Posts Tagged 'grapes'

Honey Roasted Chicken with Grapes

You won’t believe it. After getting up to 50 degrees for about an hour last week, it is now snowing again – 4 inches at my house so far.  And it is in the 30’s, so it’s not melting all that fast.  We are now within .1 inch of the all time snow record, causing the weather people to be mildly hysterical.

Roast chicken is a comforting dish, although the snow wasn’t the reason I made the chicken.  I roast a chicken probably every other week. I use the chicken in several ways – two drumsticks get taken for lunch, half the chicken breast is for dinner the first night, the thighs another night.  And I usually use the other half of the white meat for some other dish – this week it will be chicken and feta tabbouleh, which I will make tomorrow or the next day. Usually the roast chicken is nothing fancy, just some garlic powder and onion powder sprinkled on it. I have even been known to microwave the chicken. Microwaving actually makes a very juicy chicken, with a disgusting-looking skin.  But since you are going to remove the skin before eating it, it really doesn’t matter how it looks.

But back to properly roasted chicken.  This time I decided to try some fancier techniques: rubbing seasoning under the skin of the chicken so the flavor is there when the skin is removed; cooking at a high temperature and then reducing the heat.  I also had too many black grapes, so I decided to use them in the chicken.

Honey Roasted Chicken with Grapes

1 (4- to 5-lb.) whole chicken
1/3 cup honey
½ teaspoon garlic powder (or a clove of fresh garlic, crushed)
1 teaspoon dried chervil, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
about 1 cup of seedless grapes, halved – I used black grapes

Preheat oven to 450°. In a small bowl, stir together the honey, garlic or garlic powder, chervil, salt, and pepper.  Add a tablespoon of hot water if the honey is very thick.

Remove giblets from chicken, and reserve for another use (or feed them to your happy dogs). Rinse chicken, and pat dry. Gently loosen and lift skin from breast, thighs, and drumsticks with fingers, being careful not to tear skin. (Do not totally detach skin.) Rub honey mixture evenly underneath skin. Carefully replace skin. Place chicken, breast side up in a shallow roasting pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Pour any remaining honey mixture into the chicken’s cavity.  Place grapes into chicken’s cavity.  Tie drumsticks together. (The strange blue thing on the chicken is a food tie. My daughter gave me a sack of these for Christmas – sort of poultry bondage equipment.  They are a bit hard to use if your hands are greasy; they slip more than string).


Bake at 450° for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°, and bake 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 180°, covering loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Let chicken stand, covered, 10 minutes before slicing. Remove skin before serving.  Makes 4-6 servings at about 5 grams of fat/serving.

My analysis of this experimental chicken technique is that the honey and herbs under the skin were great.  They gave a wonderful flavor to the meat. The high temperature to low temperature roasting was mixed.  The meat was very juicy, but the skin got too brown. It really didn’t matter for flavor, since I took the skin off to serve it.  But if you want to make a nice presentation of the chicken on a platter, it might be better to cover the chicken loosely with foil earlier in the cooking process.  I also put chopped onions in with the grapes (you can see them in the picture below), but the flavor didn’t work at all, so I left them out of the recipe. Finally, I left the grapes whole, but they really should be halved, so I put them in the recipe as halved.



Chicken with Mustard and Grapes

In between all the baking, I experimented with a new dish.  Woman cannot live by cookies alone. (Hmm…is his really true, let’s see, 30 grams of fat per day divided by 2.5 grams per cookie…that would give me 12 cookies and a lot of non-fat cottage cheese for meals.)  OK, this is an easy but impressive dinner that comes together quickly.

Chicken with Mustard and Grapes

4 chicken breast halves, all visible fat removed
2 Tablespoons good mustard (I use Jack Daniels Hickory Smoked Mustard, but use your favorite
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoons dry mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter, divided
2 cups of non-fat low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of red grapes, halved
½ teaspoon dried chervil

Rub chicken breast on both sides with mustard.  Mix together flour, dry mustard, and salt.  Dredge chicken breasts in flour mixture, making sure they are evenly coated and shaking off excess flour.  Melt ½ of butter in a large frying pan over medium low heat.  Cook 2 chicken breasts at a time for 5-7 minutes/side, adding remaining butter for the second pair of chicken breasts.  Remove chicken breast from pan and keep warm.  Add chicken broth to pan, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to get up all of the browned bits in the pan.  Add grapes.  Cook ten minutes over medium heat.  Increase heat to medium high and cook 5-7 minutes, or until liquid reduces to about half.  Lower heat and add chicken breast to the grapes for 2 minutes to reheat.  Makes 4 servings at about 6 grams of fat/serving.  I served his over brown rice mix, but white rice or couscous would also be nice.


Variation: This would also be good with half sweeter white wine, like Riesling, and half broth.  But the grapes give a lovely sweetness to the sauce, so I didn’t think the wine was necessary.


I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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