I found this glorious recipe for roast chicken on Simply Recipes. Elise has a wonderful and comprehensive site with great recipes and shopping alerts (you can check out her site for good deals with Amazon). Her main site also links to her other sites which include book reviews, inspirational quotes, mp3 downloads, a photo gallery, and even a tutorial site for learning movable type. Nice.
Anyhoo, moving on, I was looking for a good roast chicken recipe (god knows there are tons out there!) and this one caught my eye because…well, because it had grapes and wine and that sounded just too luxurious for me to pass up! You can find the recipe here. I changed it around a little because:
1. I didn’t have fresh rosemary, so I had to use dried.
2. There was a bottle of champagne already more than half empty left over from a runaway batch of breakfast-mimosas we had for a decadent brunch. It was begging to be used…so I obliged and used it instead of the white wine. I poured it into the pan (but not over the chicken yet!) before I stuck it in the oven and just basted with the champagne/chicken juices mixture that formed in the pan.
The recipe has you cook the chicken breast side down, which is supposed to keep the breast moist. And boy, did it! This was, without a doubt, the moistest breast meat I have every tried. So juicy! And the flavor the grapes and champagne lent the chicken was incredible. The overall picture it created, with the chicken back nicely browned, and the grapes and lemons floating about, was pure “welcome-to-my-humble-vineyard”. I called over my granny to come over for dinner. It was a resounding success. There will definitely be a repeat performance.
A little note: You can’t seem to see the grapes in this picture. They were there, I swear it. They were just camera-shy.