Baked Chicken Breast With Cranberries
Recipe courtesy of The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Rinse and dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel. In a sauté pan heat the butter over medium heat until very hot. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides in the butter (or lard). Remove from pan and salt and pepper both sides of each chicken breast. Put a third of the fresh cranberries in the bottom of a small baking dish that will hold the chicken breasts in two layers. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar over the cranberries. Lay two chicken breasts side by side over the sugared cranberries. Top with 1/2 of the remaining cranberries and sprinkle another 1/4 cup of sugar over top. Top with the two remaining chicken breasts and cranberries and sugar, the same as before.
Place a piece of parchment paper directly on top of the cranberries and a piece of foil directly on top of the parchment. Cover with a tight fitting lid or double thickness of foil to seal tightly. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour until chicken breasts are tender. Taste the cooked cranberries and add a little salt and pepper if needed. Serve chicken breasts hot with cranberry sauce spooned on top.
Chef's note: The tart berries tenderizes the meat and makes for a great sauce too.