Cranberries

 

Cranberries.  Did you know the nutrients found in cranberries have been linked to a lower risk of urinary tract infections, improved immune function and decreased blood pressure?

 

No wonder they're eaten in abundance at Christmas time!

 

Christmas may well and truly be over, however the health benefits of these juicy red berries should not be contained just to this time of year.

 

Spend your money on the organic fresh and frozen varieties, as they contain an abundance of vitamin C and K, avoiding the dried variety - basically, a lolly alternative!  When buying, look for plump, deep red berries that are firm to the touch - an indicator of quality.

 

Personally, I love adding them to my cooking, both savoury and sweet, and this lovely, simple dish is no exception.  

 

 

 

Cranberry Chicken 

Serves 4

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2 large organic chicken breasts and 3 organic chicken thighs (skin on preferably) | 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (plus an extra 1/4 cup) | 2 tbsp olive oil | 2 garlic cloves, sliced | sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme | 1 tbsp maple syrup | 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar | himalayan salt

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Preheat oven to 180C | 375F.

Chop your chicken into large pieces - depending on their size, chop the breasts into 2-3 pieces and the thighs in half and place into an oven-proof baking dish (skin side down) - large enough to have one layer with no overlapping pieces.  

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, thyme and garlic with a good pinch of salt.  Pour all over the chicken and add the 1/2 cup of cranberries (these initial cranberries will breakdown and become the base of your sauce).  Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.  Remove and turn the chicken skin side up, add in the remaining cranberries (adding these later in the cooking time will keep these ones plump) and cook for a further 5-10 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the chicken is cooked through.  Taste for seasoning.

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This dish is great made ahead of time, and freezes beautifully.

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