Simple Roasted Grape Chicken

By • October 5, 2012 • 49 Comments

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Author Notes: Having just picked up some whole chicken legs I decided to roast them with grapes for an easy and flavorful weeknight meal. Served on a bed of CSA frisée (loved how the savory sauce dressed the greens) with steamed quinoa on the side, it was a delicious step up from our typical weeknight fare. gingerroot

Food52 Review: I never would have thought to combine roasted chicken and grapes in a dish, but the recipe that gingerroot has created is unbelievably delicious comfort food fare. The technique is indeed simple, as the title says, but the resulting flavors are anything but. Roasting at high heat brings out the essence of the tender, moist chicken and the sweet grapes. A quick pan sauce, made with some of the roasted grapes, vermouth and chicken stock, adds a lovely depth of flavor. This dish comes together quickly making it an excellent weeknight choice, but it’s fancy enough to impress company. I served this dish with polenta to both children and adults, and everyone devoured it and asked for more. cookinginvictoria

Serves 2

For the grapes and chicken

  • 1/2 pound organic red seedless grapes
  • 2 chicken legs
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 4”), cut in half
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • washed and dried frisée, for serving (optional)

For the pan sauce

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot or onion
  • 1/4 cup vermouth
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
  • Salt
  • splashes Lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Wash and dry grapes. Remove stems and place in a 12” ovenproof skillet. Toss grapes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  3. Cut chicken legs into drumsticks and thighs and pat dry. Place in a bowl, adding garlic, rosemary, 1 tablespoon olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Combine using your hands, making sure to rub aromatics into chicken and evenly distribute seasonings. Nestle chicken pieces skin side up in the skillet, among the grapes. Roast chicken and grapes for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and golden. During the last two minutes of cooking time, turn your oven to broil to crisp up the skin.
  4. Using tongs, transfer chicken and 2/3 of grapes to a plate. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of cooking fat (if necessary), being careful not to remove any of the flavorful dark, non-fatty juices. Turn heat to medium high and add shallot or onion and vermouth. Cook, stirring and scraping until wine has reduced, the shallot (or onion) is soft, and the bottom of the pan is clean. Add chicken stock, turning down heat if necessary, and reduce until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat, and incorporate butter one small cube at a time, stirring between each addition. Taste for salt and acid and adjust if necessary. Stir in minced parsley.
  5. Arrange chicken pieces and some roasted grapes on individual plates on a bed of frisée (if using). Spoon warm sauce over chicken, serve, and enjoy.
Jump to Comments (49)

Comments (49) Questions (1)

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1 day ago michael.sidman.5

This is one of the most elegant and wonderful recipes I've made in a long time. Thank you!

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8 days ago Nyborg

Just realized that I didn't use the butter. Really didn't need it! Thx for the recipe.

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8 days ago Nyborg

Made this tonight with all the ingredients. Extremely tasty. Not the fastest weeknight dish, but delicious. Great for a dinner party.

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8 days ago gingerroot

Hi Nyborg, so happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know.

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22 days ago Whitney GB

this turned out awesome, and my kids loved the sweet grapes. I failed on the rosemary, though, and I think that would have added a lot. Still, it was great. I will definitely make it again. Great weeknight supper but has crossover value to serve to guests.

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8 days ago gingerroot

Thanks so much for letting me know, Whitney! So glad it was enjoyed by adults and kids.

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5 months ago teeokeefe

Beyond delicious. didn't even make/complete the pan sauce (husband was famished) and it was good as is. Next time, I'll make it though and I'm looking forward to it! Thank YOU!

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5 months ago gingerroot

You're welcome, teeokeefe! I'm so glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for letting me know!

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12 months ago deanna1001

This was heavenly! The smell alone is worth it. Served over left-over mashed sweet potatoes with tomato Provençal and salad. Brava!

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12 months ago deanna1001

Oh...minor subs...thyme instead of rosemary, no stock so used water and cut the butter in half. Timing perfect. Great weeknight recipe. Thanks!

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8 months ago gingerroot

Thank you deanna1001! Not sure how I missed your comment - I'm thrilled you enjoyed this.

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8 months ago deanna1001

Made it again but with rosemary this time. So lovely. So perfect for serving 2. Will likely have it for dinner tomorrow. Really love this recipe...

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about 1 year ago Geni

This was delish! I used vodka (about 1/3 C) and thought there wouldn't be enough sauce, but I served it with brown rice and the amount was perfect. I liked marydtombs's idea of tossing carrots in some of the sauce as well. I used thighs, but will try using bone-in, skin-on breasts next time and possibly reduce the butter at the end in a meager attempt to reduce the fat so that my 70 yo arteries will be happier. Thanks to all who enter recipes and to those who review them......I love reading every word!!

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about 1 year ago gingerroot

Hi Geni, thanks for letting me know. I'm happy you enjoyed this!

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about 1 year ago Monisha

This was ridiculously delicious. We had a block party yesterday and came back home with leftover chicken that didn't make it to the grill. Our version of this recipe strayed in a few ways: (1) seasoning (2) used de-seeded concord grapes from our vines (3) no vermouth or butter (4) did not add garlic to the chicken, added it later to the sauce. The outcome: ridiculously good, tender chicken with or without the sauce. I have to admit the sauce was incredible too. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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about 1 year ago gingerroot

You are welcome, Monisha! Sorry for the belated reply...somehow I missed this until now. So glad you enjoyed. I'm also jealous of your concord vines! : )

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over 1 year ago whmcdevitt

i think the problem with turkey is that you need to cook it through and it looses it's
moisture. try it with chicken breast next time. i have and it very good. one other suggestion cook it at a lower temp legs and thighs can hold up in a 450 degree oven. it is very good i've made this so many times with great results!!

