like this:

Doesn’t the chicken look like she’s on the toilet? It was an interesting way to prepare the chicken, but it came out so tender and flavorful. The wine kept the chicken’s meat so tender that it was literally almost falling off the bones when it was cut. The guys loved it as well! I definitely will be making this again.

Here’s the recipe:

Roasted “wine-in-a-mason jar” Tuscan chicken

  • 1 roasting chicken (3 or 4 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon Tuscan seasoning (or your own favorite spice mixture)
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your stove.

The original recipe cooks the chicken on the grill, but I cooked it in the stove. Click here for the original recipe.


1 Preheat oven to 350 F.

2 Remove neck and giblets from cavity of chicken, if the chicken came with them. Mix the salt, pepper, brown sugar, olive oil, and seasoning of your choice together in a bowl. Rub the chicken all over with the rub.

3 Make sure the mason jar is left open, and only half-filled with wine (have a glass of the wine while you are doing this, it will make it fun..lol) If you want, you can put a sprig of thyme (or another herb like rosemary or sage) in the jar. Lower the chicken on to the open jar, so that the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its cavity. Place the chicken in a roasting pan using the legs and mason jar as a tripod to support the chicken in the pan and keep it stable.

4 Place in the oven for  2 hours(or less depending on your oven) until the internal temperature of the chicken is 180 F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, a way to tell if the chicken is done is to poke it deeply with a knife (the thigh is a good place to do this), if the juices run clear, not pink, the chicken is done.

5 Carefully transfer the chicken to a tray or pan. I say “carefully” because the mason jar, and the wine inside of it, is quite hot. One way to do this is to slide a metal spatula under the bottom of the mason jar. Use tongs to hold the top of the chicken. Lift the chicken, mason jar still inside, and move it to a tray. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Carefully lift the chicken off of the jar. If it gets stuck, lay the chicken on its side, and pull out the jar with tongs.

Yield: Serves 4.

Click here for the  original recipe.

This entry was posted in being present, cooking, italiano, martha stewart eat your heart out, recipes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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