Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cranberry Chicken

This recipe didn't appeal to me at first. It's another gem from my church cookbook, and there was a lot standing in its way. First, for a long time I thought I didn't like two of the ingredients it required, so I never made it. Cranberry sauce and Western dressing never found their ways into my parents' home when I was growing up, so never having tried them I just assumed I didn't like them.

I wanted to dislike this recipe also because it comes from a woman who I never liked while I was growing up. Her daughter was in Girl Scouts with me, and both ladies were always rude to my mom. However, I have to give her some credit--this is a really simple, easy recipe and the chicken was nice and tender when I took it out of the oven. Graham had his reservations about this meal, but if you're not fond of cranberries, it's okay! All the ingredients come together and you can't really taste one over another.

Cranberry Chicken:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1 12 oz. bottle Western OR Honey Russian dressing
1 package dry onion soup mix

Mix cranberries, dressing, and soup mix and pour over the chicken in a casserole dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional hour. Serve over rice.

  • Like I said, this chicken was incredibly tender and moist after I took it from the oven. I actually shortened the baking time by about 20 minutes because I used tongs to flip the chicken in the casserole, and one chicken breast fell apart in the tongs!
  • I used 4 chicken breasts for the two of us since six would have been way too many. However, I didn't adjust the other ingredients too much.
  • I couldn't find whole cranberries for the life of me! I don't know if they're out of season or what, but my only options were liquid cranberry sauce or jellied cranberry sauce. I opted for the jelly, and it worked okay. You couldn't taste as much of the cranberry as I would have liked, but I think it worked well with the rest of the ingredients.
  • After the longest amount of time I've EVER spent in the salad dressing aisle, I finally found Western Dressing. Honey Russian? What's that? I couldn't ever recall seeing it. I found honey everything else, though. I think any semi-sweet salad dressing would work for this chicken if you can't find Western.
  • I used half a bottle of dressing because the whole bottle would have been too much.
  • I like the Lipton dry onion soup mix. In one box, you get two envelopes! I only used one, and I think it worked fine. You could really smell the onion soup while it was baking in the oven. I mixed it with one cup water just to thin out the sauce.
  • The sauce was pretty thick, almost like barbeque sauce. You might want to thin it out for your tastes.
  • This was great for Graham's tastes, but if you prefer more cranberry, cut back on the dressing or eliminate the onion mix.

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