Roasted Cranberry Chicken Thighs • “Stuffing” Mixed Grains • Maple Glazed Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Here’s a new EASY ONE PAN recipe to ring in autumn. We all get flooded with pumpkin EVERYTHING in October & I personally think cranberries get overlooked! Plus... I’m a #jerseygirl...NJ is one of the leading cranberry producing states! If there’s one thing you guys know about me it’s that I love to cook with fruit...nothing like getting #sweetandsavory in one bite! Cranberries in general are a natural sweetener, rich in anti-oxidants and they provide awesome digestive support. Another AMAZING part of this recipe is that it ALL HAPPENS IN ONE PAN! (Ok...and a bowl or two). As always, please post photos & comments!


Chef’s Notes-

1. Don’t skip the marinating! It’s the best way to get juicy chicken & to get these flavors to really penetrate. I gave it about 4 hours in a ziplock bag in the fridge. But do at LEAST 30 minutes...up to 24 hours.

2. I love bone-in, skin-ON chicken thighs. I just think they have the most flavor. But you could use boneless, skinless thighs or even breasts. For both of those options, you’ll probably want to decrease the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.

3. For the “Stuffing” mixed grains, at home, use the Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice and frozen quinoa. I cooked this side the long way and added some barley too. But if it were for my own family...sorry kids...I’m taking the shortcut! (This dish today was made for a clean meal prep client!)

4. For the maple glazed Brussels sprouts, again...at home...go with the shaved sprouts from Trader Joe’s!

5. VERY IMPORTANT- SAVE the leftover marinade from the bag AND from the bottom of the pan. You will use the drippings in the pan as seasoning for the stuffing rice AND for the Brussels.

6. Pomegranate seeds are optional but I think they’re yummy & they look cool.

7. Lastly, if you can’t find fresh or frozen cranberries, buy the dried cranberries (“Craisins”) and put them in a small pot, just covered with water, and heat the pot over a low flame for about half an hour. They’ll rehydrate nicely. (Also, save some of your cranberries for the last few steps.)


Ingredients-

* 2 lbs chicken thighs (6-8 pieces)

* 2 tsp poultry seasoning herbs (divided)

* 1/2 cup cranberries (fresh, defrosted or rehydrated)

* Shaved Brussels sprouts (1 package)

* Brown Rice & Quinoa (prepares according to package directions)

* 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

* Pomegranate seeds (optional, garnish)


For the Marinade:

* 1/3 cup cranberries (fresh, defrosted, or rehydrated)

* 2 tbsp olive oil

* 2 tbsp coconut aminos

* 2 tbsp maple syrup

* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

* 1/4 tsp sea salt

* 1/4 tsp black peppers

* 2 cloves garlic, minced


Instructions-

1. Make the marinade by combining all marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor. (By the way, this also makes an amazing salad dressing!)

2. In a large one gallon or two gallon ziplock bag, pour the marinade over the chicken. Place in your fridge for at least 30 minutes but you can do this for 24 hours.

3. When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375F. Then place the chicken in a roasting or baking pan SKIN SIDE DOWN. (A lot of the marinade will follow the chicken naturally...save whatever is left in the bag for a later step).

4. Add the poultry seasoning by sprinkling it over the chicken. Next add some of your extra cranberries... spread them out evenly on & around the chicken.

5. Bake at 375F (skin side down) first for 30 minutes. (For breasts, cook only for 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness).

6. Remove and turn skin side up. Then pour the extra marinade over the chicken. You can also sprinkle the chicken with additional poultry seasoning.

7. Turn your oven to the broiler setting. (And make sure the top rack isn’t TOO close to the heat.)

8. Broil for about 5 minutes or until skin is crispy and chicken is cooked evenly inside. (If you have a thermometer, check to make sure the internal temperature of the thickest chicken piece reaches 165F).

9. Plate the chicken with an extra sprinkle of sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and top with some of the uncooked extra cranberries, along with a little bit of sauce from the pan. (SAVE the sauce for the LAST two steps which only take 5-7 minutes!!!)

10. STUFFING RICE- In a small-medium size bowl, toss the cooked quinoa & brown rice with some of the extra sauce and the chopped walnuts. Season with salt, pepper & poultry seasoning, to taste. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds when plating.

11. MAPLE GLAZED SHAVED SPROUTS- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a shallow pan. Add the shaved Brussels sprouts to the pan, along with a few tablespoons of the extra sauce from the pan. Season with sea salt & ground pepper (to taste) while sautéeing. They will cook within 5-7 minutes. (Optional- add another drizzle of maple syrup to the pan along with the sauce). Plate next to your rice & chicken. Enjoy!!


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