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over 1 year ago Jcrater

Made last night with turkey breast. I overlooked the turkey a little, but the sauce was great

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almost 2 years ago Tbird

2nd time's the charm! Love this recipe, so prepping it on aThursday night this time, rather than waiting for the weekend. Yumm!!!

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Yay! Thanks for letting me know. Happy New Year, Tbird!

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almost 2 years ago JadeTree

Delicious! I doubled this for a family of four and cleverly divided the ingredients between two baking dishes....forgetting about the deglazing at the end. Oops! It does double beautifully and it is entirely possible to remove the chicken and fat from the un-stovetop safe dishes, throw some liquor in the hot pans and semi-deglaze them in the oven (yes, it was a bit crazed, but I was not going to lose the pan juices) and then pour the resulting juices into a hot skillet and finish the sauce on the stovetop. Was also out of vermouth so used sherry, which was delicious. Next time will be more orthodox.

This was actually fun to make with small children since the de-stemming of grapes can be delegated and then the roasted grapes can be marveled at and enjoyed as a new taste. The four-year-old was too cool for it, but the 1 1/2 year-old feasted on the roasted fruit. A success!

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

I'm so glad! Thanks for letting me know, JadeTree. Love that your little one enjoyed the roasted fruit.

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almost 2 years ago tena

what is vermouth

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Hi Tena, dry vermouth is a fortified wine that has been infused with botanicals (herbs, spices, roots etc). Here is a more informative definition from Cook's Illustrated: http://www.cooksillustrated...

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almost 2 years ago taxidog

This was wonderful- I added some onions and roasted them too. The pan gravy was exactly what we needed; very homey. I made some polenta to soak up that gravy. I made it the night before the hurricane with the assumption we would lose power and therefore not be able to use the oven for a while. Thankfully this wasn't the case. Hope all of you are safe and warm.

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, taxidog! Apologies for my belated reply. I'm so happy you enjoyed this. Onions are a wonderful addition and serving it on polenta - yum! I'll have to do that next time. I'm glad you did not lose power - hopefully that has not changed.

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almost 2 years ago Tbird

Okay - this is now a staple recipe for my family. I made this last night (Sunday dinner after a long Hurricane Sandy filled week), along with the Arugula salad with roasted Sweet Potatoes. A perfect combination - particularly if served on the same plate as the sauce and the dressing combine marvelously! This is a wonderful Autumn meal - my wife said it was one of my best ever. Gingerroot.... thanks for this. What's next?!

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Oh gosh, Tbird, I'm so glad you and your family enjoyed it! You've made my day. Thanks for letting me know. I love your pairing with the arugula and sweet potatoes. Yum!

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almost 2 years ago whmcdevitt

delicious!!!!!!

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Happy to hear it! Thanks for letting me know.

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almost 2 years ago marydtoombs

This was delicious and surprisingly, my husband loved it with my revisions... I used boneless, skinless breasts and topped them with a slice of bacon to keep them moist. Also, I didn't have vermouth so substituted vodka. The pan sauce was great. There was no chicken leftover, so for lunch the next day, I tossed the grapes and sauce with cooked carrots and egg noodles which was also yum. Thanks for this creative idea.

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Thanks for letting me know! Love your use of the bacon.

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almost 2 years ago Nushin

Do you think I could use all chicken breasts instead of the legs?

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almost 2 years ago KaKaKaKatie

I did this and it was great! I used boneless skinless chicken breasts because I had them on hand. I cooked them at 400 rather than 450 for about 40 min. I turned on the broiler like the recipe suggests they were browned nicely. The grapes did not look as roasted as the picture above. The chicken turned out really well (and was healthier), but am definitely still going to try this recipe with leg quarters.

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Glad it worked out using b/s-less chicken breasts. I think you'll enjoy it with the leg quarters. Roasting them at high heat and their added flavor adds a lot to the dish (and really roasts the grapes!).

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Hi Nushin, using chicken breasts instead of the legs will work with slight modifications in temperature/time (see above comments from those who subbed breasts for legs). I think you'll lose a bit of the flavor that the leg quarters add, but I do like marydtoombs addition of some bacon to keep the b/s-less breasts moist. If you're using bone-in skin-on chicken breasts I think you could roast them at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes (or until cooked through).

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almost 2 years ago mtlabor

Such a great way to use grapes! Definitely going to have to check this out =)

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Thank you, mtlabor! Hope you enjoy it.

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almost 2 years ago Claire from Hivequeen

Sounds like a fantastic way to use those garden greens that have started getting a little bitter. Think I could sub a dry white wine for the vermouth?

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Hi Claire, You can definitely sub a dry white wine for the vermouth. I like using vermouth because I always have it on hand and it doesn't need to be refrigerated. Hope you enjoy it!

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almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Hi Claire, scratch my last comment about not needing to refrigerate vermouth. Although I never have with no ill effect, I will start keeping my bottle in the fridge. http://www.cooksillustrated...