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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 seasoningย 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”.ย ย Thank you all for being such AWESOME loyal readers. You have no idea how much this means to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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

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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 537 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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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

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • 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.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, chopped walnuts, sage and rosemary.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Place chicken onto the grapes. Add four tablespoon size pats of butter around the chicken.
  • 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.
  • Allow the chicken to sit for 10-20 minutes, covered with foil and then slice and serve!

Notes

*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.

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

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

 

 

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

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Comments

  1. I am wanting to make this for our next dinner club but was thinking of using chicken thighs so everyone would get the concept to the goat cheese u dear the skin. Thoughts on how long Iโ€™d bake it?

    1. Hey Leslie,
      I roast the chicken uncovered. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  2. Iโ€™m excited to try this recipe tomorrow.
    Are you supposed to put the grapes and one apple in a separate dish in the oven or in the roasting pan with the chicken?

    Thanks

  3. 5 stars
    I am beyond words on this one !! Everything … it is simply everything!!! From ease , to fragrance for hours all over the house , to presentation that demanded applause , and to flavors beyond compare !!!
    You seriously need a television show !!!
    I bow to you !!!!
    Thank you for making me look like the ultimate rock star last night !!

  4. 5 stars
    This is the most memorable recipe of my life. I made it in college for a friendsgiving and Iโ€™ve never tasted such an amazingly made chicken before! About 4 years later I had to go through my pinterest to find this recipe as I want to make it again. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    My house smelled so good last night thanks to this recipe. We’ve made other “chicken/grape” recipes before. What made this stand out was the goat cheese/walnut rub. Added some special flavors.. One question: in your photos, your grapes stayed nice and purple, while mine faded into a purplish/gray and also generated lots of liquid (which was a lovely gravy). Thoughts on the color?

    Thanks again!

    1. Hey David! While the grapes roast they will naturally fade in color, especially the longer they roast. If you want the grapes to retain their color I recommend adding the grapes to the roasting pan during the last 40 minutes of cooking. They will not release as much juice this way, but they will have better color. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am so glad you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Hello! Do you have any recommendations for high altitude cooking specifically with this dish. We always have a hard time getting the bird fully cooked here in Ridgway, Co high altitude living.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Paige! My recipes should work great for you at high altitude, but if you have specific questions on a recipe please let me know! I am at around 9,000 feet! xTieghan

  7. Do you think it would be OK to prep the chicken the night before (i.e. season and stuff the goat cheese mixture) and leave it loosely wrapped in the refrigerator overnight?

    1. Hi Mary! You can prep the chicken the night before. That should be just fine. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. HI! I am sure that will be just fine. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you loved this recipe and had a great Christmas! Thanks so much and happy Holidays!! xTieghan ?

  8. 5 stars
    Just saw this and it’s already printing. I love roasted chicken and I also love goat cheese to the utmost. Those two (with the rest of it of course) are sooo a perfect match. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for my book club, and everyone adored it! One of them said this was literally the best chicken they’ve ever had! I’m already excited for the leftovers.

  10. 4 stars
    I’ve looked at all your autumn recipes and I’m cooking my way through them! My friend absolutely loved this chicken, and went wild over the grapes and apples! My sister, who usually doesn’t even try my food, was all over that goat cheese mix.

    I think I messed up the temperature, mainly because my oven is fickle, so the chicken had to go back into the oven after I carved it because it was salmonella-raw-pink on the inside!! But overall, this was a resounding success at my place and I’m gonna make this again soon, to get it right this time!!

  11. Does the apple cider give the chicken a sweet taste? My husband isnโ€™t keen on fruit flavors in his dinner, but I do want to skin you described. Will it work with chicken broth? Or maybe a mixture of the two??

    Gonna make this with your buttery pull apart whole wheat potato rolls!

