Cooking dinner together is the best way to spend a date-night-in, and these Skillet-Braised Thighs with Grapes and Blue Cheese are the perfect elegant addition to your menu. You can never have enough 30-minute chicken dinner recipes!
This Skillet-Braised Thighs with Grapes and Blue Cheese post has been sponsored by Grapes from California. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
As the weather starts to get cooler and we tiptoe into autumn, we start thinking more about cozy and comforting dishes that wrap us in a full-body flavor hug. These Skillet-Braised Thighs with Grapes and Blue Cheese are perfect for those cooler date nights as we transition through seasons. Add Grapes from California to your cart today!
The main element of this dish that takes it from good to extraordinary, are Grapes from California. Not only are they the perfect, anytime snack that you know and love, but they’re also a versatile ingredient that can be used in a bevy of savory cooking applications.
Cooking with fruit isn’t a new idea by any stretch of the imagination, but it may be something that you haven’t delved into yourself. Starting with California grapes is the perfect way to test the waters.
I couldn’t tell you the last time that I didn’t have California grapes in my fridge. They’re Norah’s absolute favorite snack and I’m happy to give them to her whenever she wants since they’re a heart-healthy food that is a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Just the fact that California grapes may contribute to brain health is enough to keep me buying them!
This recipe is one of my absolute favorites, and the inspo goes back to one of my first posts on the blog, Parmesan Risotto with Balsamic Glazed Chicken Thighs and Roasted Grapes.
Thankfully, the photography has gotten a lot better here, and as you can see, my love for California grapes goes way way back.
Ingredients & Subs
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs — You can use skin-on if you prefer! I just find it creates a little too much fat since we already have the bacon renderings going on. The chicken breast will also work, but I’ll always choose thighs over breasts.
- Fresh rosemary — You could use dried in a pinch, but I would reduce the amount to 2 tsp since it has a more concentrated flavor. Fresh sage or thyme would also be amazing!
- Cayenne pepper — You can omit if you like, but it doesn’t add any heat to the dish if you’re worried about that. It just helps to balance out some of the sweetness!
- All-purpose flour — you could sub any flour you prefer!
- Bacon — I prefer to use thick-cut bacon, but whatever you have is fine. You could also use a container of cubed pancetta if you like!
- Shallots — Half of a small red onion + 1 clove of garlic would be a good sub.
- Balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar — Balsamic is a must, but you could sub the apple cider vinegar for red wine vinegar if you like. I haven’t tried it with all balsamic vinegar, but I’m sure that would work as well, it would just have a stronger flavor.
- California grapes — Non-negotiable! They add a crisp, sweet, and tangy bite with a juicy burst of flavor. They add gorgeous color and texture to the dish and perfectly complement the other ingredients in the dish.
- Honey — Agave would be okay or even just a sprinkle of granulated sugar or brown sugar.
- Blue cheese — Goat cheese, burrata, or fresh mozzarella would all be a great alternate!
How to store
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze in a freezer bag for up to 6 months. I like to reheat in a skillet until the chicken is warmed through.
You can use whatever kind of California grapes you want! I used red, but since California grapes grow 80 varieties in green, red, and black, you have the option to choose whichever one you desire! 99% of table grapes grown in the United States are from California and they’re in season May through January. Check out more recipes and add grapes to your cart today!
More Savory Fruit Recipes You’ll Love!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Take a browse around the site and please let me know if you make anything by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or requests!
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups Grapes from California
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 5 ounces blue cheese
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF
- Drizzle the chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and rub all over. Season with rosemary, cayenne, and season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the chicken and toss to coat. There should just be a light dusting of flour coating the thighs.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain onto paper towels. Crumble when cool enough to handle.
- Add the chicken to the same hot pan and sear on both sides until golden, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in 1/2 cup water, the balsamic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. Nestle the chicken back into the pan with the liquids.
- Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the Grapes from California and drizzle the honey over everything. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is reduced.
- Add the crumbled bacon on top and add tablespoon-sized chunks of the blue cheese all over the dish. Let the chicken rest 5 minutes and serve with the sauce drizzled over the chicken with the blue cheese and Grapes from California. Add sprigs of fresh rosemary for presentation purposes, if desired.
See blog post above.