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Chicken, Wild Rice with Cranberry Casserole




It's November and here in New England - just like anywhere else - food has "an eternal relationship with seasons and their many weathers," Old-Time New England Cookbook. Up here that means cranberries!


Cranberry Craze


Cranberries are loved not just in New England but all over - especially during the holidays. You could even go as far as saying this season brings on a cranberry craze. Although, us New Englanders can proudly claim this berry to fame:

"Cultivation of the cranberry began in 1816, shortly after Captain Henry Hall, a Revolutionary War veteran, of Dennis, Massachusetts, noticed that the wild cranberries in his bogs grew better when sand blew over them. Captain Hall began transplanting cranberry vines and spreading sand on them. When others heard of Hall's technique, it was quickly copied. Continuing throughout the 19th century, the number of growers increased steadily." (Where Tradition Meets Innovation)

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Let's Talk Health - Cranberry Benefits

Let's Talk Health


Cranberry Benefits

Besides being a great source of vitamin C, A, and beta carotene - they are packed with antioxidants and absorb radically, which makes them awesome for anti-aging and memory enhancement.


Not only that, but cranberries help the bronchial tubes by opening up the pathways, helping any respiratory condition. They are very high in tannic acids which gives them a powerful ability to protect and heal urinary tract, bladder, and kidney infections! Not to mention, these tannic acids carry a compound called proanthocyanidins which can trap bacteria, helping to prevent them from sticking to your digestive or urinary tract.


So, the cranberry craze can certainly live up to its name with these health benefits!



Recipe


Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (will use at various times)

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut up)

  • 1 medium yellow onion diced

  • 1 small butternut squash - peeled and cubed

  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 3/4 cup dried reduced-sugar cranberries

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese



Directions
  • Cook the rice according to package directions. Drain off any excess cooking liquid and set aside.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

  • In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium heat. Add the diced chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink on the inside, about 6 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

  • Wipe the skillet clean. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium. Add the diced squash, onions, salt, and pepper. Sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender but still retains some chew, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the thyme, cranberries, reserved chicken, rice, and 1/4 cup Parmesan.

  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake 5 additional minutes, until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with additional chopped fresh thyme and serve warm.


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