I’ve always found it to be strange that there are certain foods we only eat on Thanksgiving. It’s as if we are not allowed to enjoy them at other times throughout the year? What’s with that? A great example is fresh cranberries and I have a small but mighty love for them. That’s why I am determined to incorporate them into meals as long as I can get my hands on them. A one-pot meal that is easy to make any night of the week, Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cranberries and Apples spotlights this wonderful ingredient. The one pot dinner is my weeknight saving grace. And it bakes in the oven which means the majority of the cooking is hands-free. I love that! The flavors in this simple recipe, Roasted Chicken Thighs with Cranberries and Apples, are so perfect for the season. Pair it with a whole grain like farro or quinoa. Roasted potatoes or even sweet potatoes would be quite nice as well.
Use your leftover cranberry sauce to make these Cranberry Oats!
Health Benefits of Cranberries
Cranberries are a rich source of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. They provide anti-cancer and cardiovascular benefits. They may also help with blood sugar control as they are rich in fiber and lower in sugar than other berries. Rich in vitamin C, consuming cranberries will help promote healthy immune function. As for their benefits for treating Urinary Tract Infections, more research is needed though the results are promising.
Are Dried Cranberries Healthy?
I joke around with my clients, equating dried cranberries to a bag of skittles. In all seriousness, there is a good amount good amount of sugar in dried cranberries due to the tartness of the natural berry. While it’s okay to have some dried cranberries once in a while, they belong more in the candy category than they do the fruit category.
Instead opt for fresh cranberries (or frozen) and pair them with another fruit, like the apples in this recipe, to buffer their tartness. If you’re craving dried fruit, try an unsweetened dried cherry instead.
This Cranberry, Sweet Potato and Winter Squash Crumble is prefect for a weeknight meal or entertaining!
What is Za’atar?
It is a middle eastern spice blend of thyme, sumac and sesame seeds (awesome, right?). While it sounds fancy it is really quite simple to make and now that I have it in my spice cabinet, I use it ALL THE TIME!
I love adding it to eggs and hummus or a fresh tomato and cucumber salad with olive oil. I also love to season salmon with a blend of Za’atar, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Heck, you can skip the salmon and just dunk a crusty piece of bread into this blend — yum.
Make Your Own Za’atar
Combine 2 tablespoons dried thyme with 2 tablespoon sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons of sumac and I occasionally add some dried oregano because I love it.
You can purchase pre-made za’atar at your grocer or online, here.
Try this Recipe: Lemon and Za’atar Chicken with Cauliflower
Roasted Chicken with Cranberries and Apples
Yield 2-4 servings
- 2 apples, cored and sliced (peeling optional) - try gala, honeycrisp or fuji
- 1 cup fresh or frozen, unsweetened cranberries
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoon za'atar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and olive oil. Toss well to coat.
- Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and the za'atar.
- Place the chicken, skin side up in a baking dish. Arrange the apple mixture around the chicken.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes for until chicken is done and apple is tender.