This is a favorite chicken recipe of ours with a Mediterranean flair. I found it on the Witty in the City website, but she got it from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I’m not sure if she changed it, but I use chicken thighs instead of legs and thighs and I doubled the amount of grapes and added a little extra shallot.
And, with grapes in season in the markets right now, they’re a good buy. The dish goes together quickly because you can prep all the ingredients while the chicken is searing and make your side dishes while it’s in the oven and the sauce is reducing. Dinner is ready in an hour.
Chicken with Grapes and Olives
5 chicken thighs (or 3 leg quarters divided into legs and thighs), 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of chicken
2 teaspoons vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
2 to 3 shallots finely chopped, about 1/3 cup
2 cups red seedless grapes
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Trim extra fat from chicken, pat dry, and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat (7 on my electric stove). When the pan is hot, add the chicken skin side down. Don’t crowd the pan. (If necessary, brown chicken in two batches.)
Sear the chicken about 5 or 6 minutes on each side, turning only once. You want it nice and brown. If there’s more than a tablespoon of fat in the pan when you’re done, spoon the excess out. Arrange chicken in pan in a single layer skin side up. Sprinkle with shallots, grapes and olives.
Bake in preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes. I find 25 is perfect for the thighs. Remove from oven. Spoon chicken, olives, grapes and shallots onto a serving platter and tent with foil.
Place skillet over medium-high heat and add white wine and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and let the sauce reduce by half, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with rosemary and serve.
This is good over rice (the website suggested couscous), but is just as good with a simple salad or green vegetable and some crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
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