    Thanks,
    Kim

    1. HI! Using chicken broth will great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  12. 5 stars
    Hi! My friend made this recipe and it was amazing! I have a bunch of green grapes at home and was wondering if they could work? Would it be too tart or not sweet enough, or would it not matter? Th aks!

    1. 4 stars
      Hello, Green grapes will work fine. It is more of a color issue. Red is more festive. The question you should ask yourself is if you like the taste of the green grapes. They can have a very nice flavor and add a nice contrast to the other ingredients. Have fun. Gayle

    2. I have not tried this with green grapes, but I am sure that would be fine. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. where did your plates come from? they’re beautiful! also this recipe is prepped and ready to go in the oven once my pie comes out!

    1. Those are from Williams-Sonoma, but I bought them a few years back and am not sure if they still carry them. Hope you loved this!

  14. Christmas in South Africa and making this for the Christmas table… can’t wait to get it in the oven, looks so pretty already! ?

  15. I made this. I cannot overstate how good this is. I could’ve wept with joy. The grapes seemed weird, I did it anyway….again. I could’ve wept.
    This is my new favourite food group. Brava.

  16. Hi! I have a 2.5 lb chicken and would love to make this recipe, but I’m guessing the cooking time will be way too long–how long would you suggest?

    1. Hey Victoria! I would recommend 50-60 minutes. Please let me know if you have any questions. Hope you love this! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Thanks for the quick reply! I did 10 minutes at 450, then 50 at 375 and it came out perfectly! That goat cheese mixture was delicious, might have to serve that on its own as an app sometime…

  17. Hi! I’ve made a few of your recipes before and have 2 questions about this one.
    1. For the garlic- it just says to chop off the bottom to reveal the cloves. Am I also removing the paper’y skin? I’m just envisioning all the papery skin flaking off inside the chicken so I have to ask for more clarification on the garlic…
    2. When you say to put 4 T size pats of butter “around the chicken” does that mean slap it right on the chicken or around it like basically ON the grapes the chicken is resting on?

    THANK YOU! I love your recipes and can’t wait to make this with your pumpkin soup for my hubby (we LOVED that soup last fall!)

    1. Hi!!

      Q1: so peel away most of the skin, leaving just one layer and then chop off the top 1/3 of the garlic to reveal the cloves. Does that help at all? Let me know if you have further questions.
      Q2: I mean to put the butter on the chicken.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I just bought my first roaster and this is going to be my first recipe to try! I’m excited and VERY nervous! I have never worked with a whole chicken before. Thank you for all the detail in the recipe!
    I see you served this with rice. Another side dishes that would accompany this? Is another side even necessary?
    Happy Fall!
    Thanks!

    1. Hey Kristen I love serving this with wild rice or mashed potatoes and then always a side of bread! Let me know if you have any questions at all. Happy to help! Hope you love this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Hey! I was just wondering when you put the goat cheese mixture in between the meat and skin, do you put it all the way back or do you spread it out between the meat and skin? I love this recipe and the pictures look beautiful!

    1. Hey Brooke! You spread it under the skin, between the meat + skin. Don’t pull the skin all the way back. Use your hand to kind of push it back. Does that make sense? The goat cheese should be crumbled. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks so much and I hope you love this!

  20. Amazing recipe!!! I am a college student, but I love cooking and I made it yesterday. It’s juicy and delicious. I couldn’t find Apple cider in the store, so I just used organic apple juice and While zinfadel wine. Your recipe rocks!
    I have a question though. The top of the chicken turned black. I baked it with 426F. Any idea why?
    Here’s a picture: http://s15.postimg.org/nx2cr4tob/IMAG2798.jpg
    Thank you for the recipe!!!

    1. Hey Polina! Did you have the chicken up towards the top of the oven? You can also cover the chicken towards the end of cooking to keep it from burning on top.

      So happy you loved this! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks!

  21. Made this yesterday for a Sunday roast and OMG it was amazing! Everyone absolutely loved it! Even without brining they said it was the juiciest chicken they’ve ever had and the even the picky eaters LOVED the grapes! Another GREAT recipe! Thank you!

