Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Chicken Breasts with Pan-Seared Grapes

Raw grapes bring fruity sweetness to salads and desserts and sometimes show up on platters as meat garnishes. But these delectable vine fruits become much more than a garnish when seared in a hot skillet until the skins pop and become lightly charred in places. Now we’re talking caramelized goodness.

The key here is a hot, heavy skillet—cast-iron preferred. First, sear the chicken in butter and oil, then sear the grapes in the same skillet, scraping up those delicious little brown bits with the addition of wine and balsamic vinegar.

Red grapes, red wine, vinegar…sounds like a natural combination to me.

Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, lightly pounded to even thickness
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups dark red (“black”) seedless grapes, rinsed
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced into thin rings
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Rinsed Grapes 
  1. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter, swirling to incorporate.
  2. When the butter begins to sizzle, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and sear until golden and just cooked through, 6-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the grapes to the skillet and sear until they begin to blister and the skins pop, stirring frequently and scraping up brown bits from the chicken, about 5 minutes. (As the grapes soften, use the edge of a spatula to cut larger ones in half.)
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot and red wine. Season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly reduced, 3-4 minutes.
  5. Stir in the vinegar and re-season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Return the chicken to the pan and warm throughout, turning to coat.
Chicken Beginning to Sear 
Chicken after Turning 
Grapes Beginning to Sear 
Seared Grapes
Scrape up Brown Bits
Transfer the chicken and sauce to a platter and serve right away.

Chicken Breasts with Pan-Seared Grapes


  1. I would have never thought to add grapes to chicken! Found you on The Tumbleweed Contessa!

    1. I keep finding more and more fruits that cook up like vegetables --- fun to try, and good to eat!

      Thanks much for your comment, Kyla.