Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms
John Scheepers * Bantam, CT

This is one of my very favorite recipes for holiday dinners. Not only is it relatively easy to prepare, but it can be prepared in advance and frozen or chilled until shortly before dinner. It is the most wonderful combination of holiday spices. It is equally as wonderful with or without the sliced mushrooms. It is wonderful served with long grain and wild rice or a potato gratin, and haricots verts.

Holiday Cranberry Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • Optional: 1 1/2 cups sliced button mushrooms

  • 8-ounce can cranberry jelly
  • 1/2 cup Sherry
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • One or two sprigs of fresh thyme

  • 4 whole boneless chicken breasts (skinned)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

    In heavy skillet, sauté the thinly sliced shallots (and optional sliced mushrooms) in two tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberry jelly, sherry, chicken stock, spices, mustard and brown sugar, stirring to combine. Add the fresh thyme sprigs. Simmer, while stirring, for 10 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse and dry the boneless chicken breasts. Place them, one at a time, in a heavy freezer bag and pound each evenly to just 1/2 inch thick (do your best to not tear the chicken). Mix the flour with the salt, pepper and onion powder. Dip each chicken breast in the flour mixture to coat lightly on both sides. In heavy skillet, heat 1/4 cup butter until just melted. Cook the chicken breasts on each side until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the seared chicken breasts to a baking dish. Pour the cranberry sauce into the skillet and deglaze the pan. Reduce the sauce by a third over high heat. Remove the thyme sprigs. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts. (You can prepare up to this point and freeze or chill.) Bake the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes until fragrant, piping hot and bubbly. Serves 4.

  • Recipe Seeds: Shallots, Thyme

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