I know this dish looks like it was designed for a holiday table with it's abundance of red and green on the plate, and while it would certainly be a welcome meal during the holiday season, we're eating it now to celebrate another season…..cranberry season!
You see, we live in the heart of cranberry country and right now the annual berry harvest is in full swing. Between now and Thanksgiving we'll have ready access to great, fresh local berries and as cranberries are a favorite of mine, I just couldn't wait to get them back on our plates. If you happen to live somewhere other than Massachusetts or Wisconsin (where most of our berries are grown) and have a hard time finding fresh ones, no worries, you can make the sauce with thawed frozen berries, no-harm, no-foul.
Cheers – Steve
- 12 chicken thighs, preferably from organic-free range chickens
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced rosemary
- 4 teaspoons freshly minced thyme
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen and thawed) cranberries
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
- Heat oven to 400 ℉.
- Season chicken with the rosemary, 2 teaspoons of the thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Place 2 tablespoons of oil a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot and working in batches, sear chicken starting with the skin side down until nicely browned on both sides. Move the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet and repeat with a second batch of thighs.
- When all thighs are browned, place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes depending on their size, until cooked through. In the meantime, pour any excess fat from the skillet used to brown the chicken and put it back over medium heat.
- Add the cranberries, chicken stock, syrup, mustard, cider vinegar, and the remaining 2 teaspoons of thyme. Cook, stirring to mix all the ingredients and scraping up any brown bits left on the bottom of the pan from the chicken. Turn heat to medium-high and boil, stirring frequently until reduced to a sauce consistency, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
- Pull the chicken from the oven when finished, transfer to a cutting board and tent with roil to rest for 5 minutes or so. Pour any accumulated juices from the baking sheet into the sauce.
- Serve the chicken with the sauce.