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
Test Kitchen Notes
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
For the grapes and chicken
organic red seedless grapes
fresh rosemary (about 4”), cut in half
1 1/2 tablespoons
red wine vinegar
washed and dried frisée, for serving (optional)
For the pan sauce
minced shallot or onion
unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (room temperature)
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.
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.
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.
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.
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.