Roasted chicken from Ione Bissonnette’s kitchen

Ready to put into the oven. —Ione Bissonnette

I made this recipe on Nov. 8, when I had been in the cooking doldrums for a number of days (weeks?). Not knowing what to make for dinner after avoiding cooking for as long as I could, I googled “fall dinner recipes” on the way to Cronig’s. This recipe called out to me, and will be added to my list of favorites! It comes from the Food and Wine website, but I made some alterations in my version. Surprisingly easy, beautiful, and delicious (I put my variations in parentheses below), the only issue I had was what to serve it with. Steamed broccoli was fine, but the brown rice with a chunk of ginger I made didn’t really suit it. In the original recipe, they recommend a crusty bread that might work well, or even mashed potatoes. I was afraid of the garlic, but next time, I will put in more (22 instead of 16 cloves). It melts away, and you don’t even notice it.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Grapes, Garlic, and Rosemary

1 4-lb. whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (I used 8 chicken thighs, most of the fat trimmed off.)
4 tsp. kosher salt
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 med. bunch red seedless grapes (about 2 cups), divided into small clusters (They look pretty with the stems on, but taken off the stems prior to cooking would work fine and make it easier to eat.)
1 large garlic head, separated and cloves peeled: 15 to 20 cloves (I plan to use 22 cloves next time.)
1½-oz. bunch fresh rosemary
¼ tsp. black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Season chicken pieces with salt. Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add chicken pieces, skin sides down, and cook undisturbed until skin is browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer chicken to a plate.
Add grapes, garlic cloves, and rosemary to the skillet, stirring and scraping up any browned bits. Return chicken pieces to skillet, skin sides up, nestling between and atop grapes. Drizzle with remaining oil.
Roast in preheated oven until a meat thermometer inserted in chicken registers 155°F, 22 to 25 minutes. Let chicken rest 10 minutes; sprinkle with black pepper.

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