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Herbed Cranberry Chicken

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A cranberry chicken dish that is full of herby and earthy flavor. It is an elegant dish that can be served for a dinner party and/or for a date night in!

Herbed cranberry chicken is an elegant dish that can be served for a dinner party and/or for a date night in! Minimal effort but loads of earthy flavor!

The holidays this year are going to look really different, but I’m actually kind of excited for it because it forces the traditional folks to be a little unconventional and stray from their traditions.

I understand traditions and why they exist, but I am a lover of creating new traditions and just trying something new in general.

So when the craziness of the pandemic ends, we may leave with more than several new traditions to incorporate into holidays and even more cherished memories.

I don’t think we should look at the pandemic holiday season as a season of sadness but a season of change and a way to embrace it in the worst of times. If you look back in history, many did the best with what they were given and I believe we can do the same with an open mind.

Herbed cranberry chicken is an elegant dish that can be served for a dinner party and/or for a date night in! Minimal effort but loads of earthy flavor!

Herbed Cranberry Chicken

Traditional Christmas meals have ham or some sort of beef roast.

Why not change it up this year with herbed cranberry chicken?

If you’re feeding for a smaller crowed, this herbed cranberry chicken has all the earthy flavors of the season – rosemary and thyme.

In addition to earthy flavors, herbed cranberry chicken is a hearty and filling dish with tangy and sweet flavors with a splash of umami thrown in.

It’s so elegant too. Something about the rosemary and cranberries give it an elevated glam.

Herbed cranberry chicken is an elegant dish that can be served for a dinner party and/or for a date night in! Minimal effort but loads of earthy flavor!

Tips for making herbed cranberry chicken

  • The key to the crispy skin is placing the thighs in a very hot pan skin side down and then letting them sear undisturbed. Depending on the size of your chicken, it may take 7-10 minutes for the skin to get crispy and allow you to easily flip them over without the skin sticking to the pan. Very large thighs may take longer than 10 minutes depending on how large/hot your burner is. Once they can be flipped without the skin sticking to the pan, they’re ready.
  • The recipe says you can use fresh or frozen cranberries but I would use fresh, especially since they’re in season. However, if you froze a bag of fresh cranberries, then use those. I do not recommend using dried cranberries.
Herbed cranberry chicken is an elegant dish that can be served for a dinner party and/or for a date night in! Minimal effort but loads of earthy flavor!

Other elegant chicken recipes

Chicken Piccata with Crispy Sage

Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

Holy Yum Chicken

Creamy Chicken in White Wine Sauce

Herbed Cranberry Chicken

Herbed cranberry chicken is an elegant dish that can be served for a dinner party and/or for a date night in! Minimal effort but loads of earthy flavor!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

For the chicken:

  • 6 large or 8-9 medium bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter

For the rest of the dish:

  • 5 cloves garlic,, chopped
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves chopped
  • ¼ cup chicken broth, (6 tablespoons broth if you’re using fresh cranberries)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos, (can sub soy sauce or gluten-free tamari, ideally reduced sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey, (can use 2 tablespoons honey if using soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups frozen fresh cranberries, (can sub fresh)
  • Slices of lemon
  • Sprigs of rosemary

Instructions

  • Combine the thyme, pepper, salt, and minced garlic together. Toss your chicken thighs in this mixture.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted and very hot, carefully place the chicken thighs in the pan, one at a time, skin side down. After adding each thigh, wait 10 seconds or so before adding the next thigh – this will make sure the butter stays hot enough to sear the thighs. In order to get super crispy skin, it’s very important to not move the thighs around after you place them in the pan.
  • Allow the thighs to sear skin side down for 7-10 minutes (you can reduce the heat down to medium if the butter starts to burn). Carefully attempt to flip one of the thighs over using a pair of tongs. If the chicken flips over easily, the skin is crispy enough and you can flip them over. If the skin is sticking to the pan, wait an additional minute and try again. Repeat with the remaining thighs until they are all skin side up.
  • Scatter the chopped garlic and half of the chopped rosemary all over the chicken in the pan. Continue searing on the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the cranberries around the chicken. Combine the chicken broth, coconut aminos, balsamic vinegar, honey and lemon juice and pour the mixture into the pan around the thighs. Top the chicken with the remaining chopped rosemary and place the rosemary sprigs in the pan.
  • Place the pan into the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the largest thigh reaches at least 165 degrees. Garnish with lemon slices and a sprinkle of salt and pepper prior to serving.

Notes

Chicken thighs can really vary in thickness and size. My thighs were very large and 6 of them weighed almost 3 pounds. If you are using smaller thighs, aim for 8-9, or a total of 2.75-3 pounds.
We used a very large pan for this, a 12-inch stainless skillet with straight sides.
This is the brand coconut aminos I used for the recipe – http://www.bigtreefarms.com/coco-aminos-1 . It’s my favorite because it’s thick and more salty and sweet than other varieties, but any brand will work.
In lieu of coconut aminos, you can use soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (ideally lower sodium), but I recommend adding maybe an additional tablespoon of honey. If using coconut aminos, you may want to add a sprinkle of salt to the dish at the end depending on your personal taste.
Minimum internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit, but for thighs I often like them to be around 175 degrees.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 480 kcal | Carbohydrates: 15 g | Protein: 28 g | Fat: 34 g | Saturated Fat: 11 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 181 mg | Sodium: 698 mg | Potassium: 444 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 7 g | Vitamin A: 372 IU | Vitamin C: 9 mg | Calcium: 43 mg | Iron: 2 mg

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, cranberry, rosemary, thyme
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Kim Lippy

Monday 23rd of November 2020

Thank you for posting this recipe. Although I've not made it yet, it looks GREAT! Two questions: 1) how do you keep the fresh minced garlic from burning during the 10 min searing time? 2) Does this dish freeze well?

Julie Chiou

Monday 23rd of November 2020

hi! 1. good question - before putting it in the skillet, i do try to brush a lot of it under the skin of the chicken thighs so it doesn't burn, but inevitably some will still burn and/or turn darker. just scoop them out so you don't have bitter garlic. i noticed that cooking it under the skin doesn't cause it to burn. 2. i have not tried to freeze this so i'm sorry i can't answer this!