Braised Cranberry Balsamic Chicken is an easy, show-stopper dinner!
Chicken breasts are seared until golden brown and nestled into an aromatic sauce of reduced balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, cranberries, and fresh herbs. They come out tender and juicy — loaded with flavor.
Cranberry balsamic chicken is a festive dish that’s perfect for the holiday season (or just an ordinary weeknight dinner).
My husband said it’s one of his favorite chicken dishes I’ve made! Leftovers of this cranberry balsamic chicken are on our menu for dinner tonight, and we are both STOKED.
Grab the ingredients, heat up a skillet, and let’s get cookin’! 🙂
Why KJ Loves
We love making this festive dish around the holidays! It is so flavorful and decadent, yet simple enough for a fun weeknight meal. Keep it fancy or make it casual – this recipe is one you’re going to want to try!
Cranberry Balsamic Chicken Ingredients
Extra virgin olive oil
I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. Chicken legs or chicken thighs would also work great.
Salt & pepper
Fresh cranberries are key! You don’t want the dried ones or the canned stuff.
Fresh rosemary (chopped)
Make sure to remove the stem first: hold the rosemary at the top with one hand and use the other hand to pull down the stem, removing the leaves as you go.
Fresh thyme (chopped)
Remove the stem first. Pull your fingers down the stalk to remove the leaves
How to Make Cranberry Balsamic Chicken
This crowd-pleaser is surprisingly simple. Let’s break it down.
Sear the chicken.
First, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and then sear the chicken breasts in olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate for later use.
Note: It’s ok if the chicken breasts aren’t cooked all the way through after you sear them. They will be nestled back into the prepared sauce, covered with a lid, and simmered until deliciously tender.
Add the sauce ingredients.
Up next is the sauce. I could not get enough of this easy sauce!
Pour the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, and fresh cranberries into the same skillet used for the chicken and reduce the heat. Add in the sugar, rosemary, and thyme and stir to combine.
Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for several minutes.
Re-add the chicken.
Nestle the chicken back into the sauce, covering the skillet with a lid and simmering until cooked through.
That’s it! How great is that? A one-pan meal that can be the main star of your holiday table or served as a delicious weeknight dinner.
Wash the dishes. How sad.
How To Serve Cranberry Balsamic Chicken
Time for the best part — eating this dish!
I highly recommend serving this Braised Cranberry Balsamic Chicken on a bed of Asiago Herb Mashed Potatoes or Stovetop White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. The slight tanginess and decadence from the sauce pairs perfectly with a rich, hearty side dish.
Cranberry Balsamic Chicken FAQ
Can I use dried herbs?
Yes, you can use dried herbs. Make sure you reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary and 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, as the dried herbs will be more potent.
Can I use dried cranberries?
No, this recipe relies on fresh cranberries for the flavor. Go with fresh!