Sweet, savory, and oh-so-tender and juicy, this Balsamic Roasted Cranberry Chicken Recipe is a sweet and savory dinner perfect for the holidays. Made in the oven or air fryer in minutes.
For the Marinade:
- 1/3 cup fresh cranberries or previously frozen and thawed
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the Cranberry Chicken:
- 2 1/2 pounds bone in, skin on chicken thighs (~4 to 6 chicken thighs) *see notes for substitutes
- 1/2 cup – 1 cup fresh cranberries or previously frozen and thawed
- 1 Tablespoon each maple syrup and balsamic vinegar mixed together to coat chicken during roasting
- Topping- fresh thyme leaves or dried herbs
- Add the marinade ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- In a bowl (or Ziplock bag), coat the chicken thighs in the marinade.
- Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hrs. (Marinating overnight creates great flavor!)
- Once marinated, preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Remove chicken from the fridge and sprinkle with desired amount of cranberries before baking. Bake uncovered skin side down for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of chicken thighs.
- Remove and turn skin side up. Check for doneness. Then brush each chicken skin with the maple syrup/balsamic vinegar combo.
- Depending on the thickness of your chicken thighs, either bake a little longer skin side up, then broil. Or if chicken is almost done and not pink, then skip extra baking and just broil for 2-3 minutes or until skin is crispy and chicken is cooked evenly. Make sure the internal temperature of the thickest chicken thigh reaches 165 F.
- Remove cooked chicken from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- When plating, spoon the pan sauce over each chicken thigh then sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and a dash of black pepper.
Air Fryer Option- Preheat the air fryer to 400 F. Remove chicken from marinade and place skin side down in the air fryer basket. Do not add cranberries or marinade to the air fryer. If you choose, you can place the cranberries in a small pan in the oven to roast until softened and then add them to the finished dish. Air fry chicken for 14-15 minutes depending on size of chicken thigh. Then turn chicken over so the skin side is up and brush with balsamic/maple mixture. Bake for another 2 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Place optional roasted cranberries on top, sprinkle with thyme leaves and season to taste.
Meal Prep – Prepare the marinated chicken hours before, then bake later in the day or the next day.
Substitutes – If using skinless chicken, the cooking time will be anywhere from 20-35 minutes total. Check at 20 minutes for chicken to reach an internal temperature of 165F. No broiling needed.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Main, Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 5 oz chicken with skin an sauce
- Calories: 355
- Sugar: 10g
- Sodium: 390mg
- Fat: 25g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 12.4g
- Fiber: 1.3g
- Protein: 22.5g
Keywords: cranberry chicken, oven roasted chicken, marinated chicken recipe, one pan dinner ideas