Braised Cranberry Balsamic Chicken

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).

Serve it with a side of roasted veggies for a healthier meal. Or, indulge a little and serve the chicken over White Cheddar Mac and Cheese or over Asiago Herb Mashed Potatoes.

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’! 🙂

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). 

Serve it with a side of roasted veggies for a healthier meal. Or, indulge a little and serve the chicken over White Cheddar Mac and Cheese or over Asiago Herb Mashed Potatoes.

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

Braised Cranberry Balsamic Chicken

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

Chicken breasts 

I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. Chicken legs or chicken thighs would also work great.

Salt & pepper

Fresh cranberries

Fresh cranberries are key! You don’t want the dried ones or the canned stuff. 

Balsamic vinegar

Sugar

Chicken stock

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.

1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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. 

You could even toss in some Garlic Almond Green Beans or Crispy Bacon Green Beans to make it a complete meal.

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! 

What can I serve this dish with?

Serve this Braised Cranberry Balsamic Chicken with Asiago Herb Mashed Potatoes or White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. Consider adding roasted veggies or a side salad for a complete meal!

Other Winner Chicken Dinners

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Braised Cranberry Balsamic Chicken


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (29 votes, average: 4.03 out of 5)

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4 from 29 reviews

  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x

Description

Braised Cranberry Balsamic Chicken is a delicious, show-stopper dinner that doesn’t require a lot of work! Chicken breasts are seared until golden brown and then nestled into a decadent sauce of reduced balsamic vinegar, cranberries and fresh herbs. They come out tender and juicy as can be and loaded with flavor. Perfect for the holiday season or a weeknight meal!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them into the skillet. Sear the chicken until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes before flipping them and searing the other side the same way, about another 5-8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate for later use.
  2. Pour the balsamic vinegar, chicken stock and fresh cranberries into the same skillet used for the chicken and reduce the heat to low. Add in the sugar, rosemary and thyme and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken for several minutes.
  3. Nestle the chicken back into the sauce and spoon some of the sauce on top of all the chicken breasts. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over the top. Enjoy!

Notes

  • I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts as they are easy to cut and serve, but any cut of chicken will do! Thighs and legs would be delicious as well.
  • Nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Chicken Breast
  • Calories: 403
  • Sugar: 8.3g
  • Sodium: 319mg
  • Fat: 18.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.4g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Protein: 42.5g
  • Cholesterol: 130mg

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1 Comment

  1. Paul

    This recipe is the best! I’ve made it with both chicken breasts and thighs.

    Reply

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