I don’t know when the gelatinous cranberry sauce from a can became a Thanksgiving tradition in so many families across America. However, I do remember it having a place at my grandparent’s home every year, it even had its own special bowl. The one time I was forced to try a bite (my step-mom called it a “no thank you portion”) it was so vile tasting that I could hardly swallow it. From that day on I swore off cranberry sauce which is a shame considering how much I love the juice.
Then in the fall of 2008, my mom and her sister were helping me plan the menu for my upcoming wedding. Our wedding was a total DIY event, but that’s a post for another day. I told Mom that I wanted something that made you think fall when you smelled and tasted it. The dish we chose had to be simple and easy to make since we were preparing all of the food ourselves. It also had to be something that could simmer during the ceremony without getting dried out.
I know you are going to love this homemade cranberry sauce, once you taste it you will never want to go back to that gelatinous mess again. How do I know? Because six years after my wedding, people are not only talking about how beautiful the ceremony was (Thanks Mom!) but how it was the best food they have ever had at a wedding! When was the last time you remembered anything about the food at someone’s wedding reception several years later? That’s how I know.
I’m also going to share with you the same recipe we fed our guests at the reception; Grilled Chicken Breast With Honey And Spice Cranberry Glaze.
Honey And Spice Cranberry Sauce
- 1 12-ounce bag cranberries
- 1 3/4 cups apple cider or juice
- 3/4 cup honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/4 to 1 cup packed brown sugar (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- Combine all ingredients in a large heavy bottom saucepan.
- Bring to boil over medium heat. Simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens.
- Stir occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
- Remove cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and cloves.
- Refrigerate sauce until cold.
- The brown sugar is optional. If you want a tart cranberry sauce the sugar can be omitted completely. I suggest starting with 1/4 brown sugar and adjusting for taste.
- This recipe is very easy to double or even triple, we made enough to feed 150 people.
Grilled Chicken Breast With Honey And Spice Cranberry Glaze
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Prepared Honey And Spice Cranberry Glaze, see recipe above
- Season Chicken breasts with salt and pepper as needed.
- Grill chicken breasts.
- While chicken is grilling have the cranberry sauce simmering in a skillet so it is hot and ready when it is needed.
- Place grilled chicken in skillet with the cranberry sauce. Cover and allow to simmer for five minutes on low.
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