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   Serves: 4-6   Author: Tieghan Gerard


  • 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 (4-5) pound whole chicken
  • 1 head of garlic, bottom sliced off to reveal the cloves
  • 2 apples, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh red grapes
  • 3 cups apple cider


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!