Moscato Chicken with Grapes and Thyme

by meike peters

Moscato Grape Chicken

A luscious sauce needs time, herbs, spices and wine but sometimes a good 20 minutes in the oven works just as well, when there are chicken legs, Moscato grapes and wine, thyme, bay leaf and garlic on the tray. The meat’s roasting juices mix with the sweetness of the fruit and wine and turn into a heavenly rich sauce. We left the roasting pan clean and spotless after we soaked up the last drops with fresh baguette!

This recipe needs lots of garlic! I pushed some thin slices of garlic together with some small sprigs of thyme under the chicken’s skin to infuse the meat with their aroma. I also cooked quite a few whole garlic cloves in their skin on the tray which makes a wonderful smooth paste. It tasted so good spread on a slice of bread with a couple roasted grapes and a piece of tender chicken with its crisp skin!

I like to cook with Moscato wine a lot, I use it often in my kitchen as it adds a mellow fruitiness. A Pinot Gris or a Riesling would also be nice for this recipe but it comes down to your personal preference and how much you want to invest in your sauce. Personally, I believe that the wine you use for cooking can easily be more simple than the one you fill into the glasses to accompany your dinner.

Moscato Grape Chicken

 Moscato, Grape and Thyme Chicken

For 2-4 people you need

chicken legs 4 (around 1.2kg / 2.5 pounds)
sweet green grapes (like Moscato grapes), on their stalks, 250g / 9 ounces
thyme sprigs, a small handful
garlic, 8 cloves in their skin and 2 cloves cut into very thin slices
fruity white wine (like Moscato) 250ml / 8.5 ounces
small bay leaves 4
olive oil
flaky sea salt

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F (I use the Rotitherm setting which works perfectly for poultry).

Spread the chicken legs on a baking dish or tray and push a few thyme sprigs and slices of garlic under the skin of each of them. Rub them on all sides with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Arrange the grapes, garlic cloves and thyme around the meat, put 1 bay leaf under each chicken leg, sprinkle with a splash of olive oil and pour the wine over the meat and fruits.

Cook the chicken legs in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown, pour some of the juices over the meat a couple times while it’s cooking. After 20 minutes, check the meat with a skewer, only clear juices should come out. Turn the grill on for a few minutes until the skin starts sizzling and turns dark and crisp. Serve with baguette.

Moscato Grape Chicken