Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

This recipe for roasted chicken in a Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce is fit for a dinner party, but only takes four steps to make …and one of those steps is preheating the oven. 🙌

Coq au vin (chicken stewed in wine sauce) is usually made on the stove stop or in a dutch oven, and while it’s not an overly complicated dish, making it on a sheet pan is way easier. Which, sometimes you just need.

So, while you’re off doing whatever else you need to do — making a side salad, getting house chores done, watching Netflix - the combination of onions, garlic, and wine simmers away in your oven. And that combo, if you are not already familiar with it, is magical. The is alcohol in wine actually helps make the dish feel more flavorful, even though it burns off. As the sauce simmers in the oven, all those flavors become more concentrated.

The chicken thighs soak up all those juices, and the potatoes get crispy edges. And finally, when you pull the pan out of the oven 30 minutes later, that wine has become herbaceous and if you can imagine it, almost creamy. And the chicken juicy and tender.

Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast
Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

There is something about roasting chicken with potatoes that feels fit for cold weather days. We just had our first real snow — snow that actually stuck to the ground. Isn’t funny how after 27 years of Colorado winters snow still gives me this giddy, “It’s snowing!” feeling?

For me, what’s missing in classic wintertime dishes is a splash of brightness — you know what I mean, a pop of fresh. Herbs can totally help, but in this case cranberries are the star, adding spots of tart and fresh flavor. And add so much beauty, too! Even after being roasted, the cranberries add some beauty to this pan.

We ate this along side some roasted brussels sprouts (why not take advantage of having the oven on?), but a side salad or steamed veggies would be great, too! Traditional coq au vin is served over pasta, but this is far from traditional, so don’t feel bad about breaking any rules.

Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

Cranberry-Pinot Noir Chicken Roast

Published November 13, 2018 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 50 minutes


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 cup baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup fresh or dried cranberries (Fresh will add a touch of bright tartness, while dried will add a bit of sweetness. Both work well in the dish!)
  • 1/2 cup Pinot Noir
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 springs thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    2. Arrange chicken thighs, onion wedges, quartered potatoes, and cranberries in a single layer in the dish.
    3. In a jar, combine remaining 9 ingredients. Place lid on jar, and shake briefly to mix. Then, pour wine mixture over chicken and potatoes.
    4. Place pan in middle rack in oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until the middle of the chicken thighs reach 165°F. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, remove bay leaves and then garnish with additional thyme and serve hot.


    White Wine Cream Sauce Chicken & Thyme

    White Wine Cream Sauce Chicken & Thyme

    In France we saw endless fields of lavender, ornately designed royal gardens, and vending machines stocked by local farmers with the crop of the day. In France, we missed lunch almost every afternoon because in Bourgueil, shops close up after 2 and if you're just strolling into town for a bite to eat, you're fresh out of luck. 

    We saw at least one Château a day, traveled almost exclusively by bike, and learned that a map really does you no good when roads have no signs or names. It flooded, and we drank plenty of wine.

    White Wine Cream Sauce Chicken & Thyme

    In France, we cooked coq au vin in our little apartment, when all of the restaurants were closed. We tried to eat like the French, even when we couldn't figure out their schedule! 

    It's almost impossible to tell which parts of this dish are inspired by French cooking and which are just habits learned from my mom. This coq au vin-inspired dish has home cooking written all over it:

    • It starts with shallots: French shallots are French, aren't they?! Despite the fact that my mom virtually always has a shallot or two laying around, cooking with them always just feels a bit fancier to me than cooking with onions

    • After you sauté the shallots, pour on the wine (in this case, white). It sizzles and pops, and in true chef fashion you should probably take a sip or two from the bottle between stirs. Get a French wine if you want to feel extra French

    • Stir in the cream, and watch the sauce go from brothy to rich and creamy. Many a person has added cream to sauce... but is it very French? Maybe, or maybe not. But who cares! It's cream! And it tastes amazing. Just do it.

    • Finish with thyme, fresh and herbaceous. Any even if your thyme wasn't grown in France, you can pretend it was. Top off you glass of wine before you sit down to eat.

