Happy Fall!!! {enter all the fall emoji’s you can think of!}

Fall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I’m sure you guys have noticed, but I’ve been waiting for the official start of fall and finally, it has arrived, I am pumped!

It’s my favorite time of year. So much to look forward to over the next three-ish months. So much to do, so much excitement and of course, so much awesome food! The food is my favorite thing about fall, it’s THE BEST.

Clearly, I NEEDED to start off autumn with a roasted chicken. It’s just the quintessential fall thing to do. When I was a kid roasted chicken was my mom’s thing. It was one of the handful of dinners she would make, and she’d only make it on a Sunday night. She’d do all the prep for the chicken, roast it, check it, baste it, add more butter… Dad would make the rice, and possibly some kind of green, but I must admit, the greens were kind of scarce.

SIDE NOTE: Dad used to ALWAYS eat salad every night for dinner, no matter what he was making us kids. He’d literally mow giant bowls of salad for dinner…the rest of just weren’t into that. Since I started cooking (and making food other than chicken and rice) dad has changed his ways, but he still loves a good salad.

Mom would always attempt to make bread in her bread machine…but most of the time she’d start the bread at like five or six and with a four-hour cooking time, the bread was normally served after dinner, but before dessert. Either that or she’d throw loaf of bread in the oven from the store, BUT, there was an 85% chance she’d burn the bread. I am not trying to be harsh on her, but she is notorious for burning bread and or starting it way too late, and she’ll fully admit to it too. It’s just mom and we all love her for it.

Fall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestFall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Anyway, I think my point in all this was, that to me, a roasted chicken symbolizes fall and family dinners. It’s such a loved meal for me solely for that reason. Well that and I swear, no one makes a roasted chicken better than my mom. Her secret? Salt, pepper, chicken broth, Vegata seasoning and umm, butter.

Butter is a must, you knew that one was coming. She made it simple, but GOOD.

Fall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I kind of fancified her chicken a bit though and stuffed a whole bunch of goat cheese and fresh herbs under that chicken skin. Oh my gosh, I know. WHAT!

Yes, I somehow found a way to add cheese to a classic like roasted chicken. I think I have issues.

WHATEVER. Everyone’s got issues. I can deal with it. Cheese rules, especially goat cheese. So it’s totally cool.

I still kept the actual process of roasting the chicken simple and easy. I know the title sounds kind of fancy, but it’s really not, it’s a simple, easy meal to make for your family… or maybe even just for one. Then you can just eat the leftovers all week long. YUM!

Fall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestFall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Ok, so what else!

You’ve got the goat cheese stuffed under that skin. You also have some caramelized walnuts, sage and just a little rosemary in there too. From there you just rub the chicken with a little olive oil, salt + pepper. Oh, and butter…of course.

Then throw some grapes in a roasting pan and place the chicken on top of the grapes and roast away! Don’t be weirded out by the roasted grapes. They’re kind of my new favorite thing!! I love, love, love using grapes in a savory way like this and the flavors pair so perfectly with the flavors from the chicken + goat cheese. It’s kind of magical. <–Truth.

OH! And one of the most important parts is the apple cider. You know how some people baste their chicken with chicken broth? Or maybe you don’t baste your chicken, I don’t know, but today we are basting our chicken in a reduced apple cider sauce. It’s sweet and makes for the most perfect, golden caramelized skin. If you’re a lover of the skin (which oddly not a single soul in my family is), than you will LOVE this little step.

Plus, it really helps to keep the chicken moist and tie in all those awesome fall flavors!

*Lastly, for those of you who saw this post earlier today. I want to you to know that your efforts to contact Pinterest on my behalf of my issue have worked! Pinterest finally contacted me to let me know that we have been removed from their blacklist. They apologized for the inconvenience and said that, “Occasionally good websites get caught in the mix when we’re looking for spammy sites. This shouldn’t happen again, however, please let us know if it does”.  Thank you all for being such AWESOME loyal readers. You have no idea how much this means to me. 🙂 Tieghan

Fall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvestFall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest
Print
5 from 1 vote
The Recipe

Fall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes.

*To intensive the cider flavor you can also brine the chicken in cider overnight. Add the chicken to a LARGE pot or even a plastic box of some sort. Pour over 16 ounces of apple cider and then add enough water to cover the chicken completely. Add 1/2 cup kosher salt and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage + rosemary. Cover and place in the fridge overnight. The next day, remove the chicken from the brine and pat completely dry, follow the directions above.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 0 SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 ounces goat cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound whole chicken 4-5
  • 1 cloves head of garlic bottom sliced off to reveal the
  • 2 apples quartered
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh red grapes
  • 3 cups apple cider

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place a small skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts + honey and cook until toasted and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove the walnuts from the skillet and spread out on a plate in a single layer. Allow to cool and then finely chop the walnuts.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, chopped walnuts, sage and rosemary.
  4. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Pat the outside dry. Generously salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the garlic and 1 quartered apple. Slide your hand between the meat and skin of the chicken and then carefully stuff the goat cheese mixture under the skin, pushing it as far back as you can get it without actually ripping the skin. Depending on the size of your chicken, you may not use all the goat cheese. If this is the case, just sprinkle the goat cheese around the grapes before roasting.
  5. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil and then sprinkle generously with salt + pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
  6. Place the grapes and remaining apples in a roasting pan or large cast iron skillet. Drizzle with salt, pepper and olive oil. Add a few fresh sage leaves and any remaining goat cheese.
  7. Place chicken onto the grapes. Add four tablespoon size pats of butter around the chicken.
  8. Roast the chicken for 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Add the cider to a medium size pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until it thickens and is reduced by about half. Halfway through cooking the chicken, brush the bird with half of the cider. About 5 minutes before the chicken is done cooking, brush it again with the remaining cider. If desired, you can also reserve some cider for serving.
  9. Allow the chicken to sit for 10-20 minutes, covered with foil and then slice and serve!
Fall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Come on, doesn’t this fall harvest cider roasted chicken just make you feel all warm and cozy?!?! YES!

 

 

Fall Harvest Cider Roasted Chicken with Walnut Goat Cheese + Grapes | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest