From Gail's Kitchen

I enjoy combining poultry and meat with fruits, whether fresh or dried. I dislike savoury dishes that are overwhelmingly sweet, but I am partial to dishes built on flavours that combine both sweet and sour elements. In this recipe, the tartness of the cranberries is tempered by the sweetness of the apple butter, with the vinegar adding just enough zing to balance it all. I use Filsinger’s Organic apple butter or Wellesley apple butter, both produced here in Ontario. And Filsinger’s Organic apple cider vinegar is my cider vinegar of choice.

Makes 4 servings

1 chicken (about 3 1/2 lbs), cut in eighths
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/3 cup apple butter or liquid honey
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt, the mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper evenly over all sides of the chicken pieces.

In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces skin side down and cook until the skin is deeply browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn each piece over and brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large plate; set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan and stirring occasionally until softened and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, the remaining teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth, vinegar, apple butter and cranberries. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer gently until the cranberries just start to burst, about 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce evenly into a greased 9- x 13-inch baking pan. Nestle the chicken pieces skin side up into the sauce in a single layer. Cover the pan with foil and bake in a 350ºF oven for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and bake until the chicken is tender and no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes. Serve with brown basmati rice.

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