We try to honor the practice of Sunday dinner. It doesn't happen every week, but when the schedule allows, I like to make a nice meal. This past Sunday was one of those days.
I had some bone-in chicken from Black Hog and wanted to incorporated fall flavors. The challenge I faced was to make chicken a little more special than usual and not go full-blown Thanksgiving on the flavors. I remembered a dish my friend and I had used for a cooking class last year and knew with a few changes it would be perfect. Crossing my fingers that everyone would like it, I stuffed the chicken with pinenuts, rosemary, and cranberries.
Well, it was a huge hit for everyone. There wasn't a morsel left. I will make this chicken again and again. It's a versatile recipe because you can really use whatever nut, dried fruit and/or fresh herb you have in your house. Mix up the combinations and the possibilities are endless!
The secret to perfectly cooked meat is a leave in thermometer. You can't overcook it when you know the temperature exactly. You also won't lose the temperature in the oven by opening the door several times to check for doneness. I've included a meat thermometer in my Amazon store for you to see what I'm talking about.
Try this easy chicken any night of the week. It will make everyone smile!
Cranberry Stuffed Chicken
4 pieces of chicken, bone-in and skin on (Any cut works. Can use turkey too.)
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (Any nut will work but recommend walnuts or pecans)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted (Can substitute olive oil or light butter)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary leaves (see picture below for how big the sprig started)
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Toast pine nuts by putting them in a dry skillet over medium low heat. Stir nuts regularly. They are done when they are fragrant and golden brown. Watch carefully as it's easy to burn.
- Put the pine nuts, cranberries and rosemary into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Stream in melted butter and pulse until combined.
- Place chicken on baking sheet. Using your fingers, gently rub under the skin to loosen but still keep connected. Now take handfuls of nut cranberry mixture and place under skin, covering as much meat as possible. Repeat with other pieces of chicken. Sprinkle the skin of the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Place meat probe into one piece of the thickenst chicken, being careful to not touch the bone. (Follow directions of your meat thermometer to turn on and use.) Roast for 20 minutes then reduce oven to 350 degrees and continue roasting until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.