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My favorite holiday is almost upon us.

I love Thanksgiving for many reasons. To name a few: Family, food, seconds, thirds, dessert, seconds on dessert, the after-dinner nap, then, last but not least, leftovers.

Turkey sandwiches, turkey pot pie, turkey casseroles, turkey everything. Leftovers are usually scarce in my house after 3 days, (and the same probably goes for you), but something that you may have forgotten about is that extra can of cranberry sauce you bought for the feast but never got opened.

Now there is a way to use it up. A wonderful way that can extend those leftovers a little more—and it hardly takes any time or work to whip this one up.

Cranberry Chicken (From The Six O’Clock Scramble)

Serves 4-5

Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut into 1-inch pieces (You can also use your leftover turkey!)
  • 1 can (15 oz) cranberry sauce (I used jellied. You can also use 2 cups of leftover homemade cranberry sauce)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken or turkey and saute until it is no longer pink in the center, about 6-8 minutes (if using pre-cooked turkey, heat with less oil until warm.)

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together the cranberry sauce, mustard, and orange juice. Pour the mixture over the chicken and heat until it is warmed through. Top the chicken with dried cranberries and toasted almonds if desired.

My Two Cents: Did you know that I don’t actually like cranberry sauce? I actually was completely revolted by it as a child and never ate any at Thanksgiving dinner. I thought it was too bitter, and those cans of cranberry sauce weirded me out—mainly because I could see the ridges of the can on the wiggly stuff that was plopped into a bowl.

Now that my taste buds have dulled a bit since childhood, I can tolerate cranberry sauce a little better, but I still don’t like it by itself. I much prefer it mixed in with something else, or in sandwiches the next day.

So I was drawn to this recipe because canned cranberry sauce was mixed in with Dijon mustard and orange juice. I thought those two things would mellow out the bitterness of cranberry sauce…ding ding! It did!

Cranberry sauce can have another chance in my life. What really needs to happen is for me to make a homemade cranberry sauce. Just like anything, homemade is always better than anything out of a can.

I served this over a bed of couscous and some edamame. If I were eating it with leftovers though, I’d probably serve with the leftover greens from dinner (brussels sprouts, green beans, broccoli), and stuffing.

Thanksgiving. You cannot come soon enough.

Enjoy!

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