As busy as people are these days, the crock pot has become an essential appliance for the home cook. All you have to do is chop and prep ingredients and throw them together in the slow cooker. Just turn it on and walk away. You're free to carry on with your daily tasks, or simply sit back, put your feet up, and relax.
Fresh cranberries and orange juice provide the flavor for these easy-to-fix chicken breasts. The chicken is a nice change of pace from plain seasoned chicken, and it takes just minutes to prepare and cook. Cinnamon and ginger add a subtle touch of spice to the orange juice sauce mixture, and the cranberries make it attractive.
If you have some fresh cranberries left after the holidays, this is an excellent way to use them. Or use frozen cranberries in the dish.
If you can't check the chicken for doneness at the 4 or 5-hour mark, consider using boneless chicken thighs in the dish. Chicken thighs are much more forgiving than chicken breasts, and they stay juicy and tender even after a long cooking time.
- 6 boneless chicken breasts (without skin)
- 1 onion (small to medium)
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Optional Garnishes: Green onions, cilantro, or chopped parsley
- Pat the chicken breasts with paper towels to dry and arrange them in the crock pot.
- Peel the onion and chop it; sprinkle over the chicken.
- Add the cranberries, salt, spices, brown sugar, and orange juice to the chicken and onions.
- Cover the pot and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until the chicken is tender.
- In a small bowl or cup, stir the flour and water together to make a smooth paste (slurry). Gradually add half of the mixture to the crock pot while stirring constantly. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes. If it isn't thick enough, add the remaining slurry mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes longer, stirring constantly.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve the chicken breast garnished with sliced green onions or chopped cilantro or parsley.
- Boneless chicken breasts can become dry when cooked too long, and some crock pots cook at higher temperatures than others. Check the chicken for doneness after about 4 hours. It should be tender and register at least 165 F, the USDA-recommended minimum safe temperature for chicken.
- The slurry of flour and water is used to thicken the sauce mixture. To avoid lumps, make sure the flour and water mixture is completely smooth. Add it in small amounts until the sauce is thickened as desired while stirring constantly.
- This quick skillet chicken with cranberries is a quick stovetop option with similar ingredients.