A homemade balsamic cranberry sauce cooks on top of your favorite cut of chicken in this easy and healthy recipe that can be made in your slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Can you believe it’s January 1st? Yes I know everyone is writing that right now but it’s true. To kick off January 2019, I am doing another January whole30. This recipe is not just whole30 but paleo and low-carb. The trifecta as I like to call it.
Cranberry season is winding down which means grocery stores usually have fresh cranberries on sale. Whenever winter comes around, I usually stock up on fresh cranberries because they freeze great (just throw the bag directly in). No joke, I’m seriously sitting on 4 lbs currently in my freezer. In an effort to stop hoarding cranberries, I thought it was time to use some up. Yup, I pulled my cranberries straight from the freezer, I did not thaw them first. But really, this is all about the balsamic sauce. First off, like cranberries, this is not a sweet sauce. It’s more on the tart side being a mixture of cranberries, vinegar with mustard. As with everything, I encourage you to taste the sauce before you pour it into the slow cooker. Think it needs more salt? Add salt. More mustard? Add more Dijon.
This reminds me of the holidays. Yes, I know it’s probably the cranberries and the spring of rosemary. Back to the sauce – it’s really easy, you don’t need much, and it has tons of flavor. The dish might not be much to look at after it’s done cooking and the sauce cooks down but boy does it smell good.
Grab your favorite cut of chicken. I like to use dark meat in the slow cooker so I used two chicken leg quarters from Roo Nutrition that totaled a little under 1.5 pounds of meat. You can use your preferred cut whether it be all thighs, legs, a combination, or even breasts. If you use chicken breasts then reduce the cook time by at least an hour. White meat, especially boneless white meat tends to dry out a lot quicker in the slow cooker so you don’t want to overcook it. If not leg quarters, I prefer skin-on thighs or legs for this recipe.Print
- 1 – 1.5 lbs chicken
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3/4 cup fresh cranberries
- 2–3 tsp oil (for IP)
- small spring of rosemary (optional)
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth (1 cup for IP)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- Add onion to the bottom of the slow cooker. Add chicken on top.
- In a small bowl, mix together sauce ingredients. Pour sauce on top of chicken.
- Top with fresh cranberries.
- Cook HIGH 3-4 hours, LOW 6-8.
- Turn the Instant Pot saute and oil. Once hot, add the chicken and sear a few minutes on each side until browned. Remove chicken and set aside.
- Add onion and cook a few minutes until soft.
- In a small bowl, mix together sauce ingredients. Be sure to use 1 full cup of broth. Pour sauce into the Instant Pot, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom. Add chicken back to the IP. Top with fresh cranberries.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook 12 minutes.
- Natural release 5 minutes then quick release remaining pressure.
If you want crisp skin on your chicken then you will need to remove it from the slow cooker and put it under your broiler.
I added the spring of fresh rosemary for garnish, nothing more. Serve this with mashed or riced cauliflower, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice – whatever fits your dietary needs.
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