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Chicken and Mustard and Grapes, oh my!

February 24, 2012

I’ve been sick for the last week. Not real sick. Just annoying sick. The kind of sick that makes you want to type “meh.”


But after my third day in my apartment, I decided to look on the sunny side. Now, not the real sunny side. (Are you crazy? That would require leaving my apartment.) But the pops of sunniness right here in my own english basement.

Pop! Christmas lights in February.

Pop! My roommate’s pretty bowls.

Pop! My bright red boots. They almost match my nose…I don’t blow my nose delicately…

Here’s some food that gave me some POP! Roast Chicken with Mustard and Grapes.  Even without functioning taste buds, I can taste it. It’s interesting and zesty and flavorful. And I’m a sucker for fruits with my meats. It makes me feel all fancy.

So you start with your chicken. We’re going to dry-brine it.  You just grab some kosher salt and, as the recipe says, salt it “aggressively.” I love aggressive salt.  Then you let it sit over night.

The next day, you take out the chicken breasts and add them to an oven safe container.  You won’t even see the salt!

Then you toast some coriander seeds. Or ground coriander, if you don’t have the real deal.  They still get fragrant and lovely.

Then you chop up some shallots. Itty bitty.

And you halve some grapes…

Then you add those shallots and grapes and coriander and cook it up with some olive oil.

Add some stock and dijon, reduce it down, and throw it on top of your chicken. And TADA!

Roast Chicken with Mustard and Grapes (Recipe from Food52)

Serves 2-4

  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  1. Season the chicken pieces aggressively with Kosher salt and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 450
  3. Toast the coriander seeds in a dry skillet for a few minutes until fragrant. Remove and crush in a mortar and pestle
  4. Arrange the chicken in a cast iron skillet or other ovenproof pan. Place in the oven and roast for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 (remembering that the chicken will continue to cook as it rests).
  5. Remove the chicken to a platter and tent loosely with foil.
  6. Pour off all but about 2 teaspoons of the fat from the pan, then add the shallots and grapes. (Note: if you aren’t using particularly fatty pieces of chicken, you may need to add a little olive or vegetable oil instead.) Cook over medium heat until the shallot is softened, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the crushed coriander seeds and the mustard seeds to the pan, then add the broth. Whisk in the Dijon until it is incorporated, then cook until the sauce is reduced by half. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
  8. Stir in the fresh thyme leaves, move the chicken pieces to individual plates or a serving platter, then spoon the sauce over the chicken pieces.
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