These Cranberry Orange Chicken Thighs will impress any dinner guest and will be a hit with your family! Homemade cranberry sauce and the juice from fresh oranges are the perfect complements to chicken thighs.
Fall recipes are all about warmth and coziness and this chicken recipe is just that. It's the perfect dinner for any night of the week to make for your family.
Tangy cranberries and sweet orange juice combine with rosemary for amazing flavor in every bite. This dish is made with ingredients like cranberries, honey, cinnamon and balsamic vinegar on top of a bed of white rice and chicken thighs to create a delicious meal everyone will love.
This would make a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving meal if you're not in the mood for turkey this year.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chicken thighs- this recipe uses bone-in, skin on thighs. Use boneless chicken thighs if you prefer or even chicken breasts.
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic cloves
- White rice- any white rice (long-grain, Basmati, Jasmine) will work, just make sure it's not a quick-cook rice.
- Water- used to cook the rice, you can also use chicken broth.
- Cranberries- fresh or frozen cranberries will work. Don't use dried cranberries.
- Orange- you will need both the juice and the zest from a large orange.
- Honey- used to sweeten the cranberry sauce. Use maple syrup or brown sugar in place of honey if you prefer.
- Balsamic vinegar- adds a delicious acidity and sweetness to the dish.
- Fresh rosemary
This dish takes a little bit of prep time but it's so worth it. It's easy to double or triple the recipe if you have a large family or if you want leftovers to enjoy for the next few days.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Prep the chicken. Season the chicken thighs and add to a casserole dish over a bed of rice.
Make the cranberry sauce. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and cook until thickened. Spread the cranberry sauce over the chicken thighs.
Bake. Bake for 45-50 minutes and enjoy.
This chicken dish is made with rice and can certainly be served as is. However, you may want to add some vegetables or greens to your meal.
- Squash- roasted butternut, acorn or delicata squash would go very well with the flavors of the dish.
- Green beans- sautéed or steamed green beans will be great with the chicken. Top them with shaved almonds for even more flavor.
- Salad- a simple salad made of spinach or mixed greens, slivered almonds, crumbled feta or goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette will pair well with the cranberry orange chicken.
- For dessert. Serve my Gluten-Free Apple Crisp with Cranberries after this meal for a delish dessert.
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Cranberry Orange Chicken
- 1.5 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup white rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 large orange juiced and zested
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper and garlic cloves.
- Add the rice and water to a casserole dish. Place chicken thighs on top of the rice.
- Begin making the cranberry sauce by adding cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, honey, cinnamon, balsamic vinegar and rosemary to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until the cranberries burst and thicken, about 10 minutes.
- Once thickened, turn off the heat. Spread the cranberry sauce over the chicken thighs.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil from the dish and continue to bake (uncovered) for another 20-30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Transfer chicken to plates along with the rice and serve. Enjoy!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.