I am normally a bit suspicious of fruit with meat. But when I invited my friend Emily and her partner Mark over for lunch a while ago, I decided to test out this recipe on them. They had no idea they were being my guinea pigs. Fortunately, despite my general aversion to the fruit and meat combo, it was delicious! Maybe I could be a fruit and meat convert after all.
Roasted grapes may sound strange but I can now vouch for their tastiness. They become tender and sweet in the oven, and also a bit tangy from the balsamic vinegar in the recipe. I served the dish with mashed potato and mashed celeriac. See the pink petal like things at the back of the plate? They were a failed attempt on beetroot chips (as they were mostly burnt).
If you're going to try this recipe, do use a relatively good quality balsamic vinegar (though obviously not one of the highest quality!). The vinegar affects the flavour in the final dish so you don't want to use something that tastes cheap and nasty.
Chicken roasted with red wine & grapes
From Delicious magazine - March 2008
2 red onions, cut into wedges
350g large seedless red grapes, cut into small bunches
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, plus extra to drizzle
4 rosemary sprigs
2 tbs olive oil
3 chicken thigh culets (with skin on and bone in)
200ml light red wine (such as pinor noir or merlot)
2 fresh bay leaves
creamy mashed potato, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Scatter the onion wedges and grapes in a lightly oiled roasting pan, then toss with the balsamic vinegar, rosemary, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until the onions are tinged golden and the grapes have wilted.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy-based frypan over high heat and brown the chicken skin-side down for 15 minutes or until deep golden.
Add the chicken, skin up, to the roasting pan with the onion and grapes. Add the red wine and bay leaves and roast for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
Serve the chicken, grapes and onion with mash, drizzled with the pan juices and a little extra balsamic vinegar.