As Thanksgiving quickly approaches I can’t help but think of big roasted turkeys or chicken, family and friends around a long communal dinner table, veggies being passed around and wine being poured. It’s my favorite time of year. This year, if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd or just don’t want to take on an intimidating turkey, I have just the recipe for you : Roasted Chicken and Grapes.
We served this for gathering of friends just the other night. There were six of us and it fed us just perfectly. We served an organic chicken from Liberty Heights Fresh alongside creamy polenta and roasted honey
spiced squash, a recipe I found in my grandma’s old recipe spirals. As our friends arrived the smells of roasted grapes filled the house. Once the chicken was done cooking, Josh let it rest on the cutting board as we enjoyed some appetizers that our friends graciously brought over. Then, the chicken was carved (watch this how to carve a chicken youtube video) and we sat down for our feast!
The roasted chicken and grapes served over polenta could stand alone for a luxurious meal, but, if you’re serving it for Thanksgiving here’s what I recommend serving it with:
Thanksgiving Dinner Menu for 4 to 6 people
Appetizer- cheese, salami, bread
Main- Roasted Chicken and Grapes
The chicken we found for this recipe was Mary’s Organic Chicken from Liberty Heights Fresh and we adapted this Thomas Keller recipe for roasted chicken while the polenta recipe is a family staple and one we’ve been altering to perfection over the years.
Roasted Chicken and Grapes
- One 3 pound farm-raised chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons minced thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups of grapes separate into clusters of 3-4 grapes
- 2 shallots chopped
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
- Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird.
- Next, salt the chicken- spread the salt evenly over the chicken, which will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). Sprinkle about a teaspoon of pepper over as well.
- In a bowl, toss the grape clusters and 2 chopped shallots in about a tablespoon of olive oil and light seasoning of salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in a sauté pan or roasting pan with the grapes and shallots surrounding it, then, place the pan in the hot oven. Leave it alone and roast it until it's done (165 degrees for the internal temperature of the bird), 50 to 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken and grapes with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board.
- Remove the twine and serve with grapes over polenta
1 cup polenta
3 cups water
2 cups veg or chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons butter
1/3 cup parmesan
Bring water and broth to a boil in a medium-size heavy sauce pan over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Pour cornmeal slowly into water, stirring with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. Continue stirring as mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn heat to low. Cook for at least 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. If polenta becomes quite thick, thin it with a bit more water or broth, to keep polenta soft enough to stir. Put a spoonful on a plate, let it cool, then taste. Grains should be swollen and taste cooked, not raw. Adjust salt and add pepper if you wish.
Before serving, stir in butter and Parmesan cheese.