This easy baked cranberry chicken recipe with rosemary is the perfect festive dinner! Bold flavors from fresh garlic, rosemary, citrus, and tangy-sweet cranberries come together to create a show-stopping dish. If you like, you can marinate the chicken in the seasoning and citrus for a couple hours in the fridge or just do as in the recipe and allow it to sit at room temperature for a few minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, brown sugar, and white wine vinegar. Set aside for now.
Pat the chicken pieces dry. Rub the chicken with the minced garlic on both sides (make sure to apply some of the garlic underneath the chicken skins). Season well with salt and pepper. Combine the rosemary and paprika then apply to the chicken pieces on both sides and again underneath the skin.
In a large bowl or deep enough dish, mix the olive oil, lemon juice and 2 tablespoon white wine vinegar. Now add the chicken, celery, onions, and used lemon halves. Work everything together with clean hands. Set aside to marinate just for 15 minutes or so.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Place the chicken skin side down to brown on medium-high for 5 minutes. Turn over and brown on the other side.
Place the chicken, onions, celery, lemon halves and any liquid from the marinade in a lightly oiled baking pan. Add ½ cup water or chicken broth, then add the sugared cranberries.
Bake in the 425 degrees F heated-oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through. Serve hot with Lebanese rice and your favorite salad.
If you like, brown the chicken before baking to seal in juices and keep the chicken moist
To use boneless chicken instead, I recommend chicken thighs. Begin by browning them for a couple minutes on each side. Adjust baking time; boneless thighs will take about 25 minutes to bake in the oven
Frozen cranberries option: If you can't find fresh cranberries, frozen cranberries will also work in this baked cranberry chicken recipe. To prepare them, thaw them out ahead of time and be sure to drain them very well. You will not need to use white wine vinegar with frozen cranberries, but do still toss them in some brown sugar before using in this recipe.