  22. I made this the other night and it was amazing!! The chicken was incredibly moist and tender, and the grapes were a sweet and juicy touch! Love it.

  23. Hi- looks amazing and I’m planning on making it this weekend. Question: What kind of apple cider did you use? Sorry for not grasping, but is it the cider with alcohol, or without?

    Thanks!

  24. Ya know, my grandma used to say, just because it looks good doesn’t mean it tastes good. Your photos are amaaaaaazing. I guess I want that chicken, & that cook to make it for me lol.Or maybe if I had gorgeous serving pieces, earthware, I guess you can see where I’m going with this…. Constructive feedback if I may: I didn’t get the goat cheese because under the skin, not only did it melt/breakdown was pretty much gone. But it was on the hard side.The remainder of the cheese when sprinkled with grapes burnt to a crisp. Loved the grapes but I recommend taken off their stalks. Both me & my husband felt that way. We couldn’t eat the grapes with out getting messy. Have you tried lowering the heat maybe after 15 min in the oven. So keep posting your fabulous photos. Thanks

    1. Hi Karen, I am sorry this recipe did not go over well for you. I have had many readers make it with success, so I am not sure what happened. If you feel the chicken/cheese was a little burnt, I recommend covering the dish with foil until the chicken is cooked through. That should fix your issue. Also, what type of goat cheese did you use?

      Again, sorry for the trouble and please let me know if you have any questions. Tieghan

  25. this looks so delicious!!! just curious as to if this could be done with a small turkey instead of a chicken?

    1. Hi Taryn! I honestly am not sure, BUT I would think so. I have actually not cooked a ton of turkey, so I am not as comfortable instructing you on that. But again, if I had to guess, I think it would be great!! Let me know how it goes!

      Tieghan! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. I am planning to make this recipe this week and have a quick question! When you say to put the four pats of butter “around the chicken” do your mean to put them ON the chicken in various places or around the chicken as in on top of the grapes? Thanks!

    1. Hi Liz, yes, I mean on the chicken. Sorry, this is kind of confusing!

      Hope you love the chicken and let me know if you have any other questions!

    1. HI! Mine did not burn. A few on the top got a little charred, but mostly I think the chicken protects the grapes from burning. If you want, you can cover the grapes with foil towards the end of cooking if they look like they are getting brunt. Hope that helps and I hope you love this dinner!

  27. I just came across your blog a couple of weeks ago and this was the first recipe I have attempted. I made this last Sunday and- BEST. CHICKEN. EVER. We absolutely LOVED it and I’m sure I will be making it again. Thanks for putting together such an awesome combination of flavors!

  28. You add lavender asswell, or is that just decorative, it’s looks great if love to try making this for my friends and family

  29. So, I made this dish last night and it turned out perfectly! It even elicited a curse word from a typically non-cursing guest while taking the first bite. Major hit! I had just been apple picking on Saturday so I threw several sliced and peeled apples into the bottom of the roasting pan (in addition to stuffing the chicken) with the grapes and cloves of garlic. Next time I will add more of the cheese/walnut mixture to the bottom as well because the flavor of the apples, grapes, garlic and cheese mixture was phenomenal! Thanks for a great keeper of a recipe!

  30. Just made this and it was unbelievable! Everyone loved it. I also used your brine recipe and would definitely recommend it. The chicken was so good, this is a keeper. Thanks again! I can’t wait to try it with turkey and maybe mix in some cranberries with the grapes and apples. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Cider roasted chicken sounds like an incredible feast entree–and with walnut goat cheese and grapes?! I mean, might as well set up a candlelight picnic dinner!

  32. Very likely making this this weekend. It looks and sounds AMAZING! MY question is…. for the garlic…. you simply said- 1 head of garlic, bottom sliced off to reveal the cloves… and of course sounding so simple my brain assumes I’m missing something. Do I leave all that peel’y skin on? Just chop off the bottom and stick it in the bird? Or do I need to peel all that stuff off the garlic first?

