One question: how is it February 3rd?! Lot’s of exciting things happening in February, Valentine’s day and Paul’s birthday!!! Soon, there will be a few dessert recipes to celebrate Valentine’s day. But first, let’s talk about this Marinated Cranberry Chicken!
I first came up with the idea for Marinated Cranberry Chicken In November when cranberries are everywhere. I wanted to create a recipe that highlights cranberries but that isn’t your traditional cranberry sauce – don’t worry, cranberry sauce has my heart! BUT then LIFE happened and it’s February – is it too late for Marinated Cranberry Chicken?! Please say no! Please agree with me that there is always room for some chicken marinated in some tart cranberries and red wine and then pan seared and that marinade is made into a thick, luscious sauce and served over rice/quinoa/any grain you please!
Good, I’m glad we agree.
Paul does not like cranberries in any form, not even with all the sugar in the world – strange, I know! BUT I made Marinated Cranberry Chicken anyways – because more for me, duh! BTW I think it’s kind of strange: I love tart things – give me all of the lemon pies, and grapefruits, and cranberries! Paul hates all the tart things – it’s hilarious to give him something tart and watch him make that iconic just-ate-something-sour-pucker-face! Haha! I’m evil! Paul loves bitter foods – he is a coffee addict, and loves the hoppy IPA beers. Me, not so much. It took me years to learn to love dark chocolate. I think I’ll just stick with the chocolate, thank you. I just think it’s funny how different our pallets are for tart and bitter foods, especially when we both enjoy so many other kinds of food.
Anyways – onward with the Marinated Cranberry Chicken that I enjoyed all by myself! I won’t lie to you, this chicken and the sauce are pretty tart. I mean, yes I use a good amount of honey to sweeten it up, but it still has a lot of tartness to it. So, if your taste buds aren’t on the spectrum for the tart foods this one may not be for you. BUT if tartness speaks your language – because you’re bold and sassy like that – then you need to make this recipe ASAP! It’s easy to make, just blend the cranberries, red wine, garlic, and rosemary in the blender and pour over the chicken and let it chill out for a few hours. When it’s time to cook it, remove the chicken from the marinade and cook in the pan until the skin gets all crispy. Remove the chicken, and add the marinate in plus a few whole cranberries, cook until the sauce is thick and serve over some kinda grain to soak up all it’s goodness! Dinner = DONE!
Marinated Cranberry Chicken is the perfect quick weeknight meal. It also freezes nicely, so it would be a great make ahead meal! I suggest serving it with a quick side salad. May I recommend my Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Creamy Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing? The sweetness from the strawberries and the dressing will help to balance out the tartness of the cranberry sauce. If strawberries aren’t looking too good because it’s winter simply sub the strawberries with any other kind of berry that is looking fresh. Or omit them, it will still be a refreshing salad!
Guys, we are taking cranberries to a whole new level with this Marinated Cranberry Chicken! Go us!
- 2¼ cup cranberries, divided (can use either fresh or frozen. Defrost first if frozen)
- ½ cup dry red wine, plus more for de-glazing pan
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 to 3 tablespoons honey, plus more as needed for taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 1½ teaspoon fresh, divided
- 1 pound chicken pieces (drumsticks and thighs)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, or arrowroot starch
- Rice/quinoa, or your grain of choice for serving
- To a blender add 1¼ cup cranberries, reserve the remainder 1 cup for later. Red wine, garlic, cinnamon, honey, salt, pepper, and half of the rosemary. Blend until everything is smooth,
- Place the chicken into a shallow dish or a ziplock bag. Pour the marinate over the chicken. Cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 8 hours.
- When ready to cook heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt the coconut oil and remove the chicken from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Cook the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes per side. The skin will char a little because of the sugars in the sauce, that's what we want.Once the chicken is cooked through remove, cover with foil and set aside.
- To the hot pan pour in ¼ cup of the red wine and use your spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up the stuck on bits. Add the reserved marinade and the whole cranberries. Turn the heat up to high and allow to the sauce to come to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until most of the whole cranberries have popped.
- Stir in the rosemary and taste test (be sure not to taste the sauce until it has simmered for 5 minutes because it was sitting in the raw chicken). Add more honey (I added about ¼ cup) for sweetness and more salt to bring out the flavors.
- Whisk the cornstarch/arrow root powder with in a small dish with water until no lumps remain. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the sauce and allow to thicken, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken back into the pan and serve over the chicken and sauce over rice/quinoa/your grain of choice.
Nutrition facts do not include whatever kind of grain you serve with this meal.