Mild-mannered chicken breast sings when it's doused in a sweet-and-salty cranberry-hoisin pan sauce. Serve with roasted acorn squash and sautéed chard or kale.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2011


Recipe Summary

45 mins
Nutrition Profile:


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  • Cut each chicken breast in half on the diagonal to get 4 portions about equal in weight. (Two will be smaller but thicker, the other two larger but thinner; see box.) Sprinkle the chicken with five-spice powder and salt. Place 3 tablespoons flour in a shallow dish. Dredge both sides of the chicken in the flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, skinned-side down, and cook until brown on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the chicken, skinned-side up, to a baking sheet. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Return the pan to medium heat, add shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sherry and cranberries; cook until the sherry is reduced by about half and the cranberries are beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup broth; bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are very soft, about 3 minutes more.

  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl. Whisk the mixture into the sauce and cook, whisking, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in hoisin sauce and brown sugar.

  • When the chicken is done, return the pan to medium heat, add the chicken, turn to coat with the sauce and reheat until the sauce is warm. Serve the chicken with the sauce.


Notes: Chinese five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Look for it in the spice section at the supermarket or with other Asian ingredients.

Sherry is a fortified wine originally from southern Spain. Don't use “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets--it can be high in sodium. Instead, look for dry sherry with other fortified wines at your wine or liquor store.

Tip: Hoisin is a brown, thick, spicy-sweet sauce made from soybeans and a mix of spices. Look for it in the Asian-foods section. We use Wei chuan hoisin, which has about 300 mg sodium per tablespoon.

Easy cleanup: To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you bake.

Nutrition Facts

280 calories; protein 27.2g; carbohydrates 15.9g; dietary fiber 1.2g; sugars 5.4g; fat 10.4g; saturated fat 1.4g; cholesterol 68mg; vitamin a iu 115.1IU; vitamin c 2.8mg; folate 33.8mcg; calcium 24.5mg; iron 1.7mg; magnesium 32.4mg; potassium 341.5mg; sodium 574.1mg; thiamin 0.1mg; added sugar 4g.

Reviews (5)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Really enjoyed! I love cranberries and seeing them only on my table at Thanksgiving/Christmas is just wrong. I made this dish to use my bag of fresh cranberries in my veggie drawer and served my mother who has "spice issues" she loved it and so did I. I have some left over and can't wait to reheat it! Pros: Another great use of cranberries Cons: I hate skinning chicken- will have butcher do next time... Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great but... This was a great recipe but the five spice did not seem to fit in the flavor profile. Next time I am leaving out the five spice and increasing the fresh cranberries a bit. All in all though it was a great dinner idea. Pros: Easy prep great flavors Cons: Five spice Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy Alternative Use of Cranberries with Chicken Easy delicious recipe for chicken. Loved using fresh cranberries. Pros: Easy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious Both my husband and I loved this! I actually wound up making it with dried cranberries instead of fresh because the fresh ones weren't in season yet and I couldn't find frozen. It still turned out very well and I can't wait to try it with fresh! The first night we had it with the sauteed kale and steamed squash as suggested which was great. When we had leftovers we made brown rice which went really well with the sauce. I will definitely make this again! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Just ok... Adding a splash of cider vinegar helped the sauce flavor but even so not tasty enough to make again. Pros: great way to cook the chicken - moist and delicious Cons: Sauce was too salty and seemed bland... needed more tang. Read More