Chicken with Tart Grape Sauce

Verjus is made from sour green grapes. Its tart, fruity flavor provides a refreshing balance to the garlic, which becomes very sweet after cooking.–Paula Wolfert

LC Skillet vs Sauteuse Note

You may notice that the instructions for this recipe call for a deep skillet or a sauteuse. What the heck, you may ask, is a sauteuse? It’s simply a high-sided, rounded-edged saute pan with a domed lid. The extra depth is what makes it ideal for this recipe—this gives the chicken the space it needs to relax and soak up the flavors of the sauce. It also makes it easier for you to swirl that sauce around without losing any over the side. If you don’t have a sauteuse, just reach for a deep skillet or saute pan with a snug-fitting lid. You can even call it a sauteuse if you’re feeling fancy. We won’t tell anyone it’s not the real thing.

Special Equipment: a deep skillet or sauteuse pan

Chicken with Tart Grape Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 50 M
  • Serves 6


  • 4 pounds meaty chicken legs, at room temperature
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 plump garlic cloves, whole but not peeled
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons verjus (Buy it)
  • 3 cups unsalted homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth, reduced to 1 cup
  • 12 sour green grapes, preferably tart
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


  • 1. Trim away any excess fat from the chicken legs. Dry well and rub with salt and pepper.
  • 2. Set a large, deep skillet, preferably a sauteuse, over moderately high heat. Add 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, then the chicken, skin side down, and the garlic cloves. Brown for 1 minute each side, shaking the skillet to keep the chicken and garlic from sticking.
  • 3. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet tightly, and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover the skillet, tilt, and skim the fat off the pan juices. Turn the chicken over. Add the white wine, cover again, and cook slowly for another 10 minutes.
  • 4. Uncover the skillet, add 5 tablespoons of the verjus, and quickly cover the pan so that chicken pieces absorb all the aroma and flavor. Cook slowly for 5 minutes longer.
  • 5. Add 3/4 cup of the stock and cook for 5 minutes. Raise the heat and add the butter and the remaining stock and verjus. Swirl the skillet over the heat to combine the ingredients. Add the grapes and warm through. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • 6. Arrange the chicken, garlic, and grapes on a warm platter. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve hot.
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