Roasted Cranberry Balsamic Chicken

There are times when you need to come up with a beautiful dinner and fast.  You don’t want to spend hours scouring Pinterest or magazines or old cookbooks.  (You should come here first!)  Then, I will have just what you need for the perfect meal.  Roasted Cranberry Balsamic Chicken is holiday worthy but certainly easy enough for a weeknight.

As I have mentioned, one of my favorite things about December is our annual Book Club Christmas Dinner.  We all bring something, enjoy dinner together and chat about our year of books.  This is our third year and I anticipate it every year.

Since I love to entertain, I always feel this is an opportunity to make something elegant, try something new or challenge my baking skills for something over the top!  Because I host, I always make the main dish.  Wanting something festive but not overly fussy presents a challenge sometimes, but this year I think I found the PERFECT dinner.  Roasted Cranberry Balsamic Chicken proved to be easy to prep (especially ahead of time!) and delectable to eat!  I can’t wait for you to try this at home!

First, add fresh cranberries, olive oil, soy sauce, real maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, garlic cloves, sea salt and black pepper to a food processor or blender.  Puree until liquified.  Pour over chicken in pan.

Marinate chicken for 4 hours or overnight.  For juicier chicken, choose bone-in, skin on chicken.  (If you prefer boneless skinless chicken, you certainly can, you will just need to reduce cook time.)

One hour before roasting, pull chicken out of the refrigerator.  Flip chicken over in the pan, roasting skin side down.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pour remaining fresh cranberries over the chicken and tuck stems of fresh thyme around chicken.  Roast for about 25 minutes, then flip chicken.

Once chicken is flipped, glaze chicken with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and put under broiler to crisp up skin for about 6-8 minutes.  (If using boneless, skinless chicken, broil 3-4 minutes).  Chicken is done when juices run clear and interior temperature reads 165 degrees.  Serve chicken with extra juice, roasted cranberries on top and fresh cracked black pepper.

Roasted Cranberry Balsamic Chicken is elegant enough for company, easy enough for a weeknight and tasty enough for everyone!  Consider this beautiful meal if you are looking for a festive dinner!

Roasted Cranberry Balsamic Chicken

10 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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  • 2.5 lbs. bone-in skin on chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1/3 c. fresh cranberries (or frozen)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. soy sauce*
  • 2 T. real maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • fresh thyme
  • sprinkle of dried Italian herbs
  • remainder of fresh cranberry bag (about 8 oz)
  • 1 T. EACH of real maple syrup and balsamic vinegar to make glaze


  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Add to glass baking dish.
  2. Add all marinade ingredients to food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Pour over chicken, cover and marinate for four hours or up to overnight.
  3. One hour before roasting, remove from refrigerator, flip chicken to skin side down. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Add remaining cranberries to the pan and tuck fresh thyme sprigs around the chicken. Roast chicken (skin side down) for 25-28 minutes.
  5. Pull chicken from oven, flip chicken to skin side up and glaze with maple syrup/balsamic mixture.
  6. Broil chicken skin side up for 6-8 minutes until skin is deep brown and crispy. (If using boneless skinless broil only 3-4 minutes).
  7. Chicken is fully cooked when juices run clear and interior temperature is 165 degrees.
  8. Serve chicken with extra juices, roasted cranberries and a sprinkle of fresh thyme for garnish.


*If you would like to make this recipe paleo or Whole30 compliant, exchange soy sauce for coconut aminos. You will use one whole 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries for this recipe.