Around the holidays, i.e. between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I had a lot of plans for cranberries. I made some cranberry-walnut bread and also utilized a great Martha Stewart recipe to make infused Cranberry Orange vodka. For whatever reason, my local grocery store did not have the New Jersey native fruit in stock at any point, so I would buy them in bulk from the Whole Foods. Luckily, the little buggers don’t go bad quickly, as I still have two huge baskets of them in my fridge and not much to do with them.

I found a great recipe in Eating Well In Season. It’s from the Fall section, but I had pretty much everything on hand, and hey, I did buy the cranberries in the fall. It was pretty easy to throw together; and very hearty and delicious.

Curried Chicken with Fresh and Dried Cranberries
from Eating Well In Season

3 teaspoons of canola oil, divided
2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut crosswise into half-inch thick pieces
3 tablespoons mild or medium-hot curry powder, divided
2 teaspoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
Generous 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or cloves (I used cardamom- so good!)
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
1 and a half cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 and 1/3 cups sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen, thawed, coarsely choppped*
1 tablespoon minced ginger*
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

*If using fresh cranberries, place in a food processor and pulse a few times until the berries are coarsely chopped.

Heat 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a nonreactive Dutch oven (I just used a large stainless steel pot) over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken pieces and sprinkle with a generous 1/2 teaspoon curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Heat the remaining 1 and 1/2 teaspoons oil in the pot. Add the remaining chicken, sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add butter, onion and mustard seeds to the pot; cook, stirring, until the seeds pop and the onion begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot, sprinkle with the remaining curry powder and cardamom; stir to coat the chicken with the spices. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, broth, dried and fresh cranberries, ginger and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces slightly and the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes more. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Curried Chicken with Fresh and Dried Cranberries

There is a lot going on in the dish and in this recipe. There are many steps and a ton of different flavors. I did have some difficulty in the beginning cooking the chicken. The spices began to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn a bit, but the chicken was unharmed. I had to scrub at the bottom of the pan for a bit after cooking, but it didn’t take away from how much I thoroughly enjoyed the meal. It was delicious and warming, and every bite had a little something different to offer. The recipe suggested serving with brown basmati rice, which I’m sure would be great. I had some whole wheat cous cous on hand which only took 5 minutes to cook, so I dished it into some bowls and topped it off with the chicken, then added cilantro for garnish. What a warm and delicious treat!