Simple Roasted Grape Chicken + Aperol Spritz

September 30, 2014

This post is brought to you by our friends at Weight Watchers, who celebrate gathering together around the table to enjoy wholesome, beautiful food.

September can feel like a time of loss at the farmers market. Goodbye sweet peaches, so long crisp green beans, until next year juicy tomatoes. It’s a hard truth to face. Yet each farewell is met with a chirpy hello, thanks to plenty of new cool-weather additions. Perhaps our most anticipated is the most fleeting – grapes. 

Red, black, or green, we love them all. While you’ll likely find us devouring them raw, straight from the cluster, they get jammy and crisp when roasted alongside chicken legs and dressed in a pan sauce spiked with vermouth. Serve the chicken with a light, bubbly Aperol Spritz and savor one of September’s bests before it, too, is lost.

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Click through on the recipe photos or titles to see (and save and print) the full recipes, but we've also written you a handy grocery list and game plan below.

Simple Roasted Grape Chicken by gingerroot


Aperol Spritz by Marian Bull

Grocery List

Serves 2

1/2 pound organic red seedless grapes
2 chicken legs
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 4 inches), cut in half
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot or onion
1/4 cup vermouth
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1 1/2 ounces Aperol

Prosecco, about 3 ounces
Orange wedge or twist, for garnish
Washed and dried frisée, for serving (optional)

We're assuming you have extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, butter, and ice. If not, be sure to add those to your list, too.

The Plan

1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.

2. Prep the ingredients for the roasted chicken: Wash and dry the grapes and remove their stems. Place them in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet and toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

3. Prep the chicken: Cut the chicken legs into drumsticks and thighs; pat dry. Place them in a bowl and add garlic, rosemary, 1 tablespoon olive oil, red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Combine using your hands, making sure to rub the aromatics into the chicken and evenly distribute the seasonings. Nestle the chicken pieces skin side up in the skillet, among the grapes. 

4. Cook the chicken: Roast the chicken and grapes for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and golden. During the last two minutes of cooking time, turn your oven to broil to crisp up the skin.

5. Make the pan sauce for the chicken: When the chicken is done, remove the skillet from the oven. Using tongs, transfer the chicken and 2/3 of the grapes to a plate. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the cooking fat (if necessary), being careful not to remove any of the flavorful dark, non-fatty juices. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the shallot or onion and vermouth. Cook, stirring and scraping, until the 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 the sauce has thickened. Cut 1 tablespoon of butter into cubes. Remove the pan from the heat, and incorporate one small piece of butter at a time, stirring between each addition. Taste for salt and acid and adjust if necessary. Stir in the minced parsley.

6. Make the spritz: Pour the Aperol over ice in a large wine glass, tumbler, or whatever vessel you like. Top with Prosecco and garnish with an orange wedge or twist. 

8. Plate the chicken and enjoy: Arrange the chicken pieces and some roasted grapes atop a bed of frisée (if using) on individual plates. Spoon the warm sauce over the chicken and enjoy.

This post is brought to you by Weight Watchers. Need ideas for dinner tomorrow? They've got you covered. Show us what you're cooking with the hashtag #biteintolife!

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Sheela Prakash is a food and wine writer, recipe developer, and the author of Salad Seasons: Vegetable-Forward Dishes All Year and Mediterranean Every Day: Simple, Inspired Recipes for Feel-Good Food. Her writing and recipes can be found in numerous online and print publications, including Kitchn, Epicurious, Food52, Serious Eats, Tasting Table, The Splendid Table, Simply Recipes, Culture Cheese Magazine, Clean Plates, and Slow Food USA. She received her master's degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, holds Level 2 and Level 3 Awards in Wines from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), graduated from New York University's Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, and is also a Registered Dietitian.

1 Comment

deblenares October 2, 2014
I think you got the order of the steps in the recipe wrong. Step six should be step one.