    This looks so amazing!!!
    Thanks
    Christy

    1. HI!!

      Yes, leave the skin on and stick it in the bird! The garlic is just adding flavor, you will not eat, so you can leave the skin on! Hope you LOVE this. THANKS!!

  33. Tieghan!! This looks SO GOOD. How do you think a crock pot conversion of this recipe would turn out? Was thinking of using cornish hens.

    1. Hmm, I honestly do not know. I have never cooked a whole chicken in a crockpot, nor have I cooked cornish hens. SOoo, I really cannot say. Let me know if you do try it though and how it turns out! Thanks!

  34. Spot on recipe and mouth-watering photography, Tieghan. Thank you. I want to add that your home is awesome, so thank you for sharing that as well. Cheers, Ardith

  35. Complained to Pinterest, and after some back and forth, they said they’ve removed your site from the “blacklist” – and indeed, I was able to pin once more from here! Can’t wait to give this one a try!

  36. I was so upset when I was trying to pin recipes yesterday! I googled a bit and it may be because so many people pin your stuff, it creates a lot of traffic. But that’s the whole point of Pinterest! I love your recipes and make them all the time, my husband even follows you on Instagram and tags me in the comments when he wants to try certain things ๐Ÿ™‚ I contacted Pinterest again for you! Hopefully it gets straightened out!

  37. Mmm, this chicken looks soooo good! I think I’ll switch it up this year and have this for Thanksgiving ๐Ÿ™‚
    And for dinner this weekend…

    ps: just contacted Pinterest, hopefully this issue gets resolved soon!

  38. I have also contacted Pinterest! I pin almost all of your recipes, it would be a real bummer if they don’t get this fixed.

  39. Maybe they flagged you because you have so many people pinning your amazing recipes! I’ll send a message as well. Beautiful dish – and you had me laughing out loud about your mom and the bread! Too cute! And my mom was like your dad with all of the salads.

  40. In my best Ron Weasley voice…”bloody hell”… I think I pin almost every recipe you post. Have contacted Pinterest!

  41. This chicken looks awesome and I love hearing about your nostalgic family memories. Your mom sounds just like mine when it comes to burning things, so hilarious. By the way, I contacted pinterest so I hope it might help. You have to get your account working again! You are like the best pinner they have, how could they flag you? Good luck getting it fixed Tieghan and happy first day of Autumn!

      1. I am setting up to make 3 chickens this weekend as we are having a dinner party. I chose the theme Celebrating the Fall Harvest”. This recipe looks perfect. Can we use the garlic as roasted baked garlic and serve it with french bread? that is what I am hoping to do. How does the apple come out after? Is it like baked apples? Can I serve them with a bit of the goat cheese warm? Just trying to be creative. This recipe looks fab and has lots of potential. Thank you so much for this post. Will let all know.
        Gayle

        1. Hey Gayle!! Yes the roasted garlic will be great on bread, yum! The apple is like a baked apple, mine want not very soggy. I think serving them with goat cheese sounds delicious!! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy to help! ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. I really want to impress my step family with this recipe hehe, but can we substitute the goat cheese by another one ? Like do you have idea can other one i can pick ?
            And did you try your recipe with other nuts like pecans ou hazelnuts?
            Thank you very much, can wait to try this recipe menoum menoum
            Oh! Do you suggest to cook basmati rice or potatoes or maybe other things with ?

            ๐Ÿ™‚
            -A novice cook who needs some help ;P .

          2. Hi! I recommend using a cheese you like. What about feta or mascarpone? Other nuts will be great. hope this is a hit!

  42. I agree roasted chicken dinners remind me of Sunday family meals. I also roast one as soon as the weather begins to chill. Plus your house smells so good when then are cooking. I’ve never roasted grapes have to give that a try.