    White Wine Cream Sauce Chicken & Thyme

    White Wine Cream Sauce Chicken & Thyme

    Published October 12, 2017 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 35 minutes


    • 1 pound chicken breast 
    • 1 shallot
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 3/4 cup white wine
    • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (for dairy-free, try canned full-fat coconut milk)
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 3 springs fresh thyme
    • Optional: 1 cup fresh baby spinach


    1. Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat.
    2. When the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts to the pan, and brown on each side until golden (about 5 minutes each side). Move chicken to a plate and set aside.
    3. Dice the shallot, and add to the pan. Sauté until soft. Add the garlic. Sauté for another minute. Pour wine into pan, and scrape bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to deglaze.
    4. Pour cream into pan, and stir gently until incorporated. Add spinach, and stir in until wilted.
    5. Place chicken back in pan. Bring sauce to a slow simmer (if you turn it too hot, the cream may curdle). Add salt & black pepper, and leaves from 2 springs of thyme. Allow to simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Garnish with thyme leaves from remaining sprig of thyme, and serve hot.

    White Wine Cream Sauce Chicken & Thyme

    Zucchini Ricotta Manicotti

    Zucchini Manicotti

    When you pull this casserole out of the oven, the first thing you'll see is bubbling cheese, that tempts you even when it is too hot to eat. Then, only seconds later, a hot steam that carries the smell of fresh basil and ripe tomatoes hits you. By the time the dish makes in to the counter, the sizzling begins to slow. With in a few minutes the dish sits still. It begs for you, even now when it would burn your tongue. (Maybe you sneak a bite anyways).  

    By now the whole house has smelled like home cooked Italian food for 20 minutes or more, and people are beginning poke their heads into the kitchen. Is it ready? Can we eat yet? What are you up to in here? 

    Zucchini Manicotti

    Cheese. Wine. More cheese in the form of ricotta. That is what you are up to. This recipe is pretty much everything. If your "everything" is ooey, gooey, and delicious, that is. And somehow folded in there is a pile of vegetables too: zucchini for noodles, spinach folded in with the ricotta, and a homemade tomato sauce that will make you proud.

    This is a pile of cheesy Italian flavor you'll feel really good about eating. Despite begin literally stuffed with cheese, this recipe is light: it doesn't leave you feeling groggy the way this dish would if it was made with traditional pasta. We serve it with extra marinara sauce (I love homemade marinara sauce) and a side salad, and call it a meal. Oh--and don't forget the glass of wine! Red is perfect for this dish. 

    Zucchini Manicotti
    Zucchini Manicotti

    If you're worried about the logistics of wrapping a bunch of cheese in thinly sliced zucchini, I don't blame you! But it's even easier than I originally thought it would me, so watch the video below to see how this impressive dish comes together, and you'll see you have nothing to worry about!


    Zucchini Ricotta Manicotti

    Paleo, Primal, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

    Zucchini is cut thin and rolled around ricotta as a stand in for traditional manicotti!

    Serves: 4   |    Total Time:


    • 2 medium zucchinis
    • 1 egg
    • 1-1/2 cup ricotta
    • 1 cup grated parmesan, split in half
    • 1 8-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
    • Salt & pepper

    • For sauce:
    • 1/2 yellow onion
    • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup red wine
    • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced - plus more for garnish
    • 1 teaspoon oregano
    • Salt & pepper


    1. First, make the marinara sauce: heat avocado oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Dice white onion, and mince garlic. Add both to sauce pan once oil is hot, and sauté until the onion is translucent and the garlic begins to brown. Pour wine into pot, and use a wooden spoon to scrape any brunt pieces from the bottom of the pot. Allow to simmer, then add tomatoes. Stir. Add oregano and basil, and then season with salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
    2. Spread 1/2 of sauce in the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish.
    3. Make the ricotta filling next. Place thawed spinach in a fine mesh sieve and squeeze out any excuses water. Place in a mixing bowl, and combine with ricotta, 1/2 cup grated parmesan, egg, and a few sprinkles of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Stir until combined.
    4. Preheat oven to 400°F and assemble: use a potato peeler or mandolin to slice the zucchini in long, thin strips (watch the video above to see an example). Place two zucchini strips on a flat surface so that they overlap by about 1/2 an inch. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on the short edge of the zucchini strips, and then roll up the zucchini strips around the ricotta like a roll of sushi. Place in the baking dish. Repeat until you run out of ricotta.
    5. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the manicottis and place in oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cheese is gooey, and sauce is bubbly. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with fresh basil as garnish. I also serve with extra sauce (the remaining 1/2) because I love marinara sauce!
    6. Note: I find that when I get to the middle of the zucchini, it becomes hard to slice because of the seeds, so I move on to the second zucchini and reuse the middle of each zucchini later for another meal.

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