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Roast chicken with grapes & pecan gravy

Roasting a chicken on top of grapes is a favorite fall dinner. The sweetened drippings produce a great base for an addictive gravy.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 6 people



  • 2 sprigs rosemary finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs sage finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoon butter softened
  • 2 tablespoon pecans finely chopped


  • 1 3-4 lb chicken air chilled
  • 1 apple quartered
  • 3 lb grapes see note


  • 2 tablespoon pan drippings from chicken
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoon pecans chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth or drippings



  • Preheat your oven to 400.
    In an oven-safe skillet, place the grapes all along the bottom (leave stems on).
    Finely chop the herbs. Chop 4 tablespoon of pecans (half will be stuffed into the chicken with the herb honey butter, and half will be reserved for the gravy).


  • Mix together all of the ingredients, reserving a couple pinches of salt (soft butter makes this easy). 
  • Set aside several pinches of salt and pepper in a side dish (so you can grab it when your hands are covered in chicken guts).


  • DIRTY HANDS! Grab a bunch of paper towels and set them aside. Open your compost or garbage. You about about to dive into chicken gut territory and I am trying to save you from washing your hands 5 times during this process.
    Make sure your herb honey butter, apple quarters, and the salt+pepper you set aside are accessible and won't be contaminating anything else with your chicken-hands. If you are using a leave-in thermometer, get that ready too.
  • CLEAN & DRY CHICKEN: Remove any giblets or bags of guts from the chicken. Discard or save for another use.
    Dry the breast-side of the chicken with a paper towel - this helps get a crispy skin.
  • SPREAD HERB HONEY BUTTER: Take half of the butter mixture and spread it under the skin of one breast of the chicken and into the leg if you can reach it. Repeat with the other half of the chicken. 
  • STUFF & DRY CHICKEN: Stuff the apple quarters into the chicken cavity. Then dry the chicken breast skin one more time. Get that good & dry!
  • SALT THE SKIN: Grab the bowl with reserved salt & pepper and sprinkle it on top of the skin.
  • Place the chicken on top of the grapes, breast side up.  If you are using a leave-in thermometer, place that in now.
    Now you can wash your hands!


  • Cook the chicken in the 400-degree oven until it reaches about 140 degrees with a thermometer. THEN turn off the oven and let the chicken finish cooking until it reaches 160-165. 
    This method lets the chicken finish cooking a little more slowly, reducing the risk of over-cooking and drying out.


  • After the chicken is done cooking, remove the pan from the oven. Set the chicken aside to cool. Put the grapes in a bowl.
  • Remove all but 2 tablespoon of fatty pan drippings. Put the pan (that the chicken roasted in), on a burner over medium heat. Add in 2 tablespoon of flour and whisk to incorporate with the fat.
  • Continue to whisk and cook until the flour smells cooked (a little toasted smell). 
  • Then add in the chicken broth (or not-super-fatty drippings), about ¼ cup at a time. Whisk until fully incorporated. Do not pour it all in at once - this makes it much more likely to get a clumpy gravy. 
  • Once the gravy is the desired consistency, add in the pecans and cook for a few minutes. 


  • Slice up the chicken and serve with grapes and gravy.


I encourage you to use different types of grapes so that each bite is different. Even though grapes come semi-pre-packaged in those bags, they are sold by the pound. That means, you can take 1-2 bunches of grapes, instead of the whole bag, allowing you to mix and match without buying a TON of grapes.