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Orange Cranberry Brined Chicken

January 20, 2010


I’ve only roasted a whole bird once and realized I should’ve weighed these before putting them in the oven so I would have an approximate finishing time. It ended up working out, as I just used a thermometer to gauge doneness. The cranberry and orange are really nice to highlight the poultry flavor and the sugar in the cranberry sauce creates a very crisp and crunchy skin.

The brine defiantly makes for a juicy bird and the rest time is imperative to serve it that way.

A foil “hat” halfway through cooking prevents this skin from burning and overall it came out really nice! I made 2 chickens for 12 people and we had plenty of leftovers. Gauge your servings on the size of the chickens and the  appetite of your guests.

  • One large chicken
  • 1/2 lb cranberries
  • Orange juice to cover (about 1 qt.)
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 1/4 c. salt
  • 20-30 peppercorns, (crushed if you enjoy spice)

Blend together the cranberries, orange juice, garlic (about 20 cloves), onion, salt and ginger. Pour over chicken, and if chicken is not fully submerged add enough water or orange juice to cover. Add the peppercorns.


(I added more liquid to completely cover.)

Let chicken brine for 5-8 hours, then remove from liquid. Drain.

  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  • 1 tsp dry rosemary, crushed
  • 1 tbsp butter, non-hydrogenated margarine, or oil
  • 1/4 cup homemade cranberry sauce
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • zest of one orange
  • One orange, sliced (use the same one you zested)


Rub the chicken, over and under the skin with butter or oil. Sprinkle thyme, orange zest, and rosemary then massage the cranberry sauce into the spices and butter. Fill the cavity with parsley, and orange slices.

Roast chicken at 450* for 15 minutes then reduce to 350*. Roast for 30 minutes then add a foil tent to the breast and place a thermometer (with wire) in the breast. (set for 170* if possible) Close the oven door and do not open it again until the thermometer registers 170*.

Remove the chicken from oven and place on a cutting board. Tent with foil for 20 minutes, then remove and bring to the table so guests can “ooh” and “ahh”. Bring it back into the kitchen to carve with an electric knife.

*Please note, I doubled this and it came out perfectly.

Recipe by Ohh May

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 21, 2010 12:17 am

    What a great recipe! I wish I ate chicken so I could try this!!

    I am jealous of your great internship. I’d probably gain 5 pounds after working there just a week!

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