Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken
Sonja_For The Pleasure Of Eating

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I’m Sonja and “For The Pleasure Of Eating” is my food blog.

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Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken might be the easiest Holiday dinner you can make, while being utterly delicious and impressive. Everything gets roasted in the same pan, minimizing the cleanup. And you can prepare it ahead of time, up to the point where you just push it into the oven an hour before you want to eat. It even makes its own sauce by virtue of the pretty pink cranberry butter you spread under and on the skin.

 

Why You Want to Make This

A roast chicken of some sort has long been my go-to easy dinner when I had friends over. It is equal parts super easy and impressive and never fails to deliver. This Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken is no exception but might become my new obsession. Well…as long as I can find cranberries that is.

Super Flavourful

Similar to my Black Garlic Roast Chicken, which I’m using usually to make an epic salad, this Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken gets its flavour and juiciness mainly from the compound butter that is spread both under and on the skin, to deeply infuse the flesh with festive fruitiness. Meaning opposed to just serving it with cranberry sauce, we let the delicious pink butter penetrate the meat and keep it both juicy and extra flavourful.

Comes with Sides

Not just the chicken, but also the sides come included in the recipe, so you have everything ready right out of the oven. Surrounded by baby potatoes, seasoned with rosemary, mushrooms, roasted in the juices while the chicken rests, and cranberries, creating a delicious sauce that needs nothing else, you get a complete meal. Time to start a new Christmas tradition!

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Versatile Cranberry Butter

The Cranberry Rosemary Butter I made especially for this recipe is the secret star of the show. I saw a fair few recipes for cranberry chicken, but all just had the cranberries surround it. I really wanted the flavour in my chicken. So I thought “What if I use the Cranberry Port Sauce I made and add it to the butter? Let me tell you, it was a full success! Not just pretty in pink, but so delicious, you’ll want to spread it on everything from bread to meat. I imagine it would be fantastic with any dark and gamey tasting meat like lamb or deer, who both benefit from sweet fruity flavours.

I’ve added orange zest and rosemary here, but you could easily vary it with different herbs or citrus fruits. For a change, I did not use any garlic, as I wanted the cranberries to shine.

Quick to Prepare

Most of the work is done by your food processor (or a quick mashing with a fork) and the oven. And while the smell of roasting chicken and cranberries fills your house, you have time to get ready or relax. Is there any better way to prepare dinner?

 

The Ingredients

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken_Ingredients

The Chicken

Use the best quality bird you can afford. Free range does make a difference for both the welfare of the animals and in flavour. I often get one of the lovely local free range chickens my butcher offers and am always amazed by the difference it makes.

Potatoes

Baby potatoes are best, as they keep their shape while roasting and you don’t have to peel them.

Mushrooms

I used chestnut mushrooms here but use whatever you enjoy and find in your local supermarket.

Cranberries

Fresh or frozen are both great options. Due to the long roasting time, you don’t need to account for either, they will cook through and disintegrate into the sauce.

Butter

Use good quality butter here, as it will flavour both meat and sauce. I’m using 1 stick, which makes more than you need for the chicken. But apart from being so delicious, you’ll want to try it on everything, it’s harder to mix smaller amounts in the food processor. So you are left with delicious leftovers to use on sandwich or maybe even scones for breakfast.

Cranberry Sauce

I’m using my homemade Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines for this, which makes for incredible flavour in the butter. But you could easily use shop bought. Just make sure not to use warm sauce or a very runny kind. Mine was about Jam consistency.

Orange

The zest is added to the butter, the juices squeezed over the potatoes and the remains stuffed into the chicken cavity, to get absolutely all the flavour I can.

Rosemary

Fresh Rosemary works best. About 1 tbsp chopped in the butter and 1 tbsp chopped in the potatoes. You could use thyme too if you like.

 

The Process

 

Optional Chicken Brining

I often brine my chicken in a simple 4 cups water, ½ cup salt, a few cloves smashed garlic, sliced lemon and some herbs. Similar to, but simpler than the one I used for my Black Garlic Chicken. This keeps the chicken extra juicy and flavourful. But this is by no means essential. If you choose to use it, add the chicken to a large sealable bag (I user Freezer bags), add cold water, lemon, herbs, maybe some smashed garlic and ½ cup of salt. Seal the bag and shake, so the salt dissolves. Keep in the fridge like this for up to 2 days.

This is an optional step, so I haven’t shown it here, to keep things simple. Let me know if you’d like a full recipe and I’ll add one soon.

Take your chicken out of the fridge (if you brined it, rinse, and pat dry) about 1h before you want to roast it, so it can come to room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C

The Cranberry Butter

 

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken_Cranberry Butter

Now all you need to do is mix either homemade (like this Cranberry Sauce with Port and Clementines) https://forthepleasureofeating.com/cranberry-sauce-with-port-and-clementines/ or shop bought Cranberry sauce with butter, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, orange zest, salt and pepper in your food processor or mash it by hand. You can prepare this the day before if you like but remember to take it out of the fridge about an hour before, so it’s easy to rub onto the chicken skin.

