Sunday, January 29, 2006

Whole Chicken filled with White Grapes

Next to the rosemary chicken, this is another one of my favorite chicken recipes. The grapes give a lot of juice to the chicken and the chicken gives a lot of extra flavor to the grapes. In Switzerland, I used to prepare quite a few dishes using fruits, and this one is among the best.


1 whole chicken
mustard and/or horseraddish
ground paprika
freshly ground salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter

1 big shallot, chopped
1-2 cups of white, seedless grapes, depending on how big the chicken is

1/2 cup Noilly Prat Dry
1/2 cup white wine (or replace with another 1/2 cup of the Noilly Prat)
1 tablespoon dried or fresh tarragon


Preheat the oven to about 425 F.

Wash the chicken inside out and dry with kitchen paper or a towel. Season the inside with a lot of freshly ground salt and pepper.

In a small saucepan, heat the butter and sauté the shallot over medium heat for a few minutes until browned. Add the whole, washed grapes and mix to cover all the grapes with the shallot/butter mixture. Pour in the Noilly Prat and white wine. Add the tarragon (dried or fresh). Mix everything well and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the grapes are softened and about half of the liquid is absorbed.

Place the chicken in an oven-proof dish. Rub the mustard and/or horseraddish on the whole chicken. Cover all the spots. Sprinkle paprika, freshly ground salt and pepper around the whole chicken to cover all the skin.

Hold the chicken in a way so you can pour in the grape mixture. Make sure the chicken is really stuffed with grapes. If there's extra grapes that won't fit into the chicken, just put them into the dish next to the chicken.

Place the chicken into the preheated oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, then turn the chicken upside down and bake for another 40 minutes. Jasmine rice works best with this dish. Once you're chicken is done, cut it in half and spoon some of the grapes and juice onto the rice.

I just got this little animation from my friend Daveed who got inspired by this recipe to draw, well, a chicken with grapes!
I liked this illustration so much that i had to share it with you. Thanks Daveed!

Click on it to see it in full size!


At 4:26 PM, Blogger fredland said...

i'm really amazed at how often you post on your blog. i'm enjoying it very much. have yet to try one of your recipes but will let you know when i do. keep up the great work!

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your Buddha's Hand jam is delicious! I couldn't have liked it more. I thought the honey-runny consistency was the cat's pajamas. I would like to try it drizzled it over a schmear of bittersweet chocolate curl-garnished mascarpone on a chilled dessert plate for a little treat. I had some of  your - I can no longer call it jam, as it is so completely
un-jam-like - conserve on buttered, mildly flavored Swedish rye toast and it was da bomb. My tea buddy dropped out and I was "forced" to enjoy Buddha's bounty on my own. And, I did truly enjoy it. Thank you. I consumed half and I saved half. I will choose my next sampling scenario VERY carefully.

Regarding the success of the process - what can I say? I loved the color, the texture and the flavor. Still, I don't imagine it was what you set out to create. I think that it has great style and has myriad possible uses.* Pretty darn successful, if you ask me. And I hope you're not sorry you did.

Regards to you and Yoko. Your friend in food,

* I'm thinking it could be brushed on a freshly baked Earl Grey tea-flavored tea bread or cake to create a sensationally aromatic glaze. Also - as it is syrupy in nature, it could be used to make a nice Italian soda with the addition of seltzer or club soda. How about as a garnish for garlicky sauteed shrimp? Added to a bit of sambal it would make a great dipping sauce for Mongolian grilled lamb. Uncle, uncle! I know, I know. I'll stop.

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous jenny said...


i made a similar rosemary chicken last week, and i can't wait to try this one --it looks beautiful. is this your favorite brand of vermouth for cooking? i don't know much about alcohol (except not to buy wines that are advertised as "cooking wines"). do you store your vermouth in the fridge after you open it and about how long can it be used? btw, i received your package yesterday--thanks so much! i'll update you soon.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Dan said...

i like the Noilly Prat a lot for cooking and i keep it for quite a long time not in the fridge, even after i opened it. i find that it doesn't loose quality. on the other hand, i use it quite often so it won't get old in my kitchen anyway. but i would say that you can keep it for months without refrigerating.

in terms of cooking wines, i never saw much point in buying expensive wines for cooking. i always cook with the 'charles shaw' wines (merlot for the red, chardonnay for the white). they cost $ 1.99 at Trader Joe's. You can't beat that!
And you're right, i wouldn't buy anything either that's labeled 'cooking wine'. that's probably just an excuse for a bad wine!

At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Cooking wine" usually contains salt and often contains additives, as well. The reason for it is said to stem from a need to keep alcohol consumption to a minumum in commercial kitchens in which the cooks sampled the good stuff a bit too often while on the job. Salt made the wine unpalatable and thus safe from the staff. The presence of the salt in cooking wine makes it necessary to adjust seasoning in a recipe to compensate. Cooking wine is not necessarily of inferior quality but it is definitely undrinkable.


At 8:19 PM, Blogger Dan said...

that story must be true! i like to sip a bit of wine too while cooking ;-)
thanks for that info.


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