We are very fortunate to have a beautiful grapevine at our home in Northwest Montana. Surprisingly, the chipmunks and wild birds do not seem to be interested in it, so we have a bounty of grapes to harvest each fall. Aside from making incredible grape juice ( I’m not quite ready to become a winemaker at this point), I have discovered a fantastic dish transforming the rather humble boneless chicken breast into something extra special.
The sauce is sweet yet savory. This dish is super simple to put together making it perfect for week night dinners, yet special enough for company. If you do not have the luxury of your own grapes, store bought deep purple or red seedless grapes will work beautifully producing a silky sauce. Give this recipe a try.
Chicken with roasted grapes
- 2-3 lbs of seedless grapes, set aside 12-15 whole grapes
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 1 TBS whole fennel seeds
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS butter
- 2 TBS sherry vinegar
- 1 shallot chopped fine
- 3 springs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or chicken stock
Method- Serves 4
- Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place grapes ( reserve some whole grapes for roasting) in a blender and puree. Strain through a fine sieve to remove the skins . You should have 2-3 cups of juice.
- Place sherry vinegar in a small bowl – add chopped shallots into the sherry vinegar and let rest for 5 minutes until softened. Save vinegar.
- In a dry skillet, toast the fennel seeds and rosemary until fragrant – about 5 minutes, taking care not to burn. Set aside until cooled. Place in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until fine. Add 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of freshly ground pepper to the fennel mixture.
- Slice chicken breasts in half length wise. Sprinkle the fennel mixture on the chicken coating both sides well.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Sauté chicken until browned on each side. Then remove chicken from skillet- saving pan juices- and place browned chicken on a roasting pan with reserved additional whole grapes. Roast for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Cover with foil to rest.
- In pan juices, sauté the shallots in vinegar to deglaze the pan until softened. On low heat, add broth, 1 TBS butter and reserved grape juice. Increase heat to a boil and let sauce cook until thickened about 10 minutes. You should have about 1 cup of sauce once reduced.
- Add chicken & roasted grapes to pan and reduce heat to a simmer until warmed through.
- Transfer to a platter to serve.