Dinner Tonight: Roast Chicken with Red Grapes, Caramelized Pearl Onions, and Port Pan Gravy
Sometimes it's wonderful to be reminded how satisfying a roast chicken can be. This recipe from Jennifer Olvera's Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago doesn't try to approach the bird in some new and unique way. The chicken is simply cooked in a moderate oven with a stash of good ingredients. The result is a properly roasted bird with an outstanding pan sauce.
Interestingly, it was only later that I realized that Olvera's recipe had actually called for cutting the chicken up into pieces first, then roasting them. You can easily do that, but there is something really satisfying about the whole bird.
The chicken is first coated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar before being placed in a 375°F oven for 15 minutes. Then pearl onions, balsamic vinegar, and grapes are added to the pan, where they mix with all the drippings from the meat. When done, about 45 minutes, all the ingredients are removed except for the drippings.
A good glug of port is added, and then the sauce is reduced. The result is naturally sweet and rich, and a perfect match for the meat. This is a truly comforting meal.