These orange cranberry balsamic chicken thighs are a decadent dish that is sure to impress any dinner guest! They’re paleo, AIP, and easy to modify for Whole30.

Cranberry Orange Chicken Thighs

So, wait… cranberries be used in more dishes than just cranberry sauce? Heck, yes! Cranberries are great on a Thanksgiving table for sure, but that’s not the only place you can enjoy them.

This dish is perfect for making for dinner while you have family in town! It’s one of those recipes that seems like it took you hours to make, but really, all you need is time to marinate it and then pop it in the oven.

How to Make Cranberry Chicken Thighs

  • Chop the cranberries: Using a food processor, chop 1/3 cup of cranberries for 5-10 seconds to roughly chop.

  • Make the marinade: Add in the garlic, avocado oil, vinegar, orange juice, coconut aminos, red wine, salt, pepper and rosemary and blend to combine. Pat down the chicken thighs until dry and add to a bag. Pour the cranberry mixture over the chicken and transfer to the fridge. Allow to marinate for at least 90 minutes, or overnight if desired.
  • Bake the chicken and serve: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Add the chicken to a large baking dish and top with the additional fresh cranberries. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is baked through at 165 F and the skin is crispy. Remove from the oven and top with orange zest before serving.

Can you make this recipe without the wine?

For sure! It adds a lot of flavor, but you don’t need it. I don’t really have wine on hand right now during my pregnancy, but I actually developed this recipe last year and it got lost in the shuffle while I was writing my cookbook! You can easily sub chicken broth for the wine.

Can you use chicken breast instead?

If you want to use chicken breast, I would just go for bone-in, skin-on breast and make sure you closely watch the cooking time.

Can you use frozen cranberries?

I would use fresh instead, but if you do use frozen, just make sure they’re defrosted and there’s no excess liquid.

 

The Ingredients

Chicken thighs

Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs have tons of flavor for this recipe!

Cranberries

Fresh cranberries work best for this recipe. You can likely use frozen too, but just be careful about any extra water content.

Balsamic vinegar, orange juice, and red wine

These are the main ingredients that make up the marinade for the recipe. You can swap out the red wine for chicken broth.

Cranberry Chicken Thighs

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Orange Cranberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

These orange cranberry balsamic chicken thighs are a decadent dish that is sure to impress any dinner guest! They’re paleo, AIP, and easy to modify for Whole30.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp cranberries, divided 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup red wine (sub broth, see notes)
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 chicken thighs (about 1.5 lb)
  • Zest of one orange 

Instructions

  1. Using a food processor, chop 1/3 cup of cranberries for 5-10 seconds to roughly chop. Add in the garlic, avocado oil, vinegar, orange juice, coconut aminos, red wine, salt, pepper and rosemary and blend to combine.
  2. Pat down the chicken thighs until dry and add to a bag. Pour the cranberry mixture over the chicken and transfer to the fridge. Allow to marinate for at least 90 minutes, or overnight if desired.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Add the chicken to a large baking dish and top with the additional fresh cranberries.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is baked through at 165 F and the skin is crispy.
  5. Remove from the oven and top with orange zest before serving.

Notes

All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.

The alcohol will cook out from the wine, but feel free to sub chicken broth.

  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 281
  • Fat: 22.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.4g
  • Fiber: 0.7g
  • Protein: 12.3g

Cranberry Chicken Thighs