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cranberry chicken pre-oven, in process shot - seared chicken in cast iron skillet with fresh cranberries; overhead shot on black background.
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5 from 1 vote

Cranberry Chicken

Fresh cranberry roasted chicken bursting with quintessentially tangy, sweet and savory autumn flavor! The deep red cranberries add a vibrantly colorful festive flair! And it all easily comes together in ONE single pan!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Californian
Servings: 5
Author: Daniela Gerson


For the Spiced Brown Sugar Rub

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the Cranberry Chicken

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 chicken thighs about 2-2.5 pounds
  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries 1 bag
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary
  • kosher salt to taste


  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, stir together all the spiced brown sugar rub ingredients.
  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, place them on a cutting board and rub them all over with the spiced brown sugar mixture.
  • Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until foaming. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving it until well browned and crisp, about 8 minutes total, lowering heat if it starts to smoke excessively. Flip chicken and brown lightly on second side, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a large plate and set aside.
  • Stir in balsamic vinegar and maple syrup until combined, then turn the heat off.
  • Nestle chicken back into pan, add the cranberries, pushing them aside so that as much chicken skin as possible is exposed. Add the rosemary sprigs. Transfer pan to oven and roast, uncovered, for about 25 minutes, until a thermometer reaches 165 when inserted.
  • Remove from the oven, taste sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with the cranberries and sauce drizzled over the chicken thighs.


  • For the juiciest, most flavorful chicken, choose bone-in, skin-on! 
  • Know where your chicken comes from! When possible, organic, antibiotic-free, air-chilled, free-range chicken
  • When possible, go for organic, in-season cranberries. If fresh cranberries aren’t available, you can substitute another fruit, such as grapes or figs. Or try another of these seasonal fruit chicken dishes! 
  • Dry your chicken with a paper towel! To get that perfectly browned and crispy skin and prevent it from ticking to the pan when searing. 
  • Let thy chicken come to room temperature before searing! To help it cook more evenly and get a better sear. 
  • If you own a cast iron skillet, this would be an ideal time to use it! If not, any oven safe pan will do.
  • Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Did you make this recipe? Please share and tag @DanielaGerson! I'd love to see how you're making colorful waves in the kitchen!