Cranberry Orange Balsamic Chicken | One Pan Meals

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Cranberry Orange Balsamic Chicken | One Pan Meals Super Hungry? Jump to the Recipe

I'm warming up to the holiday season with an easy one pan dish to eat while you plan Thanksgiving dinner. With a tangy, sticky skin and juicy, fall-off-the-bone chicken thighs, this dish might make you even rethink serving turkey on T-day.

First marinated in a cranberry orange balsamic sauce, then roasted with even more cranberries and sweet onions, these chicken thighs end up transformed into something entirely different and amazing. While it may sound super sweet, the balsamic helps cut the sugary tartness of the cranberries and the onion's savory caramelization helps pull everything together. Once broiled, the sticky, delicious meat practically falls right off the bone.

My all time favorite balsamic vinegar is one that is made locally at BJ Gourmet Garlic in Mogadore, Ohio. It's a syrupy-thick balsamic infused with garlic and cilantro - and seriously, it's par none. I actually picked up my current bottle at the Medina farmer's market over the summer and now the bottle is practically empty. But this recipe made it all entirely worth it.

And if that doesn't convince you it's delicious, it only requires one pan for cooking and practically plates itself beautifully without even trying. Topped with a touch of spicy cranberry relish, you'd be hard pressed to find a more delectable dish before Thanksgiving!

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Cranberry Orange Balsamic Chicken

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
Cranberry Orange Balsamic Chicken | One Pan Meals


  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 orange, peeled & chopped (reserve 1/2 orange and peel)
  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar, divided in 1/4 cups
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 12 sweet onion, cut into three 1/2 inch rings
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • cranberry orange relish, for serving
  • cooked wild rice, for serving

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  1. In a small blender or food processor, combine 1/2 cup cranberries, chopped oranges, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), oregano, thyme, pepper and sea salt. Blend until smooth. Place the chicken thighs in a large sealable container or bag. Pour the marinade over the thighs, then seal and chill for at least one hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F | 190 C. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and place face down in a roasting pan. Discard the remaining marinade. Place a sliced, intact ring of the sweet onion on top of each chicken thigh. Generously drizzle on some EVOO and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread the rest of the cranberries between the chicken thighs.
  3. Bake the dish in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the broiler on high. While the broiler heats up, flip over the chicken thighs so that the onion is under the thighs and the skin side is facing up. Keep a watchful eye as you broil the chicken for another 5-10 minutes, until the chicken skin begins to bubble and char slightly.
  4. Serve the cooked chicken thighs topped with the roasted sweet onion, a drizzle of the remaining balsamic vinegar, a fresh squeeze of orange and a touch of cranberry relish, if you want! Serve with wild rice and broccoli as sides and enjoy!

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