Pan Roasted Chicken with Curry, Grapes, and Rosemary

There are typically two types of NYC renters during cold months. The ones who keep their windows open because there’s uncontrollable heat blasting from the radiator, and the ones who are in epic fights with their landlords to get the heat turned on.I am thankful that our heat goes on at a (usually) comfortable temperature when the numbers drop.  Though our apartment stays somewhat cool because it’s in an old building with lots of big shady trees around it. This means I get to wear loads of layers (which is totally fine by me), and have an excuse to have the oven running and cooking warm and delicious foods at all hours of the day.

This also means: ’tis the season for stretchy pants.

Last week a friend, and guest at one of our EatWith dinners, brought beautiful fresh herbs picked from her garden. Not many people I know have such a green thumb as this friend, and I wanted to make sure her gift was used in the most delicious ways possible. Some went into the easiest and yummiest dinner rolls (recipe to come next week) and some went into this chicken dish.What I wanted to make came to mind immediately. It’s a twist on Deb Perlman’s (of Smitten Kitchen) recipe for Harvest Roast Chicken. Even though you don’t cook with the rosemary, its addition at the end produces the most mouth-watering of aromas and transforms the dish.

I promise this photo isn’t a plug for Fairway (even though it’s a great supermarket) but a instead highlighting this spice that I use heavily in this chicken dish. I haven’t yet found its equal and at the rate we use it, I wish it came in larger containers. It’s the flavor of curry without the heat, which is good if you want to use a lot of it without setting your tongue on fire. We use it on so many things like to flavor rice, in tuna salad, on meats and fish, and roast vegetables.You don’t need to have this exact spice to make the recipe – any curry powder will do (just adjust to avoid tongue fires).

The biggest difference between my version and the original recipe is the amount of spice. Originally the recipe called for only salt and pepper. While it’s a really great recipe, it was lacking in “oomph”. So I set about editing it to my taste. My favorite part about the added seasoning is not only how it affects the chicken but the pan sauce as well. Oh…the pan sauce.
Have you roasted grapes yet? Because if you haven’t yet, please get on that immediately. Under high heat the grapes burst and caramelize, while somehow retaining a crunchy texture. They’re definitely the perfect foil to the savory and salty parts of the rest of the dish.
With a small salad and maybe some smashed potatoes, this makes a phenomenal and easy weeknight meal. Spice the chicken in the morning and throw it together in under an hour when you get home. I would say make it for the amazing smells alone but then you’d be missing out on how ridiculously good it tastes. So make it for both reasons. Soon.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Curry, Grapes, and Rosemary
  • ½ Tbsp mild curry powder (or any curry powder you like)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • A few turns of fresh black pepper (or to taste)
  • 4-6 pieces of chicken with the skin on. I prefer dark meat and used 4 thighs but could have squeezed in a couple drumsticks too.
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of red grapes
  • 2 small shallots thinly sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp chopped rosemary
  1. Make the dry rub by mixing the first six ingredients together and season the chicken very well. I like to take my time when seasoning and making sure to go under the skin. I made it with 4 pieces of chicken and had enough leftover rub for 1-2 small pieces more. Cover the chicken and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or for the day before cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F
  3. In an ovenproof skillet (cast iron if you have it!) warm olive oil over medium-high heat.
  4. If you have a lot of chicken work in batches here. Once the oil is shimmering place the chicken skin side down to brown. Don't move the chicken! The skin will release itself once it's ready and if you want that beautiful golden brown and crispy texture let it be in the pan. Give it about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Shut the heat under the pan. Place the chicken skin side up back into the skillet and surround it with the shallots and grapes. Place in the oven for 2o minutes or until the juices run clear.
  6. Once finished in the oven, remove the chicken, grapes, and whatever shallots get picked up along the way and place them on a serving plate. Place the skillet back on the stovetop and add the wine and stock to the pan juices and bring it to a boil. Make sure to scrape up all the browned bits and onions at the bottom! Let sauce reduce 15-20 minutes or until a desired saucy thickness is achieved.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken and grapes and sprinkle the whole dish with the fresh rosemary.
  8. If eating with other folks, make sure to sit down to eat when the chicken hits the table because otherwise, and I've witnessed it, you might return to an empty serving plate. On your mark, get set....

Adapted from Deb Perlman’s recipe in “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook