This Cranberry Chicken recipe makes for the perfect Thanksgiving entre! Fresh cranberries are cooked in a mixture of butter, wine, brown sugar, and nutmeg for a delicious chicken dish that is full of yummy bright flavors.
What’s in this Cranberry Chicken Recipe?
This cranberry chicken is breaded with flour and seasonings and browned before it simmers in a tangy cranberry sauce made of butter, wine, brown sugar, and nutmeg.
- Flour: Flour is used to bread the chicken, so it’s crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside.
- Salt and Pepper: Salt and pepper are great for bringing out all the amazing flavors.
- Chicken: We used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, but you can use chicken thighs if you wish!
- Butter: Butter is the base of the sauce, and it really elevates the flavor of the chicken and cranberries.
- Onion: You can’t go wrong with the vibrant flavor of red onions!
- Red Wine: We used red wine for this recipe. Use your favorite kind!
- Water: If you don’t want to use wine, water will work just fine!
- Cranberries: You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. They’ll both taste excellent!
- Nutmeg: This spice has always paired well with winter cranberry dishes.
It’s the perfect dish for cold, winter months, or busy weeknights when you need to make something delicious in a time crunch.
Variations on Cranberry Chicken Breast
- Feel free to use chicken thighs instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts. Just keep in mind that it’ll take a little longer to bake.
- If you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, this recipe would taste amazing with it!
- If you’d like to have a sweeter sauce, add in a bit of maple syrup or honey.
- Herbs like rosemary, sage, or thyme would add a lovely earthy freshness to the dish.
I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you could use chicken thighs if you prefer. They will take longer to cook.
Unfortunately, this chicken is not naturally gluten-free. To make it gluten-free, swap the all-purpose flour for gluten-free 1:1 baking flour.
A dry red wine is any red wine that is not sweet. I like Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Cabernet Sauvignon. You can also use red cooking wine, which can be found in the oil and vinegar aisle of the grocery store.
While I have not personally tried this, I think it would work well. Just be sure to pit the cherries!
Chicken is finished cooking when it is no longer pink in the middle and registers 165°F in the thickest part.
How to Store and Reheat Easy Cranberry Chicken
Store leftover cranberry chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a cast iron pan set over medium-low heat until warmed through.
How to Freeze Fresh Cranberry Chicken
Freeze cranberry chicken in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
What to Serve with this Recipe for Cranberry Chicken
This delicious cranberry chicken will taste with Thanksgiving staples like the Classic Green Bean Casserole, Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, and Maple Roasted Potatoes. It also pairs well with these Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables, and Honey Glazed Carrots!
Cranberry Chicken Recipe
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 ounces each)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter divided (½ stick)
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup dry red wine or water
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken through the flour mixture.⅓ cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- In a skillet set over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Brown the chicken on both sides. Remove to a plate and keep warm under foil.¼ cup unsalted butter
- Reduce the heat to medium. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet, then add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until softened.¼ red onion
- Splash in the wine (or water) and bring it to a simmer for about 2 minutes, allowing it to reduce by half.½ cup dry red wine
- Add the water, cranberries, brown sugar, and nutmeg to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to burst.½ cup water, 1 cup cranberries, ½ cup brown sugar, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Return the chicken to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, basting occasionally with the sauce, until chicken is cooked through to 165°F.
- To make this dish gluten-free, swap the all-purpose flour for gluten-free 1:1 flour.
- Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches 165°F at the thickest point.