Grape Chicken in Brandy Sauce is an easy fall meal
I like to break out the grape chicken in brandy sauce when the weather gets cool. Grapes are in season and cheap during the fall months, which makes it a good time for grape meals. The meal is also saucy and savory, and I love a savory sauce over mashed potatoes in the fall.
Grape Chicken in Brandy Sauce is a delightfully sweet and savory dish consisting of pan grilled chicken, with halved grapes, and an orange marmalade, brandy, and fruit juice sauce. This chicken is served over a bed of mashed potatoes, and the sauce acts as a delicious gravy for the potatoes.
This meal is actually fairly easy and straightforward to prepare, and the sauce is one of the easier homemade sauces I’ve prepared. You’ll find this recipe hard to mess up, and the results both satisfying and unique. How often do you come across a new way to prepare chicken?
Flatten your chicken with a meat tenderizer
If you’ve ever tried to pan fry a large chicken breast you know it can be a daunting challenge. They’re often too thick to fully cook the inside without hopelessly overcooking the outside. The solution is to flatten your chicken breasts using a meat tenderizer. It only takes a couple minutes to turn 2 inch thick chicken breasts into nice half inch thick cutlets. They’ll fry better, take up more space on your plate, and look better to boot.
What kind of grapes to use in Grape Chicken in Brandy Sauce
In short, use red grapes. The long answer is I like to encourage people to try new things, so use the grapes you like! Red grapes though are slightly sweeter than green grapes, and not nearly as sweet as concord grapes, which strikes the right balance for this meal. We’re trying to create a sweet and savory meal, so we want to avoid grapes that are too sour or too sweet.
What can I substitute for brandy?
If you don’t have brandy at home, don’t worry. You can always buy some brandy, I like to mix brandy and coke together. But if you don’t want to use brandy, there are actually a number of substitutions you can make:
- Apple cider vinegar. This is a common substitute for brandy, and is cheap and non alcoholic. If you’re concerned about alcohol though, remember that the alcohol in the brandy is quickly cooked off and won’t be present in the served meal.
- White wine. Brandy is essentially wine that has been distilled into liquor. While not directly comparable in flavor, you’ll notice that we’re using a grape based liquor with or grape chicken. Wine will lend some of that same grape flavor you’re looking for.
- Grappa. If you don’t have brandy, you probably don’t have grappa. But if you do, you can use it here! Grappa is actually a specialized version of brandy, and while distinct from most brandies, is very on point for this recipe
Does Grape Chicken require fresh squeezed juice?
You do not need to use fresh squeezed juice, though I think it will taste better if you do. Most pre-bottled lemon juice is just citric acid in water, and you’re missing out on the natural lemon flavors. Similarly, I’m sure you’ve seen the difference between fresh squeezed orange juice and store bought juice.
The meal will work fine with pre packaged juice, so don’t stress about it too much. If you have ready access to the fresh fruits and have a juicer, you should try it.
Substitute noodles for mashed potatoes
If you’re not feeling mashed potatoes, grape chicken in brandy sauce works really well over noodles too. I served this meal to my family over two nights, and for the second night we used egg noodles. The egg noodles were able to pick up the sauce well, and complimented the taste of the chicken. Egg noodles were also slightly easier to prepare than mashed potatoes.
Other great chicken meals
If you’re looking for more delicious chicken dinners: try some of these:
- Spanish baked chicken – Chicken in a spiced tomato sauce with rice
- Homestyle bakes chicken and biscuits – Chicken, pot pie filling, and biscuits
- Chicken Parmesan – breaded and fried chicken with tomato sauce over noodles.
- Mediterranean chicken and olives – This sweet and savory chicken dish uses grapes (raisins) too!
Recipe for Smoked Pot Roast
Grape Chicken in Brandy Sauce
- 1 citrus juicer optional
- 1 Frying Pan
Grape Chicken in Brandy Sauce
- 2 Chicken Breasts (approx. 1.5lb)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Powder (or my smoked gochutgaru powder)
- 2 medium oranges
- 1 lime
- 1 lemon
- ⅓ cup orange marmalade
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 1½ cup red seedless grapes, halved
- 2-3 large potatoes Russet, white, or Yukon gold
- 2 tbsp butter or margarine
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried parsley flakes optional
- 2 tbsp greek yogurt or sour cream
- ½ tsp salt
- Start this recipe by rinsing and cubing the potatoes. Add them to a boiling pot of water, and cook them until you can easily get a fork through a cube, about 10-12 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes into a colander, and dump them back into the pot.
- Add the butter, garlic, sour cream, parsley, and salt, then mash the potatoes. Stir them after mashing.
- Keep covered and warm until ready to serve.
Grape Chicken in Brandy Sauce
- Meanwhile, wash and halve the grapes. Set them aside back in the refrigerator.
- Next juice your citrus, and set the juice aside in the fridge.
- Now, using a meat tenderizer, flatten your chicken until it's a consistent half inch thick. Use plastic wrap over the chicken to contain any splattering. Cut the flattened breasts in half.
- Salt and pepper the chicken, then fry in a pan on medium high until the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate, and set aside.
- Add marmalade to the hot skillet and stir it until it melts to a thick liquid consistency.
- Add cornstarch and gochugaru powder to the citrus juices and stir with a fork until well combined. Now add this and the brandy to the melted marmalade and stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and let the sauce thicken, about 1-3 minutes.
- Add the grapes to the sauce and stir to combine.
- Return the chicken to the pan, including any juices from the plate. Stir to combine, and allow the dish to simmer for 1-2 minutes until the chicken is reheated and the juices have combined into the sauce. Enjoy 🙂