Greg DuPree
Hands-On Time
20 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 5 Mins
4 (serving size: 1 leg quarter)

The sweet, slightly tart butter in this recipe crisps up the chicken skin and moistens the meat at the same time. You start by making a compound butter: mashing cranberries, honey, and orange zest into room temperature butter. You can make the butter up to a week ahead of time. Shape it into a log on a piece of wax paper, roll it up, and twist the ends to store it. The butter will solidify, so you can cut off neat, round slices that are easy to tuck under the chicken skin. After you roast the chicken, the pan drippings make a tasty sauce; serve it with bread, rice or couscous, for sopping up all those delicious juices.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine cranberries, honey, and orange zest in a small saucepan over medium-high; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until cranberries burst and are tender, about 8 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; coarsely mash, and stir together with butter.

Step 2

Pat chicken dry, and place on an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Loosen skin; spread 2 tablespoons cranberry butter over and under skin of each chicken quarter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Bake in preheated oven until skin is crisp and golden and a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 165°F, about 45 minutes.

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