Chicken with Red Grapes and Marsala
Brimming with mellow fruitfulness, the muskiness of the Marsala and the scented woodsiness of the thyme, this is the perfect autumnal supper; that said, it doesn’t stop me eating this all year round.
If you’re one of those people who keep home-made stock in ice cubes in the freezer – and reader, I was that person once – that’s great, but I am happy to make this with chicken stock made up from concentrate.
A chicken supreme is simply a skin-on chicken breast with the peg bone attached; it stays wonderfully juicy when cooked and gives depth to the stock. You can use a regular chicken breast – so long as it still has its skin – though it won’t be as plump, so will need a little less time in the oven.
|4 x 15ml tbsp (60ml)||Marsala|
|4 x 15ml tbsp (60ml)||chicken stock|
|1 tsp||Dijon mustard|
|1 x 15ml tbsp||regular olive oil|
|approx. 20||seedless red grapes|
|pprox. 1 x 15ml tbsp||of thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for sprinkling|
|a baguette or new potatoes|
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan and mix the Marsala, stock and mustard together in a little jug.
2. Heat the oil in a solidly made frying pan or very shallow casserole or dish in which the chicken breasts will fit fairly snugly, and that will go on the hob and in the oven.
3. Fry the chicken supremes, skin-side down, for 5 minutes, by which time the skin will be golden. Turn the chicken skin-side up, add the Marsala mixture to the pan and let it quickly bubble up, then drop in the grapes and sprinkle in most of the thyme leaves. Bring back to a bubble, then transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken skin is bronzed and crisp and the chicken itself just cooked through and wonderfully tender.
4. Transfer the chicken and grapes to two shallow bowls or dinner plates, then put the pan over a high heat, and let the juices bubble for 2–3 minutes, or until slightly reduced and thickened to a savoury syrup. Pour around, but not over, the chicken. I know this sounds restaurant-fancy, but it’s to keep the skin crisp. Scatter some leaves and delicate sprigs of thyme over, and serve,with perhaps a baguette to dip into the rich chickeny juices, or steam some new potatoes to have alongside.