When I was a small child, I would awake Christmas Eve morning to the smells of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, oranges and cranberries that wafted around the clinking sounds of Grandma in the kitchen preparing everyone’s favorite dishes for our dinner later that day. Grandpa would be in the his chair humming Christmas Carols as he put on his shoes. I could see the glow of the Christmas tree lights dancing across the ceiling from where I lay snug in my bed, cozy and warm under the heavy handmade quilt. Magic permeated the air, excitement began tingling in my chest and the world became beautiful with the feeling that anything was possible. I still love that feeling along with the sounds and smells of Christmas Eve morning. I wanted to capture and share the essence of those moments in the creation of this recipe. From my home to yours ~ enjoy!
Tangy Cran-Orange Coconut Chicken
- 2-4 chicken breasts
- 12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
- zest of 4 satsuma tangerines (or one orange)
- juice of 4 satsuma tangerines (or one orange)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2-1 cup of shredded fresh coconut (can use almond slivers instead)
- Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot. (I often place them in the crockpot frozen, mine cooks at high enough temperatures that I have never encountered any problems starting with frozen chicken.) Top with the cranberries, zest, tangerine/orange juice, water, sugar, salt and vanilla extract.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours depending on your crockpot. The last half hour, stir the cranberries, popping any that have not already burst and continue to cook the last half hour with the lid off to reduce some of the liquid and thicken the sauce.
- To serve, slice the chicken breast, drizzle with the cran-orange sauce and sprinkle a 1/4 cup of shredded coconut (or almond slivers) over the top of each serving.
(Satsumas, originating in Japan, were brought to the Americas by Jesuit priests in the 1870's. Its ability to withstand colder temperatures than other citrus fruits quickly made it popular and as a tribute towns named Satsuma began to pop up in Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. The colder temperatures causes the fruit to be sweeter, adding to the tangerine's popularity. Satsuma tangerines are also known as Christmas Oranges. Often, times were difficult in previous centuries and to receive an orange in your Christmas stocking was a true luxury and a sign of prosperity.)
Copyright 2007 - 2012 Tanya Jolly & Sally Stevens