Roasted chicken with grapes

Green, red and black grapes, cut into small clusters (1 1/4 lb)
Shallots, large, peeled, halved through root end (6)
Fresh thyme, chopped (1 tbsp plus 6 large sprigs)
Olive oil, 2 tbsp
Whole chicken (1)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
2. Toss grape clusters, shallots,  chopped thyme, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl to coat. 
3. Rub chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle inside and out with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place thyme sprigs in cavity. 
4. Place chicken in large roasting pan; arrange grapes and shallots around chicken. 
5. Roast until grapes are shriveled, about 1 hour 10 minutes.
6. Transfer chicken to platter and let rest 10 minutes. 
7. Using slotted spoon, arrange grapes and shallots around chicken. 
8. Transfer pan juices to small pitcher, skimming fat from surface.

Serves: 4-6 people

The story: I've been a Bon Appétit subscriber for years; this is one of my favorite recipes and one of the very few that I really haven't modified, from back in 2009. I've made in many times, often serving it with roasted potatoes or a delicious rice pilaf from Whole Foods that combined white and wild rices with lentils and black-eyed peas. Unfortunately, the most memorable occasion was New Year's Eve 2009, when my former boyfriend asked me to make it for him and his friends...however, he failed to ask them about their New Year's Eve plans in advance. The chicken turned out beautifully; his friends went out to dinner; I went to another friend's party; and my ex spent much of night by himself on the couch. Sigh. He seldom intended to be a jerk, I think; it just so often worked out that way! But don't hold it against this delicious chicken dish!

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