Cast Iron

Roast Chicken with Mustard and Grapes

October 14, 2009
13 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

I’ll admit that I don’t eat as much fruit as I should, but when grapes are in season, I can never resist bringing some home from our farmers’ market. I’m always looking for savory applications for grapes, and I have come to love using them to dress up pan sauces. This one features both mustard seeds and Dijon mustard, as well as the warm, lemony flavor of coriander. I think the combination works really well, and makes a great accent to a simple plate of roast chicken – it’s easy enough for a weeknight, but elegant enough for company. Note: I prefer to use a light homemade chicken broth – if you are using a commercial brand, use an unsalted variety so you can control the level of sodium. As far as the Dijon goes, I like it really sharp – Maille Extra Hot is a favorite. - lastnightsdinner —lastnightsdinner

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is living proof that keeping things simple often yields great results. By creating a pan sauce with a few carefully chosen ingredients, lastnightsdinner takes roast chicken and elevates it to elegance. The headliner is the mustard (she calls for both Dijon and brown mustard seeds), but no less important are its four sidekicks: toasted coriander, lots of finely chopped shallot, fresh thyme and red grapes. By combining these with a little chicken broth and the pan drippings in the cast iron skillet in which you've already cooked the chicken, you end up with a sauce that belies the relative simplicity of the dish. It's simultaneously creamy, tangy, aromatic and a bit nutty (we're guessing from the coriander?). Its skin having been salted and left to dry in the refrigerator overnight, the roast chicken is both crisp and tender, and the half-cooked grapes pop pleasantly in your mouth, leaving their sweetness behind. We're pretty certain we could eat this every day. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  1. Season the chicken pieces aggressively with Kosher salt and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 °F.
  3. Toast the coriander seeds in a dry skillet for a few minutes until fragrant. Remove and crush in a mortar and pestle
  4. Arrange the chicken in a cast iron skillet or other ovenproof pan. Place in the oven and roast for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 (remembering that the chicken will continue to cook as it rests).
  5. Remove the chicken to a platter and tent loosely with foil.
  6. Pour off all but about 2 teaspoons of the fat from the pan, then add the shallots and grapes. (Note: if you aren’t using particularly fatty pieces of chicken, you may need to add a little olive or vegetable oil instead.) Cook over medium heat until the shallot is softened, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the crushed coriander seeds and the mustard seeds to the pan, then add the broth. Whisk in the Dijon until it is incorporated, then cook until the sauce is reduced by half. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
  8. Stir in the fresh thyme leaves, move the chicken pieces to individual plates or a serving platter, then spoon the sauce over the chicken pieces.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sydney Larson
    Sydney Larson
  • Rebecca Cherry
    Rebecca Cherry
  • juliunruly
  • Chef Tracy D
    Chef Tracy D
  • linzarella

41 Reviews

Linda D. March 26, 2021
What a great combination of flavors! Thank you!
Mary P. September 25, 2019
This was not a winner recipe for my family. The sauce was salty even without using any additional salt and there was a bitter undertone. We used red table grapes that added no sweetness to offset everything else.
Jayne P. July 7, 2021
I thought this looked lovely, but wondered about the mustard seeds - they can be really bitter, but they do vary enormously. I might try this recipe but just with the Dijon and coriander seeds. I'll let you know how I get on.
Tracey R. March 18, 2019
A really good recipe. Thanks
Sydney L. December 8, 2018
Solid recipe. Used ground coriander and black mustard seed because that's what I had.
Beth T. April 29, 2018
The sauce was so good and such a pretty color from the grapes. The brown mustard seeds were a little bitter.
pottsy.1990 April 8, 2018
looking forward to trying this one! I’m going to make it for 4 of us. What sides would work well for a spring dinner? I was thinking maybe it needs a starchy something and something fresh & bright...
Beth T. April 29, 2018
There is so much taste with the sauce that I made simple sides: rice and asparagus. I thought about fresh peas but decided it would be competing flavors.
Rebecca C. September 29, 2015
This was becoming a lost recipe in my collection (and yours, I see). But, this week's yield from the local farmers' market gave us grapes galore! An easy recipe to use a decent amount of Canadice seedless red grapes - they're small so I halved some and not others. We have revived a keeper! Who knew?
juliunruly March 17, 2013
This is fabulous. Served with the thyme roasted carrots with goat cheese, also from this site, and it was a lovely dinner.
Chef T. February 8, 2013
Loved this! And so easy to make!
cancook January 9, 2012
Made this last night - absolutely fabulous. Didn't realize I was out of coriander until I started, so I seasoned the chicken rather heavily with Trader Joe's "Everyday Seasoning" which has quite a bit of coriander. It's a very versatile seasoning and I think it really added a kick. Served it with a white, brown rice and barley medley to soak up the unbelievable sauce!
j.palimpsest October 23, 2011
This recipe is the reason I now have a stove-top to oven skillet. Well worth the purchase.
linzarella May 6, 2011
just discovered this recipe and made it for the first time a few nights ago. there were only two of us, so after the chicken was gone i had a lot of leftover sauce lingering in the fridge for a few days. was about to throw it out, but then i tasted it, and it was so good i almost ate it like a bowl of soup. this already great sauce definitely improved after a few days in the fridge. any ideas what else it might be good on?
arielleclementine February 1, 2011
we just ate this for dinner and it was so wonderful! what a perfectly lovely sauce! thanks for the recipe :)
lastnightsdinner February 2, 2011
Hooray, and thank you!
TheWimpyVegetarian January 30, 2011
Made this for a dinner party last night and it was really great! Thanks for a great recipe lnd!
lastnightsdinner January 30, 2011
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it!
pauljoseph June 5, 2010
Thanks for this great recipe!
lastnightsdinner June 6, 2010
Thank you!
This was so good - we really enjoyed it and it was easy. Thanks for a great recipe!
lastnightsdinner March 21, 2010
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it!
AntoniaJames December 16, 2009
Mmmmmm, yum. This looks so good. I can't wait to try it. The grapes at the Farmers Market are gorgeous these days, so I'm going to try it this weekend, to serve to my boys (who will both be home!) They will love it, I'm sure.
lastnightsdinner December 16, 2009
Our grape season here is fleeting and long past, but I love that you still have local grapes available - and I very much hope you like this!
AntoniaJames December 16, 2009
I've never used them in a warm dish before! Occasionally I put them in a curried chicken salad. Actually, I don't use grapes much. My mother never bought them when I was growing up, as she was supporting Cesar Chavez and his farmworkers' boycott, which seemed to last forever. This dish sounds delightful though, with the sharp vs. sweet flavors; the coriander is a brilliant touch. I have in mind a nice seasonal salad to serve with this. Stay tuned . . . . I will be posting the recipe for it next week!
mt97 December 16, 2009

I made this for my "last night's dinner" and it killed. This chicken dish is wonderful. It's easy, kind of elegant and downright tasty. Definitely a keeper in the weekly/monthly rotation. Big ups to you!
lastnightsdinner December 16, 2009
Oh, excellent - I'm so glad you liked it!
Tamio888 December 15, 2009
Oh, baby....! We did it! I had the thyme ready, but, forgot to get in at the last minute, but, it was GREAT!!!!

lastnightsdinner December 16, 2009
Awesome - so glad you liked it!
Tamio888 November 3, 2009
Hey, LND, I'm still swooning over the Tom and Gingers from the launch party. This will be the first thing I make when my wife comes home from Japan.
lastnightsdinner November 3, 2009
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the drink and I hope you and your wife enjoy this, too! Nice meeting you!