Anyone else starting to anticipate Thanksgiving dinner? My favorite part of Thanksgiving is this delicious cranberry orange sauce that I make to slather over my turkey slices. I am starting to see more and more bags of cranberries at the grocery store so, in the spirit of the season, I picked up a GIANT Costco sized bag. And I got to thinking… I wonder if I could make a cranberry sauce for my chicken? Well, the answer is yes. Yes I can. I present to you my Crock Pot Cranberry Orange Chicken. It’s super simple to make (throw it all in a Crock Pot simple) and it’s delicious. Thanksgiving flavors without all the work (virtual high five!)
I know we usually only eat cranberries in November, but they are really a great fruit to have on hand. Check out my Gluten Free + Vegan Cranberry Crumb Bars to learn a little more about the health benefits of cranberries (and to grab another delicious cranberry recipe.)
I used chicken thighs, but chicken breasts would work too. Throw all the ingredients and turn that bad boy on high. Once my chicken was tender, I took it out and shredded it with 2 forks.
Then I scooped out the cooked cranberries and orange slices and set them aside. The juice, I poured into a sauce pan and boiled it on the stove top until it was reduced by half. I added in some honey for sweetness, tossed the cooked cranberries back in and poured it all over the chicken to really kick up the flavor!
This meal might take a little extra work at the end, but it’s totally worth it. Sometimes I find the “crockpot juice” is just too watery to use, so reducing it really helps give the whole dish more flavor.
How to use Cranberry Orange Chicken
- Top the chicken mixture over sweet potato toasts
- Roast sweet potato squares and toss it all together to make a Thanksgiving style bowl
- Throw it over a roasted veggie salad
- Throw it over a cold salad
- Eat it in a warm gluten free roll like a sandwich
- Turn it into a taco (Too far? Okay, maybe not. LOL)
You get the idea. Personally, I love this over sweet potato toasts. A Thanksgiving finger food that is actually healthy.
Crock Pot Cranberry Orange Chicken
- 4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 4 oranges or tangerines, sliced leave skin on
- 1 cup orange juice
- 6 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp sea salt more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/3 cup honey more or less to taste
- Place chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with cranberries and orange slices. Add salt, thyme and bay leaf. Pour orange juice over the top. Cover and turn on high about 3 hours or until chicken is tender (5-6 hours on low). This is highly dependent on your crock pot as mine seems to cook pretty fast on high.
- Once chicken can pull easily with a fork, remove it to a bowl and shred with 2 forks.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked cranberries and oranges. Discard oranges.
- Run the juice through a fine mesh strainer to remove the solids and then put the remaining liquid into a sauce pan and cook on high until boiling and reduced by half. Stir in honey and taste to adjust sweetness and salt. Then pour it back into the crock pot with the chicken and cooked cranberries. Serve hot.