Make Ahead

Roast chicken legs with garlic and grapes

August 25, 2020
1 Ratings
Photo by Anna | Serving Dumplings
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is my favorite roast chicken. Marinated in white wine, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, then roasted until golden brown and crispy.
It’s a dish that can be prepared in advance and can easily feed a crowd. It’s a perfect dinner – easy for a mid week cooking but pretty and tasty enough to serve at a weekend dinner party.
Salty and sweet at the same time, all thanks to the marinade and grapes. It’s not the first time that I cooked/roasted grapes and I’ll definitely be doing it again. They add the perfect balance of sweetness to the chicken along with the garlic, thyme and white wine.
I chose to use chicken legs but you are welcome to use a whole chicken cut into pieces. I like the uniformity in size of the legs because they all pretty much cook for the same amount of time.
We start preparing the chicken a day in advance, marinate it and leave it in the fridge overnight, then sprinkled with a little bit of brown sugar and smoked paprika before it goes into the oven. Doing this helps the chicken take on a nice golden finish and a super crispy skin. The finished dish is so good… a lovely rich buttery sauce with tender juicy chicken. It’s simple elegant yet unbeatably tasty and fancy to serve.
Served the chicken with pearl couscous, but I’m sure it’s also delicious accompanied by garlic roasted baby potatoes or bread. —Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings

What You'll Need
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 5 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 pound black grapes
  1. In a shallow baking pan, combine chicken legs, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and white wine. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
  2. When ready to cook. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the chicken from the fridge. Rub with the cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, crushed fennel seeds, tarragon, lemon juice and light brown sugar. Divide the thyme sprigs and bay leaves between the chicken, but don’t add the grapes yet. Turn the chicken upside down, turn garlic heads cut side down so they are in contact with the baking dish. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Next, turn the legs with the skin up, drizzle all over with melted butter and roast for 40 minutes. Drizzle the chicken from time to time with the pan juices, add some water if needed. The chicken is ready when the meat is nicely browned and almost falling off the bone.
  3. Now, add the grapes and turn the garlic cut-side up. Roast for 15 minutes more at 350°F. Let the chicken cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings
    Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings
  • Dennisje

4 Reviews

Dennisje October 14, 2023
This recipe tasted good, the way I made it, but it is very much incomplete the way you posted it. Can you please update it to include all the ingredients and measurements?
Anna C. October 15, 2023
So sorry for the inconvenience, the recipe is fixed. Have a great weekend!
Dennisje October 15, 2023
Thank you so much!
FrugalCat October 12, 2020
I used dry vermouth. Love cooking with chicken legs- so good and inexpensive. Moon Drops grapes are around for a short time (the long, skinny black grapes) so I used those. Served this with rice and some broccoli I had roasted along with the chicken.