Crispy Chicken Thighs are beautifully seared in a cast iron skillet with brown butter and shallots. Deglazing with white wine renders an aromatic pan sauce built with sliced apples, juicy red grapes, and fresh sage leaves . An oven roast to complete and this Autumn Harvest inspired chicken dinner is absolute perfection!
To say that I am excited to share this recipe with you is an understatement! Not only do I want to give you this recipe, I want to make it for you!! Serving people good food, watching their grateful expressions, listening to the “mmmmmm’s” of gratification when they taste- oh man that’s what cooking is all about!! And THIS recipe, oh, it will get your crowd moaning with every bite…
My Cast Iron Chicken Thighs with Apple, Grape and Sage Pan Sauce is just so DAMN GOOD!!! No lie (Not that ever do about the quality of my recipes) but this one was just so incredibly satisfying!!! And if you are hesitant about roasted apples, grapes and chicken, don’t be! They are an excellent combination- sweet, juicy, and a teensy bit tangy all perfectly balanced by the white wine, aromatic shallots, woodsy fresh herbs and buttery rich delicious pan sauce. To me, this just screams comfy sweater weather food!
CAST IRON IS A MUST!
Anyway, back to the recipe sharing here! Let me break this down for you, it’s fairly simple BUT there is one piece of equipment that I really hope you already have or if not will buy for you kitchen- A CAST IRON PAN!
Owning a Cast Iron Skillet is a MUST because:
- They’re incredibly versatile.Cast-iron skillets can be used for sautéing, pan-frying, searing, baking, braising, broiling, roasting, and even more cooking techniques.
- Cast Iron Skillets Heat Evenly. Even heating means that meats brown better and vegetables cook faster without having to constantly manage the heat source or rotate pans in the oven. Cast iron is ideal for frying and baking.
- Cast Iron Can Go from Stovetop to Oven. One-pan cooking is all the rage — from one-pan pastas to sheet-pan meals. We are all trying to avoid washing multiple pans after dinner each night. Using a large cast iron skillet is the ultimate one-pan cooking method! You can sear, roast, and even simmer in a cast iron skillet.
- Here’s a few helpful articles of use and care of cast irons: How to Clean a Cast Iron, How to Season a Cast Iron,
Here are a few links I’ve embedded for you if you don’t already have one. And if you would be a Doll and buy from my links, I do get a small commission from Amazon at no additional cost to you. Hey, gotta keep the lights on over here at the Salt Sugar Spice kitchen!!
HOW TO MAKE:
First, preheat oven to 400°. Next, prepare the chicken. It’s very important to pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel before seasoning with salt and pepper. This is a rule of thumb whenever searing meat, actually. This helps develop the beautiful crispy crust we are looking to achieve. If the meat surface is moist, when it hits the hot pan you will get steam and steam will interfere with the browning of the meat.
Next, melt 1 tbsp butter in the cast iron over medium high heat. Begin searing chicken thighs in batches, skin side down first. After about 7 minutes or skin looks golden brown and crispy, flip and sear on other side for about 5 minutes. Using kitchen tongs, remove seared thighs from pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining thighs. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to repeat in 2 or 3 stages. I would say no more than 3 thighs at a time should be in the cast iron. Overcrowding is another issue that can interfere with achieving a proper sear.
Now that all the thighs are prepared and patiently waiting off to the side, it time to start building that delicious pan sauce. Using the fat rendered from the chicken, turn heat to medium and cook the sliced shallots for about 2 minutes until softened but not browned.
Then, deglaze cast iron with white wine and scrape the flavorful brown bits from bottom of pan. Add apple slices, whole grapes, remaining tbsp of butter and fresh sage leaves. Other herbs that would work nicely would be rosemary or thyme. Of course, this would change flavor base slightly- but any of those herbs would be complimentary to this dish. Bring pan sauce to a simmer for about 2 minutes.
Now, return chicken to skillet and nestle in amongst the apples, grapes and pan sauce.
Slide cast iron into oven to roast for 20-25 minutes, or until meat thermometer read internal temperature of 165°. I would highly recommend using a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Little tip, make sure you have it reading from the meatier side of the thigh and not touching the bone.
Remove your cast iron skillet from oven and begin plating the chicken surrounded by juicy oven roasted apples and grapes. I recommend using a plate with edges so you can capitalize on that amazing pan sauce- trust me, it’s a requirement!
Some Perfect Sides items for this Cast Iron Chicken Thighs with Apple, Grape and Sage Pan Sauce would be my recipes for :
- ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES WITH FRESH HERBS
- FLUFFY GOAT CHEESE AND CHIVE MASHED POTATOES
- SMASHED AND ROASTED BABY POTATOES WITH FRESH HERBS
- AUTUMN KALE SALAD WITH MAPLE ROASTED SQUASH, WHOLE GRAINS, GRAPES AND APPLES
Cast Iron Chicken Thighs with Apple, Grape and Sage Pan Sauce
- oven safe skillet, cast iron preferred
- 4-5 chicken thighs bone in, skin on
- 1 shallot sliced
- 1 apple (baking variety) ex: gala, empire, granny smith, jonagold
- 2 tbsp butter divided
- ½ cup white wine dry
- 1 cup red grapes
- 4-5 fresh sage leaves thyme or rosemary would work too
- salt and pepper to season chicken before searing
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towel, and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Melt 1 tbsp of butter in cast iron over medium high heat. Sear Chicken thighs in batches beginning skin side down. Sear until both sides are golden brown. Repeat and set aside.
- On medium heat, add shallots saute until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Deglaze cast iron with white wine, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Add herbs, apple slices, grapes and remaining tbsp of butter. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Return chicken to skillet and nestle into fruit and pan sauce.
- Slide cast iron into oven to roast for 20-25 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads internal temperature of 165°.
- Serve chicken with roasted apples and grapes, spoon flavorful skillet juices over top.