Chicken with Dried Cranberries and Orange


17 Mar Chicken with Dried Cranberries and Orange

Cranberry sauce 001.jpg

After yesterday’s jelly bean confession, I figured I should eat a healthy meal. But I wanted the intense flavours those tiny shellac-coated goodies offered. My solution, dried cranberries.

The shot above is an extreme close up of the cranberry sauce that graced my potentially ho-hum chicken. Marmalade, balsamic vinegar and some orange brightened up an otherwise ordinary dish. Please note, there is no garlic, so Diva Lisa can enjoy this. If you omit the hot pepper flakes, the dish is mild enough for my super-taster, heat-phobic sister.

Place on a bed of baby spinach and you’re set for St. Patrick’s Day. No salad dressing needed. How perfect is that? (Unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, in which case I point you to the Vegetarian Chili recipe.)

Cranberry Chicken 002.jpg

This recipe comes courtesy of Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health, and proves once again that low-fat doesn’t have to mean low-flavour. I used chicken thighs instead of chicken breast because that’s what I had on hand, but since the chicken is baked right in the sauce, even skinless white meat will remain moist.

It may be March 17th, but you won’t need the luck of the Irish for culinary success with this dish. Mairlyn Smith’s recipes are straight forward and adapt easily to tweaks. All ingredients are readily available, even the hot pepper jelly, which is now a staple in the condiments aisle.

Chicken with Dried Cranberries and Orange
Printable Recipe
Excerpt published with permission. From Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health, by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith (Whitecap books, 2007)

Serves 4


  • 14 oz (400 g) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 4 equal pieces


  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) orange marmalade
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) hot pepper jelly
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Line an 8-inch (2-L) square metal baking pan with wet parchment paper, or spray with canola oil. Lay the chicken on top.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the marmalade, hot pepper jelly, orange juice concentrate, and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Stir in the dried cranberries. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with hot pepper flakes.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minute, or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  5. Pour the liquid into a frying pan. Leave the chicken in the baking pan on top of the stove and cover. Bring the liquid to a boil and leave it to reduce for about 5-minutes, or until slightly thickened. Pour it over the chicken. Serve.

Note: Smith suggests adding 1/4 cup fresh cranberries to the sauce if you like it really tart. I just sprinkled a few extra dried cranberries on top since I was out of fresh.

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No Comments
  • cheryl
    Posted at 13:48h, 17 March Reply

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos. Really, wow. I can always use a new chicken recipe, too, and the combination of flavors and colors in this recipe sound really good.

    Top o’ the day to you, Ms. Christie.

  • danamccauley
    Posted at 17:53h, 17 March Reply

    Love these flavours and colours – a feast for all the senses!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 19:47h, 17 March Reply

    Your super taster sister, who “can’t take the heat” says Thank You. This looks excellent. I would love to nip over and give you an in-person taste test. I wont’ bring the others – just me.

  • jodi (bloomingwriter)
    Posted at 22:34h, 18 March Reply

    Perfection in a meal, Charmian. I will likely make this on the weekend when I’m home from my weekly travels. Maybe make enough extra to bring back to Liverpool next week.

  • Elyse
    Posted at 01:14h, 19 March Reply

    I love that you’ve used cranberry and orange in a savory setting. This spruced up chicken looks fabulous! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Christie's Corner
    Posted at 08:15h, 19 March Reply

    Jodi, I thought you might like this since it’s got cranberries. Let me know how you like it. And safe travels.

    Elsye, I love when a traditional combination can be used in a surprising way. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Ciao Chow Linda
    Posted at 19:45h, 29 March Reply

    Sounds like a great recipe and now I have another use for my homemade pepper jelly. Thanks for stopping by my blog too.

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