Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

It’s the right time to bring back this dish, so today I present Cranberry Chicken Parmesan, version 2.0. I first made this dish four years ago and blogged about it here. Last weekend I made it again but with a few tweaks.

  • Used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts.
  • Added some onion and garlic to the cranberry mixture.
  • And, added some mozzarella cheese.
Cranberry Chicken Parmesan | Grabbing the Gusto

Cranberry Chicken Parmesan | Grabbing the Gusto

Just a few changes, but since it’s cranberry season, I figured I’d make a new post about it.

Whenever I tell Jim about making something with cranberries, he always says, “Cranberries, gross!” It’s just how the eleven year old boy in him flirts because he knows how much I love cranberries. I do tend to go on and on about growing up near cranberry bogs so I sort of don’t blame him for giving me grief. Secretly, he likes cranberries and he loved this dish.

Cranberry Chicken Parmesan | Grabbing the Gusto

Cranberry Chicken Parmesan | Grabbing the Gusto

Cranberry Chicken Parmesan

You’ll need an 8” x 11” baking dish, meat pounder or mallet if you’re using chicken breasts, 2 to 3 plates, and large pan.

  • Oil or cooking spray
  • 1-3/4 to 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts – I used 5 thighs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, do not thaw)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Marsala
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Juice and pulp of 1/2 orange
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs w 1/4 teaspoon each of dried oregano and basil
  • 3 ounces mozzarella, sliced or shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350. Oil a baking dish. If you’re using chicken breast, pound them to about 1/2” thickness. Cut the breasts or thighs into serving portions. Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a plate. Dredge the chicken pieces, one at a time, in the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Set chicken aside.

In a large pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes on a side or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion to the pan and sauté until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Then, add the cranberries, cinnamon, water, Marsala, brown sugar, orange juice and pulp. Bring to a low boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until the berries pop and the mixture thickens slightly. Stir in the bread crumbs. The mixture will become thick, almost pasty.

Spread 1/3 of the cranberry mixture on the bottom of the baking dish. It won’t cover the bottom – just distribute it as evenly as you can. Arrange the chicken pieces on top. Spread the remaining 2/3s of cranberry mixture on the chicken. Top with mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is brown.

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