Herb Roasted Chicken and Grapes is a nice alternative to turkey on Thanksgiving.roast chicken-1
It’s November so that means preparing for Thanksgiving.  I’m already thumbing through my favorite magazine for fresh ideas for our Thanksgiving meal.  I am don’t like turkey so I’ve been skipping it for the past couple of years and make either a whole chicken or Cornish hens.  I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t care for turkey.   One year, I deboned a turkey and stuffed it; it was a tremendous amount of work and while I did receive praises, I just wasn’t blown away.  roast chicken-1-10

For the non turkey lovers like myself, I’m sharing my recipe for a Roasted Herb Chicken with Grapes.  I like to brine my chicken because the meat becomes juicy and flavorful.  Brining is a simple step but it does require you to prep ahead.  It’s best to brine a chicken for at least 12 hours but no more than 24 hours.   After the brine, I rubber under the skin with an herb compound butter so the meat will have even more flavor.  I added the grapes because I’ve always wanted to try roasted grapes and I love it!  It add a nice fall touch to the chicken.

Herb Roasted Chicken

1-5lb Chicken

5 tbsp butter, softened

½ tsp rosemary, chopped

1 ¼ tsp thyme, chopped

1 ½ tsp garlic, crushed

¼ tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

2-3 lbs red grapes



6 cups water

¼ cup sugar

3 tbsp salt

½ head garlic, cloves removed and crushed

6 sprigs thyme

1 sprig rosemary

1 onion, cut into 4 pieces

To prepare the brine, place 4 cups of water in a large pot with all the ingredients of the brine and bring to a boil.  Cook for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.  Remove the giblets from the cavity of the chicken and discard, clean chicken under cool running water.  Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag then pour brine over chicken.  Seal bag and place in refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

To roast the chicken, remove the chicken from the fridge and remove from the brine, discard the brine.  Use paper towel and dry the inside and outside of the chicken.   In a small bowl, combine 4 tbsp butter chopped rosemary, thyme and crushed garlic.  Place the chicken breast side up then gently side you hand under the skin to form a pocket between the skin and flesh.  Rub 2/3 of the herb butter under the skin, then rub the remaining 1/3 on the inside of the chicken.   Truss the chicken using butcher’s twine, see step by step tutorial here–>How to truss chicken.

Rub the skin with the remaining 1 tbsp of butter then sprinkle generously the outside and inside cavity with salt and black pepper.  Place the grapes in a 13×9 baking dish then place the chicken on top of the grapes.  Place into preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes until the juices run clear.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.  Remove butchers twine before serving.