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Cranberry Chicken Thighs

Cranberry chicken thighs with a simple cranberry glaze for a pop of flavour. This holiday chicken recipe is a great way to use those fresh cranberries that are in season!

cranberry chicken thighs

It feels weird posting something that looks very much like Christmas on October 31st. The kids are decked out in costumes (I’ve got a unicorn, Spiderman and the Hulk on my hands) and everyone is geared up for trick-or-treating. I’m eagerly awaiting Etienne’s return from a conference in Vegas so he can help with the Halloween craziness today! 

The thing about Halloween and all the candy, is that I reallllllly like to make sure we all get a nice, hearty, healthy meal in our bellies before roaming the streets and sampling all the colorful little packages. 

You already know how much I like chicken thighs. Juicy, affordable and a win with my entire family. Plus, that crispy skin on top is something I literally crave all of the time!

I tested these cranberry chicken thighs a few times, just to make sure I got the glaze perfect. There was a vision in my head and I wanted to get it just right. What’s funny, is that I forgot the maple syrup in my last go-round of this recipe and when Etienne tasted it he made the worst sour face, haha! He tried to pretend it wasn’t so bad…but then I tasted it too and quickly realized my mistake! 

How do you make cranberry chicken thighs?

Step One: The marinade!

The marinade for these chicken thighs starts with fresh cranberries, oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and garlic cloves. Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend it up before combining it with the chicken thighs and letting it marinate for at least 3-4 hours. You can also make it the night before and let it marinate overnight!

Step Two: Roast!

Have you ever had roasted chicken thighs? If you’re a fan of juicy chicken you will absolutely LOVE this. 

My favourite trick for roasting thighs is to start with a preheated sheet pan, then place the thighs, skin down, on the hot pan. Let them cook that way for 10 minutes to get that nice crisp going on before flipping them over and cooking them the rest of the way through.

Step Three: Make the Glaze!

Please don’t do what I did and forget the maple syrup…or this glaze will be SOUR. 

I prepare the cranberry glaze while the chicken is cooking. The timing is perfect – the chicken is done just as the glaze is perfectly thickened. 

Once you remove the chicken from the oven, plate it and pour the glaze over top. 

What do you serve cranberry chicken thighs with?

We ate our chicken with rice, and sautéed kale, but I imagine these would be SO good with roasted potatoes too, or even sweet potatoes. 

Try a few of these:


cranberry chicken thighs

If you’re headed out for Halloween today, be safe! We’ll be out trick-or-treating for a while – I hope you catch Hattie’s little unicorn costume on Instagram!

Make sure you get a hearty dinner in your stomach before allllll the candy!! 

Happy Halloween!

cranberry chicken thighs

And a few other hearty dinners for you to try!

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cranberry chicken thighs

Cranberry Chicken Thighs

  • Author: Katherine | Love In My Oven
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x


Cranberry chicken thighs with a simple cranberry glaze for a pop of flavour. This holiday chicken recipe is a great way to use those fresh cranberries that are in season!



Chicken Marinade

  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 cloves garlic

Chicken Thighs

  • 67 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on*
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • rice (optional) to serve



  1. Prepare the marinade. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cranberries, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and garlic cloves. Pulse until finely minced, then pour the marinade over the chicken thighs in a freezer bag or airtight container. Store in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400F with a rimmed baking sheet inside. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, olive oil and maple syrup together. When the oven has preheated, discard the marinade and place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on to the warmed baking sheet. Place the thighs back into the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the pan and flip the chicken thighs. Scatter the cranberries throughout the pan and place the pan back in the oven. Reduce the heat to 375F and cook the chicken for an additional 25 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
  3. Prepare the cranberry sauce. In a small saucepan over medium-high, heat the oil until hot and then add the diced shallot. Sauté for 5 minutes before adding in the cranberries, apple cider, water, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the mixture for 20-25 minutes, using the back of a wooden spoon to crush the cranberries from time to time.
  4. Plate the chicken thighs over some rice (or on their own) and top with cranberry sauce.

Leftovers can be stored (separately) in an airtight container, in the fridge, for 4-5 days.


*If using boneless chicken thighs, reduce the cooking time by about 10 minutes

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes

Keywords: chicken recipes for the holidays // roasted cranberry chicken // one pan chicken thigh recipes

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Cranberry Chicken Thighs


  1. This looks so good Katherine! Love chicken and cranberries together! And chicken thighs are so great! I’m actually working on re-posting a cranberry chicken taco recipe for tomorrow, so we’re on the same page with the holiday cranberry recipes!

  2. I just finished a savoury recipe using cranberries too! Time of the year! And I have some holiday ones just waiting to be posted. I can’t believe tomorrow is November 1st. Oh my goodness. Anywho, this looks delish! I love chicken thighs – so much flavour. They must pair beautifully with those cranberries 🙂 Happy Halloween!

  3. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    I have Christmas recipes coming next week so I totally feel you–but I’d gladly enjoy cranberries any time of year! This looks delicious, Katherine!

  4. Gorgeous dish for one, but I also love your cranberry marinade and the glaze. Definitely a must try – we eat chicken thighs a few times a month too:) Pinned!

  5. This is such a beautiful recipe, Katherine! I love all of these warm holiday flavors together in an entrée, looks SO very delicious! 😀

  6. Omgoodness this sounds so fabulous! That pop of color looks so festive and beautiful! I’ve pinned it for later! xo YUM!

  7. I love how festive this is, Katherine! I am always also craving that crispy chicken skin on top…so totally understand you there! Lol! The cranberries on top look amazing! I bet it makes for the best added texture.

  8. I hope you and your family had a fabulous time trick-or-treating, Katherine!

    Loving this chicken thigh dish – so timely with the cranberries! I think that chicken thighs don’t get the love they deserve in the food blogging world, so I always like to see them. We’ll be trying this recipe soon!

  9. What a great use of cranberries Katherine. I bet we’d love this recipe. I’ve been there, done that with recipes before when I forget an ingredient. I hate when that happens!

  10. these are my favorite to order out, but I have a sneaking suspicion they are more than 240 calories at a restaurant:glad i can make this at home now it would be a hit in our house definitely going to give it a try

  11. You’re not too early at all! It’s November 15th and I heard the first Christmas song on the radio today. It’s a station that will play Christmas music 24/7 until after the holiday. This looks delicious!! Cranberries on savory dishes are so good!

  12. This combination is irresistible! What a delicious idea!!…..it looks so yummy!!…and the picture is so great and presentative!.

  13. Delicious and moist chicken recipe! This was the perfect way to use up some fresh cranberries I had leftover from Thanksgiving. Thank you for the recipe inspiration! It was still great even though I did not leave sufficient time for the marinating step.

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