If you’re looking to lighten up your holiday menu without sacrificing flavor, this cranberry roasted chicken is a hearty, healthy main.
A balsamic vinegar-based marinade keeps the chicken juicy, while fresh thyme and a handful of cranberries bring in the sweetness of the season.
Cranberry Roasted Chicken
The cranberries in this recipe have powerful antioxidants, which can help strengthen the immune system during cold and flu season.
- 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tamari (aged soy sauce) (optional)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken thighs or breasts, with skin on (about 4 to 6 thighs or breasts)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Step 1: Prep the Chicken
Clean the chicken, then place in a roasting pan or baking dish. Set aside.
Step 2: Make the Marinade
In a food processor or blender, blend all of the marinade ingredients until liquefied and smooth. Pour marinade over the chicken to coat evenly.
Cover and place chicken in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours (marinating overnight creates a more intense flavor).
Step 3: Cook the Chicken
Heat oven to 375° F.
Once marinated to your liking, remove chicken from the fridge. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh cranberries and 2 to 3 sprigs of thyme to the pan, spreading evenly on and around the chicken.
In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Mix and set aside for use later to coat cooked chicken.
Bake chicken, skin side down, for 25 to 35 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven and turn skin side up. Check for doneness. Brush each piece with the maple syrup-balsamic vinegar mixture.
Depending on the thickness of your chicken, either bake a little longer, skin side up, then broil. Or, if chicken is almost done and not pink, skip extra baking time and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, or until skin is crispy and chicken is thoroughly cooked (internal temperature of the thickest piece should be 165° F).
Step 4: Spoon Sauce and Serve
When thoroughly cooked, remove from oven. Plate each serving, spooning the pan sauce over each piece and adding a pinch of black pepper. Top with the roasted cranberries, and garnish with any extra fresh herbs, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of cottercrunch.com.