Skillet Chicken with Grapes and Dried Pears

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
This quick chicken fricassee simply involves browning chicken parts, then simmering them in a punchy sweet and sour mixture of vinegar, dried pears and shallots. The braise is finished with sweet red grapes and served with a simple side of Parmesan polenta.



  1. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken pieces skin-side down and cook, flipping the thighs once and turning the drumsticks occasionally, until well browned and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings.
  2. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring, until browned at the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook until reduced, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup water, the dried pears and marjoram sprigs. Return the chicken and any juices from the plate to the skillet. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes. Add the grapes during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with 4 cups water; season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the butter and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the polenta among plates. Top with the chicken, pan sauce and fruit. Sprinkle with the marjoram leaves.