A simple fall weeknight dinner: pan-roasted chicken with grapes & olives. This one-skillet recipe is perfect for any night of the week, yet is exciting enough to serve for a special occasion. The chicken is cooked until the skin is crispy and golden, then topped with a simmered mixture of shallots, grapes, olives, vinegar, and honey. And then finished off with some toasted pistachios and tangy feta cheese crumbled over top. It’s a sweet & savory dish full of lots of bold flavor.
The fall brings apples, pumpkins, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and all sorts of harvest gems to our tables, but I find that grapes often get missed in the mix. While they’re very appreciated for snacking, I think we could all use more recipes where they’re cooked – both in sweet and savory forms.
I absolutely love pairing roasted grapes with meat, which is exactly what we’re doing here with this simple pan-roasted chicken recipe. It’s cozy, beautiful, and brings a slightly more unique autumn feeling to the kitchen compared to the regular suspects (even though I’d say we could all bake more apple cinnamon crumb bars and make more comforting fall pastas, too).
pan-roasted chicken with grapes & olives – details
You could use either chicken thighs or chicken breasts for this recipe, whatever you like best! I used thighs because they have just a little more rich flavor which works nicely with the vinegar-based grape topping. With either cut, I would definitely go for chicken with the skin on. When pan-roasting, it’s the skin that beautifully crisps up.
You’ll want to cook the chicken for the majority of the time skin-side down. The heat should always be hovering around medium-low…if it’s too high, the skin will burn before it has enough time to deeply crisp (kind of like rendering bacon; too hot and it will just burn). The chicken cooks entirely in a cast-iron skillet, is transferred out, and then the grape mixture comes together right in the pan-drippings.
After just a few minutes, shallots, black grapes, olives, vinegar, and honey turn into a really tasting topping to spoon over the chicken. Plus, you’ll caramelize a few lemon slices to add even more bright flavor.
The final touches? Some crunchy toasted pistachios and tangy crumbled feta cheese. It’s such a fun combination with so many bold flavors going on. I’d serve this with some roasted potatoes or even with rice for a complete healthy fall meal you can truly whip up any night of the week.
It’s simple enough for a weeknight dinner, but also fancy enough for a dinner party. Best of both worlds!Print
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Grapes & Olives
crispy pan-roasted chicken topped with a caramelized mixture of grapes, lemon, shallots, and olives, topped with pistachios and feta cheese
- 6 (about 1 ½ lbs) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- olive oil
- 1 large lemon
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ lb black seedless grapes
- ¼ cup halved castelvetrano olives
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup chopped, toasted pistachios
- Let the chicken thighs sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Season both sides really well with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Heat a 12” cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken into the skillet, skin-side down.
- Cook the chicken, undisturbed, for about 15 minutes, or until the skin is golden and crisp. Flip the chicken and finish cooking for about 6-8 more minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add a little more olive oil to the skillet. Cut half of the lemon into 5 thin slices. Add them to the skillet over medium heat. Cook until caramelized, about a minute or so per side. Transfer the lemons to the plate of chicken.
- Add the shallot to the skillet. Season with a pinch of salt. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until caramelized. Add the grapes and another pinch of salt. Saute for 5 more minutes or so until the grapes are blistered. Stir in the olives, white wine vinegar, honey, and the juice of the remaining lemon. Simmer the mixture for a couple of minutes until the vinegar has reduced by about half.
- Add the chicken and lemons back to the skillet to heat through. Plate the chicken with the grape mixture and lemons over top. Garnish with the feta cheese, pistachios, a drizzle of olive oil, and more freshly cracked black pepper.
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