This is my favorite roast chicken. Marinated in white wine, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, then roasted until golden brown and crispy.
It’s a dish that can be prepared in advance and can easily feed a crowd. It’s a perfect dinner – easy for a mid week cooking but pretty and tasty enough to serve at a weekend dinner party.
Salty and sweet at the same time, all thanks to the marinade and grapes. It’s not the first time that I cooked/roasted grapes and I’ll definitely be doing it again. They add the perfect balance of sweetness to the chicken along with the garlic, thyme and white wine.
I chose to use chicken legs but you are welcome to use a whole chicken cut into pieces. I like the uniformity in size of the legs because they all pretty much cook for the same amount of time. I started preparing the chicken a day in advance, marinated it and left it in the fridge overnight, then sprinkled with a little bit of brown sugar and smoked paprika before it went into the oven. Doing this helps the chicken take on a nice golden finish and a super crispy skin. The finished dish is so good… a lovely rich buttery sauce with tender juicy chicken. It’s simple elegant yet unbeatably tasty and fancy to serve.
I served the chicken with pearl couscous, but I’m sure it’s also delicious accompanied by garlic roasted baby potatoes or bread.
- 4 chicken legs
- 150 ml (3/4 cup) white wine
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 5 shallots
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tsp dried estragon
- sprigs of thyme
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a shallow baking pan, combine chicken legs, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and white wine. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
Remove the chicken from the fridge. Rub with the remaining ingredients, divide the thyme sprigs and bay leaves between the chicken, but don’t add the grapes yet. Turn the chicken upside down, turn garlic heads cut side down so they are in contact with the baking dish. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Then turn it over with the skin up, drizzle all over with melted butter and roast for 40 minutes. Drizzle the chicken from time to time with the pan juices, add some water if needed. The chicken is ready when the meat is nicely browned and almost falling off the bone. Add the grapes and turn the garlic over, cut-side up. Roast for 15 minutes more at 180°C.
Let the chicken cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes, then serve with pearl couscous, garlic roasted potatoes or bread. Enjoy!
well I just put this recipe in the oven and we’ll see how it comes out….but I just have to say the instructions are the most incomplete and the worst written I have eve encountered in a recipe.
OH “divide the butter and thyme” OK but then what do I do with it??? rub the chicken with bay leaves? I dont think so…so where do the bay leaves go and when? a lot about this recipe was confusing. Please re read your instructions before you post so everything is covered.
Thanks for your feedback. Hope everything turned out fine. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
despite my having to wing it and figure out what to do next when steps were missing – it came out TOTALLY DELICIOUS!!!! Only problem was the garlic wasn’t as done as the rest of everything else but that didn’t bother me. it also looked gorgeous as well.
Hi Linda! I’m so happy you loved it! Thank you!!
and I am back to make this dish again it came out so yummy last time
So happy to hear you love this recipe. I hope it turns out just as amazing… or even better! Thank you Linda
One of the best chickens I have ever made! Turned out fantastic.
Thanks Trisha. Happy you like this recipe!
This is fantastic!!
Thank you Elisabeth!
Omg! So simple and delicious. The juiciest chicken legs I ever made!
So happy to hear this!
Thank you for the recipe, absolutely awesome! I’m very much a visual “recipient” and not much of a step-by-step reader, and your photos delivered! Tastes as great as it looks (I did however pan seared the lets on the skillet first). Simple, delicious, loved it, thank you!
That is so amazing to hear. Thank you for making this recipe! Have a great weekend!
It’s 8:30 in the morning and I was reading to find some recipes to use this week. I came across your website and I’m drooling over your recipes! I definitely will be cooking your 30 minute chicken and Burrata recipe and this one also to start! Can’t wait to try them!
Yay! Love hearing this! Hope you love the recipes, happy cooking! Anna