Harvest Roast Chicken with Grapes, Kalamata Olives, and Fresh Rosemary

This recipe comes out of Deb Perelman‘s Smitten Kitchen cookbook. I’ve had this cookbook for two years but this was the first time making something from it. It was a definite winner! I used both chicken breasts and thighs (with the skin on). While chicken thighs are a better choice for this recipe, I prefer to eat chicken breast and it was moist and flavorful using this recipe.

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RECIPE (Adapted from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken (thighs and breasts), with skin on
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup seedless red table grapes
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (here, sauvignon blanc)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and place a rack in the center of the oven. Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides and heat a 12-inch cast-iron over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil and half of the chicken to the pan, skin-side down. Sear the chicken on both sides until the chicken skin turns a golden color, around five minutes per batch. Remove the chicken, put it on a plate, and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Remove the pan from the heat, then return all of the chicken to the pan, skin side up, and surround with the sliced shallots, olives, and grapes. Place in the oven and cook, undisturbed, for about twenty minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked through and juices run clear when pierced.

Transfer the chicken, olives, grapes, and shallots to a platter. Return the skillet to the stovetop and heat on medium-high.  Add the sauvignon blanc and reduced sodium chicken stock, allowing the liquid to boil. Scrape up the browned bits as the sauce reduces, around three to five minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with the chopped fresh rosemary.

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This is a pretty simple recipe to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. I used jarred kalamata olives from Mezzetta and plain red seedless table grapes. This recipe calls for a dry white wine; though unoaked chardonnay is a good varietal to use in chicken dishes, I’m not a huge chardonnay fan. Here, I used a dry sauvignon blanc from Starborough Winery that ended up pairing well with the flavor notes in this dish.

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Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and thighs. Raw chicken doesn’t photograph too well!

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Brown the chicken pieces, skin side down first. I used a standard size cast iron skillet so I did this step in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. The recipe called for olive oil but I subbed this out for canola oil. You want the chicken to turn a nice golden color during this step.

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I sliced the shallots while the chicken browned in the pan. The shallots were a nice touch but yellow onion would also work in the recipe.

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Add the grapes, kalamata olives, and shallots to the pan. These ingredients should fill the spaces around the chicken, but I was lazy and just threw them in there. It still turned out well 🙂 Once you finish cooking the chicken in the oven, remove the chicken, grapes, olives, and shallots from the pan. You’ll be left with the juices.

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Move the skillet to the stovetop and heat over medium. Add the white wine and chicken stock to the pan, allow to boil, and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan as the sauce reduces. Pour this sauce over the dish before serving.

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The finished product. 🙂 I poured extra sauce over my plate and used sourdough bread to mop it up. This sauce is DELICIOUS.

So what’s the verdict on this recipe? Try it; it’s fabulous! It was easy to make and the flavors melded so well together. Sometimes grapes are too sweet and kalamata olives too salty. Together? They were perfect. The flavors were simple, yet flavorful. It was the perfect fall meal and I will definitely be making this recipe again.

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