Ancho Chile-Red Wine and Grape Roasted Chicken and Quinoa

Many of the recipes I create come from my own food cravings.

I woke up a few weeks ago in need of a warm, cozy comfort food meal.  And not for breakfast — but for that evening.

I wanted something with rich, bold, warming flavors. And I wanted to make a project of it, because for me, the process is where part of the comfort lies.

This recipe is what began my current culinary affair with Ancho chiles.  First the smoky, rich Ancho Chile Sauce, then the crispy, delicious Roasted Ancho Chile Potatoes . . . and now this incredibly tasty, wonderful Ancho Chile-Red Wine and Grape Roasted Chicken and Qunioa!

(If you’ve been following along here for a while, you know I often like to take you on a weekly food journey with a particular ingredient, exemplifying how it can be used in variety of ways, in very different meals — I love it!)

Like so many comfort foods, this dish is perfect for a quiet evening with family by the fire, and it’s also beautiful enough for an elegant dinner party!

Ancho Chile-Red Wine and Grape Roasted Chicken and Quinoa

Prep Time: 2 hours

Active Work Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 4


For the Ancho Chile-Red Wine Grape sauce:

2-1/2-pounds red, seedless grapes

1 bottle red wine

2 large, dried Ancho chiles

10 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

For the chicken:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 large, roughly chopped shallot

2 small garlic cloves

1/2 cup reduced Ancho Chile-Red Wine Grape sauce (from above -- see recipe instructions)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3-3/4-pound whole, cut-up chicken, skin-on, bone-in

For the quinoa:

1-1/2 cups dry qunioa

1/2 cup reduced Ancho Chile-Red Wine Grape sauce (from above -- see recipe instructions)

2-1/2 cups chicken stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the Ancho Chile-Red Wine Grape sauce:
  1. In a large sauce pot, add the grapes and dried Ancho chiles to the wine. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Then remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the chiles from the pot and remove the stems and seeds. Return them to the pot and place over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Then use a immersion blender to blend the sauce about half way, leaving some of the grapes whole.
  3. Add the thyme sprigs, turn the heat to low and simmer to reduce it by about 1/3. This should take about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the thyme sprigs, add the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. For the chicken:
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. Add the butter, shallot, garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of the reduced Ancho Chile-Red Wine Grape sauce, and salt to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend until it's a smooth mixture and season to taste with pepper.
  8. Now add the butter mixture under and on top of the skin of the chicken pieces, and place them in a large shallow baking pan (about 9 X 13 X 2-inches).
  9. Roast in the preheated 375 degree F oven just until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Baste the chicken about halfway through with the juices and melted compound butter at the bottom of the pan.
  10. For the quinoa:
  11. While the chicken is roasting, in a medium-sized sauce pot, mix the quinoa with another 1/2-cup of the reduced Ancho Chile-Red Wine Grape sauce and the stock. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until it's tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Serve the chicken over the quinoa and add a bit more of the sauce.


This is also delicious with couscous, pasta or rice.
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  1. Kim says

    This is so going on my menu for NEXT weekend as I have a craving for the Curry Beef Stew from days gone by! Made a fresh batch of Curry paste last night and bought the meat…although they will both keep in the freezer. I may have to jump on the Ancho train instead! Whoo hoo!

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