Say goodbye to bland chicken with this Orange Cranberry Chicken Recipe which uses bone-in chicken breasts for extra flavor. With herbs and spices like sage, thyme, cinnamon, and ginger, it is a great recipe to make during the holiday season and pairs beautifully with our Apple Butternut Squash Casserole.
This post is part of Create the Holidays (formerly Create Christmas) – a series of festive recipes, crafts, printables, and more on The Purple Pumpkin Blog!
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Orange Cranberry Chicken Recipe
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions; to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required, and to understand the steps and timings involved.
If you are having a smaller Christmas celebration that usual and don’t want to cook a whole turkey, but still want all the flavors of the season, then this orange cranberry chicken recipe is definitely an option for you!
Sage and thyme are used to season the chicken before being browned off in a skillet. Then the chicken gets roasted in the oven with an orange and cranberry sauce that has been flavored with Christmas spices including cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.
Bone-in chicken breasts are used, but you could use other cuts of chicken like the drumstick or thighs, or whole legs. You could even use a whole chicken seasoned with the herbs, but skip the browning part and go straight to pouring over the sauce and roasting in the oven.
In the photos of this, you’ll see the apple butternut squash casserole that I mentioned at the top of this post, but most traditional Christmas side dishes will pair well with this orange-cranberry chicken.
However you choose to serve this Christmas chicken recipe, you will not be disappointed with the delicious seasonal flavors!
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
You may already have some of the basic ingredients for this recipe – the full list with measurements is found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon if available online.
- Coconut Oil
- Chicken Breasts – with bone-in and skin on, for maximum flavor and juiciness.
- Fresh Sage and Fresh Thyme
- Cranberries – fresh or frozen
- Orange Juice
- Honey – try and buy locally produced honey if possible
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Ginger
- Ground Cloves
- Ground Nutmeg
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog! I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
More Recipes Using Cranberries
One of the hero ingredients in this recipe is cranberries, so here are some more recipes using the same:
More Chicken Recipes
Looking for more chicken recipe ideas? Check these out next:
- Lemon Pepper Roasted Chicken with Potatoes
- Sheet Pan Roasted Rosemary Lemon Chicken Recipe
- Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken
I’ve got more 50+ Easy Chicken Recipes for you to enjoy – right click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one!
How Do I Make Orange Cranberry Chicken Recipe?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, instructions, and demonstration photos. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 lbs / 900g bone-in chicken breasts, with skin
- 1½ tsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 Tbsp honey, preferably local
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Melt the coconut oil in a large, ovenproof skillet or roasting dish over medium heat.
- Season the chicken with sage, and thyme, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Place the seasoned chicken skin-side down in the hot skillet and cook until browned, approximately 4-5 minutes, or until it releases easily from the bottom of the pan. Turn the chicken and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes on the remaining side.
- While the chicken is browning, add the cranberries, orange juice, honey, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg to a small saucepan.
- Place over medium heat and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook until the cranberries pop open and the sauce becomes slightly thickened - around 4-5 minutes.
- Pour the orange-cranberry sauce over the browned chicken and transfer the skillet into the preheated oven.
- Roast until the chicken is fully cooked through and the sauce is bubbling, around 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 160F/71C. (Internal temperature will continue to rise to 165F/74C as it rests.) If you don't have a meat thermometer check for doneness by inserting a skewer or sharp knife into the thickest part of the meat and press - the juices should run clear with no blood.
- Remove from oven and transfer chicken to a serving platter. Cover loosely and let rest for 5 minutes before serving topped with the warm orange-cranberry pan sauce and your choice of sides. Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 156mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 45g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the main dish, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal!
- Appetizer: Winter Vegetable Soup
- Side Dish: Apple Butternut Squash Casserole
- Beverage: Reindeer Cocktail – Vodka Cranberry Spritzer
- Dessert: Poached Pears with Honey Mascarpone Cream
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!