Baked Cranberry Chicken with Rosemary Recipe

This easy baked cranberry chicken recipe with rosemary is the perfect festive dinner! Bold flavors from fresh garlic, rosemary, citrus, and tangy-sweet cranberries come together to create a show-stopping dish. If you like, you can marinate the chicken in the seasoning and citrus for a couple hours in the fridge or just do as in the recipe and allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes.

This cranberry chicken recipe, with its vibrant red cranberries and golden-brown chicken, boasts the wow-factor of holiday roasts like leg of lamb or whole chicken. But it comes together in under an hour and requires very little tending to. It’s a beautiful centerpiece for a holiday party, but easy enough to add to your weeknight dinner rotation.

To get the best color and flavor, I quickly sear the chicken on the stove. It may seem like an added step (and you can skip it if you’re short on time) but the crispy skin is worth the extra dish. From there, I layer in a baking dish with carrots, celery, and a bright and savory mix of garlic, lemon, rosemary, and paprika.

Simply throw it in your oven and wait as the chicken bubbles, making a delicious sauce with the chicken’s drippings. The cranberries soak up all the flavor, becoming tender and so juicy. Make sure to spoon plenty of sauce over top, and serve with crusty bread or rosemary focaccia for dipping.

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1hour

Cuisine: Mediterranean

Diet: Gluten Free

Servings: 6 people 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided
  • 6 bone-in skin on chicken pieces (I used 2 chicken breasts and 4 thighs, about 2 ¼ pounds in total)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary), plus rosemary sprigs for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for searing the chicken
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup chicken broth or water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the sugared cranberries. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar. Set aside to soften while you prepare the chicken.
  2. Season the chicken. Pat the chicken pieces dry, then rub on both sides with the garlic, rosemary, paprika, and a good pinch or two of salt and pepper. Make sure to lift the skin and push the seasoning underneath the skin.
  3. Marinate the chicken. To a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken, add the olive oil, celery, onions, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the white wine vinegar. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice, then add both of the juiced lemon halves. Add the chicken and use your hands to work everything together. Set aside to marinate just for 15 minutes or so.
  4. Get ready to cook. While your chicken marinates, preheat your oven to 425°F.
  5. Sear the chicken. When your oven is hot and the chicken has marinated for at least 15 minutes, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until the skin releases from the pan and turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and brown on the other side, about 3 minutes more. Do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, adding the seared chicken to the baking dish as you go.
  6. Bake. Top the chicken with the sugared cranberries and any accumulated juices, then pour in the broth or water. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.
  7. Serve. Garnish with a few rosemary sprigs, if you’d like, to dress it up a little before serving. Serve hot, spooning the juices and vegetables over top.

Notes:

To use boneless, skinless chicken: I recommend chicken thighs. Begin by browning them for a couple minutes on each side. Adjust baking time; boneless thighs will take about 25 minutes to bake in the oven

Frozen cranberries option: I love the flavor of fresh cranberries, but feel free to use frozen if you have them on hand.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

Calories: 145.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1.4g | Fat: 12.4g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8.9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 0.7mg | Sodium: 10.9mg | Potassium: 128.6mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 2.7g | Vitamin A: 212.4IU | Vitamin C: 16.4mg | Calcium: 21.2mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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