Roast Chicken with Grapes

Whole roast chicken, stuffed with grapes and seasoned with rosemary, thyme, onions, and lemon.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 5.

Ingredients

  • 1 roasting chicken, about 4 to 5 pounds
  • 1 lemon, cut into thin wedges
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut into eight wedges
  • 1 large bunch of seedless grapes (about 3 cups total)
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, sage, and/or tarragon
  • 2 cups of white wine (can substitute chicken stock)
  • Olive oil

Method

1 Let chicken sit at room temperature (70°F) for at least an hour so it comes close to room temp before roasting.

2 Preheat oven to 450°F. Pat the chicken dry. Rub inside and outside of chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle inside and outside with salt and pepper. Remove about a cup's worth of grapes from their stems and cut in half. Insert grapes into cavity. Add a couple onion wedges into the cavity, along with a few sprigs of fresh herbs. You do not need to remove the rosemary from its stem. Add a couple lemon wedges to the cavity.

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3 Line the bottom of a roasting pan with onion slices and lemon wedges. Place the chicken on a roasting rack in the roasting pan, on top of the lemon wedges and onion, breast side down. (Alternatively you can place the chicken directly in the pan, resting on the onions, in which case the breast meat will braise in the juices, instead of roasting.)

Place sprigs of herbs and slices of lemon between the wings and the body of the chicken. Arrange any remaining grapes, lemon wedges, and herbs in the pan.

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4 Roast at 450°F for 25 minutes. Then baste with a cup of the wine and reduce the heat to 400°F. Cook for 30 minutes more and baste again with the 2nd cup of wine. Cook for another 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken) until the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into the chicken thigh, or when the temperature reading of a meat thermometer, inserted deep into the thigh, reads 160°F.

5 Remove the roast from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the chicken will continue to rise.

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6 Carve the chicken. Turn the chicken so that it is breast side up on a carving board. First separate the legs (drumstick and thigh) from the body. Then cut away the wings. Make a cut down the breast bone. Continue to cut down on one side of the breast bone, cutting the breast away from the carcass, following the curvature of the rib cage as you cut. Repeat on the other side. Slice the breasts crosswise to serve. Arrange the pieces on a platter, surrounded by grapes and caramelized onions from the roasting pan. Spoon pan sauce over the chicken pieces, and serve.

Serve with rice or egg noodles.

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Comments

  1. roland

    I served the chicken with grilled asparagus and garlic whipped potatoes. I marinated the asparagus in balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar and white wine vinegar while the chicken was cooking, then I grilled them on the gas grill. The grapes kept the chicken really moist, which my guests commented on!

  2. joey

    Just tried this out and it was a roaring success! The flavor was excellent and the chicken was oh-so-juicy. This “breast-side-down” position really did the trick methinks! I had to change it around a little because of our lack of fresh rosemary and a small amount of leftover champagne we had that was begging to be used. I’ll be sharing the results in my blog soon…thanks for one incredible roast chicken!

  3. Sarah

    Hello, I am going to try this recipe and just one quick question, is the white wine only used for basting? You don’t have to add it into the chicken before roasting right?

    That is correct. The wine is for basting. As you baste the chicken with the wine, the wine will collect in the bottom of the pan with the juices from the chicken and help flavor the resulting sauce. ~Elise

  4. Faisal

    My girlfriend and I prepared his chicken a couple weeks ago and it was AMAZING! The chicken was tender and the grapes added a subtle sweetness to the chicken. We were both pretty worried because the oven wasn’t working properly, and we had put a little too much rosemary around the chicken, but with a little oven tweaking, it turned out perfect. We had planned on taking pictures, but it looked so delicious that we just couldn’t help eating it all! :)

  5. cecena

    Hi Elise,

    Thanks for posting your recipe on the web and sharing it. This is one of the few of your recipe I tried this holiday season and all of them turn out great. As I’m a Malaysian Chinese, beside salt and pepper I marinated the chicken with pureed ginger and lemon grass overnight before draining them and back with pureed apple, orange and salt and pepper to taste which turn-out to be very delicious. Once again thanks

  6. Vladimir

    I’ve made this twice. It’s not a bold taste, but very much worthwhile to make, especially if you have some extra grapes. We were in wine country here and came back with a bunch of white wine grapes. (not especially sweet) It is nicely subtle, and one may want to play around with the spices. A good amount of fresh thyme seemed to do the trick the second time. Also, I’m not too crazy about the breast being by being down in the pan, being braised in the cooking juices. I perched it on lemon slices and onions (most the formers) and it seemed to come out just right and came out the right kind of moist and flavorful.

  7. Amanda

    Thanks for the delicious recipe… I found your website about a week ago and have been so excited to make this… needless to say it was a huge hit.

  8. Cecilia

    Hello Elise. I have seen many “chicken with grapes” recipes and have always been curious about the flavor. Yours is so simple and sounds so tasty that I am planning on trying it this Friday for our “dinner date night” with my husband.
    I know you posted this a while ago but I have a question for you. Have you ever prepared this with portioned chicken? I have a chicken roaster that I sectioned into portions after purchasing for convenient freezing (as it’s just two of us here and we’d be hard-pressed to eat a whole roast chicken at one time!) I wanted to use a breast and thigh/leg to prepare this. Do you know if that would work and how I might adjust the recipe to do so?
    Thank You in advance!

    Hello Ceclia – this recipe is really for a whole chicken given that the grapes are stuffed inside the cavity. Your guess is as good as mine in terms how to to adjust it for individual parts versus the whole. ~Elise

  9. CourtneyLeigh

    Elise,

    Currently the oven is OOO [Out of Order], which has forced me to try a bunch of stove top, and or crockpot recipes – which has been an amazing adventure. I love your recipe, just what I was looking for. Will be trying this with grape jam, herbs, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, vidalia onion all in the crock pot with boneless chicken parts!
    Finally had the guts to research chicken and grapes – and your results have cinched the decision to go ahead and try this combination.
    Thanks!

    What a great idea, I love the vidalia onions. If you go this route, I suggest browning the chicken parts first on the stove-top before putting them in the crockpot. ~Elise

  10. Eileen Goddard

    this looks amazing! a great idea to use grapes…..can’t wait to give it a try. i am a novice cook myself, but the first time i ever tried to roast a chicken i ended up cooking it upside down. when i tried to carve it, i wondered where all the breast meat had gone :) i will never admit what year that happened……it was embarrassingly recent!

  11. Jeanne

    Grapes are one of my favorite fruits to combine with chicken (along with balsamic vinegar), but I have NEVER thought of stuffing the cavity of a bird with them. Must try, and soon!

  12. Museummom

    While the flavors were wonderful and the chicken was very moist, I actually used half the amount of wine suggested for basting because the fruit and onions in the pan were swimming and not roasting. While the chicken was resting, I removed the pan juices (separating the fat) into a sauce pan, and put the onions/grapes/lemons under the broiler to finish. I boiled the pan juices until they were a little thickened. This all worked, but required a little more effort than the recipe suggested. Oh, and I used chives from my garden as the herb which tasted great!

  13. Nancy

    The chicken was so moist and delicious! I will definitely make this again. However, as Museummom posted, the onion, grapes and lemons were doing the breast stroke and I had to reduce the liquids which took a bit of time. I cut all the grapes in half so I’m wondering since your recipe didn’t indicate that the ones in the pan should be left whole that was the reason for all the excess liquid. If not, I’ll probably baste each time with a half cup of wine. In order to brown the breast, would you recommend beginning the roasting with breast side up, or finish the last 20 minutes breast side up?

    To brown the breast I would finish the last 20 minutes breast side up. ~Elise