Chicken thighs, oh chicken thighs! We love those juicy little thighs and I serve them frequently but, like anything you make a lot they can start to seem like the same old thing. I’m not going to stop making chicken thighs. They’re delicious and inexpensive. But I don’t have to make them in the same old ways. I saw a picture on Pinterest that intrigued me so tonight it’s Roasted Balsamic Cranberry Chicken Thighs.
The recipe I found that looked like the one on Pinterest is from Cotter Crunch and I adapted it a bit to suit not only our tastes but what I had on hand.
The first step is preparing the marinade. It’s simple. Just put all the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor and pulse it until it’s almost liquefied. Taste it and add some kosher salt and a little pepper, to taste.
Pour it in a plastic baggie and add the chicken. I kind of schmooched (That’s a real word. I know because I just made it up) to get the marinade all over the chicken. Then squeeze the air out and let the chicken marinate for 1 hour (up to overnight).
Just before you’re ready to start cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey and set that aside.
Remove the chicken from the baggie and place it, skin side down in a large baking dish top it with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (it depends on how much cranberry flavor you want), and sprinkle the rosemary and thyme over the chicken. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes.
Then turn the chicken over and brush it with the balsamic vinegar and honey mixture. Return it to the oven and bake for another 20 – 25 minutes (until the chicken is about 145 degrees).
Place the chicken under the broiler and broil until the skin is crispy and the chicken is 155 degrees. Don’t let the chicken get much above this temperature because the temperature will rise as it rests and you don’t want dried out, overcooked chicken!
Let the chicken rest for 8 – 10 minutes to let the juices settle and to allow the chicken to come to 165 degrees.
This chicken is sweet and tart and a little sour. And that crispy skin is wonderful! It’s just so darned good! I always want to save a piece to eat later but I never do!
I served Roasted Balsamic Cranberry Chicken Thighs with rice. The balsamic and cranberry “juice” was so good over the rice!
Roasted Balsamic Cranberry Chicken Thighs
With its sweet, tart, and slightly sour taste Roasted Balsamic Cranberry Chicken Thighs turn ordinary chicken thighs into a meal your family will request over and over!
For the Marinade:
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the chicken:
- 4 – 6 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin on)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Place marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse until nearly liquefied.
- Transfer marinade to a large plastic bag and add chicken. Squeeze out as much air as you can, then seal the bag.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour up to overnight.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey and set aside.
- When chicken is nearly done marinating, preheat oven to 375º F.
- Place chicken (skin side down for about 20 minutes) in a large baking dish, then top with 1/4 – 1/2 cup dried cranberries, the rosemary, and thyme.
- Turn chicken over and brush with the balsamic vinegar and honey mixture.
- Continue baking for about 20 – 25 minutes (until chicken is about 145 degrees)
- Place chicken under broiler and broil until skin is crispy and chicken is (155 degrees)
- Remove from oven and let rest for 8 – 10 minutes (until juices have redistributed and chicken is 165 degrees).
I do not recommend using fresh herbs as you would have to wait until after you broil the chicken and the flavors wouldn’t really seep into the chicken.