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken_Cranberry Butter

Add the Cranberry Butter under and on the chicken skin, being careful not to rip the skin. I usually gently slide my hand under the skin of the breast, starting on the neck side, which has more room to expand, and create 2 pockets for the butter, before pushing a few portions under it and spreading it out by gently pushing on the skin towards the bottom. Then use some of the remaining butter and rub it all over the chicken skin.

Potatoes, Cranberries and Mushrooms

Half the baby potatoes, depending on their size. Very small ones can be left whole. In a bowl, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and add a tablespoon of chopped rosemary. Mix everything so the potatoes are evenly coated.

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken_Process

Lightly grease your roasting tin with a bit of olive oil.

Add the potatoes to the roasting tin and tumble over the fresh cranberries. Squeeze over the juice of the orange and stuff the halves into the chicken cavity.

 

Roasting

Nestle the chicken between the potatoes and cranberries and roast in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour. Rotate once after 30 minutes, if your oven roasts unevenly.
Towards the 45 minutes mark, check the skin of your chicken. If you see some spots getting too dark, cover it loosely with a bit of kitchen foil, while it cooks through.

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken_Process

While your chicken is roasting, quarter the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. No oil is needed, as they will be coated in the buttery juices later.

Once the chicken is golden brown and cooked through (Test by piercing the thickest part of the leg with a knife. If the juices run clear, your bird is ready), carefully transfer it to a large rimmed plate and cover loosely with kitchen foil to rest.

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken_Process

Add the Mushrooms to your tin. Stir briefly, to coat them in the flavourful, buttery juices and turn the potatoes, so they can brown. Put back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes, or until your potatoes have nice and golden edges and your mushrooms are cooked.

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken_Process

To Serve

Serve everything on a big plate, carving your Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken at the table or pre-carve and serve the meat over the potato-cranberry-mushroom mix. Don’t forget to drizzle the buttery, fruity pan juices over everything. Add more Cranberry Sauce at the table if you like.

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Meal Prep

Both Cranberry Sauce (if you decide to make your own) and Cranberry Butter can be prepared a few days ahead.

If you decide to brine your chicken, you can do so up to 2 days ahead.

The butter is best spread on in the last moment, as it tends to slide off if cooled and then warmed again.

Potatoes and Mushrooms can be prepared ahead, but they take just a few minutes.

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Please Comment

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken might be the easiest Holiday dinner you can make, while being utterly delicious and impressive. Everything gets roasted in the same pan, minimizing the cleanup. And you can prepare it ahead of time, up to the point where you just push it into the oven an hour before you want to eat. It even makes its own sauce by virtue of the pretty pink cranberry butter you spread under and on the skin.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Feast, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 510 kcal

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large chicken ideally free range
  • 2 lb baby potatoes
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 6 cups fresh mushrooms I used chestnut
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stick butter cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped, divided
  • 4 tbsp cranberry sauce or jam
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Prepare the Chicken:

  • Take the chicken out of the fridge about 1 hour before roasting to bring it to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Make the Cranberry Butter:

  • In a food processor or by hand, mix cranberry sauce, butter, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of rosemary, orange zest, salt, and pepper.
  • Carefully lift the skin of the chicken and rub some of the cranberry butter underneath. Rub some of the remaining butter over the chicken skin. Keep leftovers of the butter in the fridge for another use.

Prepare Potatoes and Cranberries

  • In a bowl, toss the halved baby potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary.
  • Grease a roasting tin with olive oil and add the potatoes. Sprinkle fresh cranberries over them.
  • Squeeze the juice of the orange over the potatoes and place the squeezed halves inside the chicken cavity.
  • Place the chicken in the roasting tin among the potatoes and cranberries.

Roast the Chicken:

  • Roast in the middle of the oven for about 1 hour. Rotate the tin once after 30 minutes.
  • Check the chicken skin at the 45-minute mark. If it's getting too dark, cover it loosely with kitchen foil.

Prepare Mushrooms:

  • While the chicken is roasting, season quartered mushrooms with salt and pepper.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate and cover loosely with foil.
  • Add mushrooms to the roasting tin and stir to coat them in the buttery juices. Turn the potatoes.

Finish Roasting:

  • Place the tin back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes until the potatoes have golden edges, and mushrooms are cooked.

Serve:

  • Carve the chicken at the table or pre-carve and arrange it over the potato-cranberry-mushroom mix.
  • Drizzle the buttery pan juices over everything. Serve with additional cranberry sauce at the table.
  • Enjoy your Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken with its fruity blend of flavours!

Notes

Meal Prep
Both Cranberry Sauce (if you decide to make your own) and Cranberry Butter can be prepared a few days ahead.
If you decide to brine your chicken, you can do so up to 2 days ahead.
The butter is best spread on in the last moment, as it tends to slide off if cooled and then warmed again.
Potatoes and Mushrooms can be prepared ahead, but they take just a few minutes.
4 portions
Calories: Approximately 510 calories
Protein: Approximately 23 grams
Carbohydrates: Approximately 42 grams
Fat: Approximately 28 grams
Fiber: Approximately 6 grams

Nutrition

Calories: 510kcal
Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken
Amount per Serving
Calories
510
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Easy, For Guests, High Protein, meal prep
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