Ooops. So much for posting it yesterday. Sorry!
Here it is. It is actually really easy. You are tied to the kitchen for about half an hour because of the stupid stirring. I bring in a book and read a page, stir, read a page, stir, etc. The cranberry sauce is savory so it is more attractive to those who are unsure about the whole cranberry thing. I like it because it isn't so stark.
- 1 chicken breast per person (I use skinless)
- 1 bag of fresh cranberries (egads I have no idea how big a bag. I get the only one that is stocked at our grocery store. It is ocean spray brand, and it is about the size of an A4 page folded in half. It holds about 4 cups of cranberries.) Be sure to rinse the berries to make sure they are clean.
- 1 chicken bullion cube.
- 2ish tablespoons butter- basically a wadge or dollop size
- 1 white or yellow onion, about tennis ball sized.
- the following spices: sage, thyme, salt, pepper
- cornstarch (this is optional)
- 1 cup of white, granulated sugar. You don't have to splurge and get the "fine ground" baking sugar. The fat crystal stuff is just fine.
Step one: Get the chicken going. I cook ours the "healthy" way-
- put a bit of water just to cover the bottom of an oven safe baking dish,
- lay the breasts side by side,
- sprinkle half a teaspoon thyme over the top, salt and pepper to taste
- cover dish with foil and bake. Our oven is one of those hot air jobbers that doubles as a microwave. It takes a bit longer to bake than a normal oven. For us, I have to bake the chicken at 225 deg for 45 min to make sure it is cooked through.
Step 2: Make the sauce- best to start it when the chicken heads into the oven.
- dice or chop the onion (to your pleasure. I like mine a bit more chunky. Makes it feel more 'homestyle'). Saute for a few minutes in the butter until it turns clear, but before it starts to brown/caramelize.
- Add 2 cups of water, the bullion cube, 1/2 teaspoon sage, 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Do not add salt- there's enough of it in the bullion cube. If you are way posh you could add 2 cups of homemade broth instead of the water and cube.
- Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium/medium-high so it holds just a very soft boil. Pour in the cranberries and sugar. Stir.
- Keep stirring once every minute or so. Be very careful- cranberries burst as they cook and it can be dangerous. Do not cover.
- Eventually the majority of the berries cook into a pulp (I sometimes get impatient and use the back of a spoon to mash 'em down to make it go quicker) and the liquid reduces into a nice thick, but still pourable, sauce.
- If your chicken is cooked before the sauce is, you can thicken it up a bit by adding about a teaspoon of corn starch mixed in a few tablespoons of cold water. (this is that optional corn starch step).
- Put about a spoon of the sauce on the dinner plate, place the chicken breast over it, and pour on more sauce liberally.
Enjoy! I usually serve it with white rice cooked in chicken broth and green beans.
You will get way more sauce than you need, but I find having whole cranberries lying around equals big ol fridge mess. Then they end up going bad before I want to use them again. If you let the sauce cool, you can spoon it into a bag and freeze it. To defrost, leave on the counter until it softens and gently micro it until it's warm OR put in a pan with a bit of water and reheat over low heat.