Thursday, April 22, 2021



This recipe is inspired by one from The New York Times. I felt bored to tears with the same old same old and some quite different ideas showed up at just the right moment.  The sheet pan plan promised to be so easy and the idea of grapes and shallots seemed unusual, yet perfect. Naturally, we lacked some key ingredients and had to change it up a bit. Among other things we didn’t have za’atar and our pot of fresh thyme hadn’t survived the Ontario winter. The rosemary was still kicking though and got pressed into service. I changed a few other things in the procedures too.  Za’atar is now on my shopping list. Report to follow.


2 ½ to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, patted dry with a paper towel

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tsp dried (if you’re lucky you have fresh!) thyme

2 tsp fresh rosemary chopped plus 4 or 5 sprigs to decorate

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

6 medium shallots, peeled and quartered

8 ounces seedless red or green grapes, or a combination, broken into small clusters but still on the vine

A sprinkle of sea salt for serving.


Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken with 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, dried thyme and rosemary, salt and pepper. 

Peel shallots and quarter them. 

Place the shallots and the grapes in a bowl and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sea salt. Spread on sheet-pan.

Place the chicken skin-side up in between the shallots and grapes pop the rosemary sprigs on top of the chicken. 

Roast 30 - 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown. 


Do you have a favorite sheet-pan dinner?   Drop in and tell about it. I’d love to find out!


Mary Jane Maffini  

MJ is the award-winning author of three and a half mystery series: the Camilla Maffini mysteries, the Fiona Silk capers and the Charlotte Adams mysteries – number six coming soon!  The Charlotte Adams books have recently been optioned for television films. Details to come when they can be made public. MJ's short stories have won Crime Writers of Canada awards and also scored an Agatha. With her daughter Victoria Maffini, MJ collaborated on The Book Collector Mysteries as Victoria Abbott. Victoria Abbott spent several happy years on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. MJ  is very glad to be back and Victoria is waving at you all!

Don't forget to check out MJ's Canadian books:  Camilla MacPhee features a fortyish widowed lawyer who runs an advocacy agency for victims of violent crime, in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. Life would be easier if she didn't have the world's worst office assistant, the world's bossiest sisters and, arguably, the world's greatest stubborn streak. If you like your mysteries a bit edgy with a side order of humor, these could be for you.  

Keep up on the news!  You can sign up for updates about MJ and Victoria plus fun and prizes through our newsletter HERE 



  1. I recognize those great PRESIDENT'S CHOICE products; I have the same in my kitchen!

    1. We can't live without PC products. Great value, quality and variety. Hugs. MJ

  2. What an intriguing idea to put grapes and shallots with chicken.
    Sounds like it should taste great!

    I REALLY dislike the reCaptcha that uses photos. Just had one with a series of five panels for me to identify!

  3. I hear you about the 'captcha's'. Do you find yourself yelling at a 'bot', Libby? I do. Hugs.

    1. Of course! Someone has to teach them manners, after all!