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Cranberry Chicken a sweet mingling of flavors

Thursday, October 10, 2002

By Arlene Burnett, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Today's recipe began with a request from Judy Stevenson of West Homestead: "I'm looking for a chicken recipe that uses cranberry sauce with whole berries, French or Russian dressing and onion soup. What I need is the amounts of each. I was a guest at a friend's home in Virginia and the hostess served chicken made with this glaze and would not give the recipe. She told me what the ingredients were but not the amounts."


Lois Rogers of Swisshelm Park sent Kitchen Mailbox the recipe, along with this note: "I believe this is the recipe that Judy is looking for. I have used it for years and it is one of my husband's favorites. I could cheerfully choke a hostess who teases with a partial recipe. A good cook shares!"


And that's what Kitchen Mailbox is all about -- sharing with our readers.

Cranberry Chicken requires only four ingredients: chicken breasts, cranberry sauce, salad dressing and dry onion soup mix. The chicken is placed in a baking dish; the remaining ingredients are mixed and poured over the chicken -- this takes only 10 minutes, give or take a minute or two. The chicken is then baked for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

The first bite told us Cranberry Chicken was a success. It was moist and the combination of the salad dressing, cranberries and onion soup mix gave the dish a tart yet sweet flavor. Cranberry Chicken is a keeper.


  • 6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 16-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 8-ounce bottle Catalina, French or Russian salad dressing
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Place breasts in a single layer in the baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the cranberries, dressing and soup mix. Blend well. Pour over chicken, making sure each piece is well covered with the cranberry mixture. Bake uncovered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the cranberry mixture has formed a glaze on the chicken.


*Colleen Di Ionno of Warrington is looking for a recipe similar to breakfast French toast casserole: "But this one was a lunch type and served with a salad. It consisted of pretty much the same ingredients except the maple syrup, and it was made with ham and possibly cheese. It was also refrigerated overnight and it was delicious."

*Carol Beth Yoffee of Squirrel Hill has a few requests: "I love to cook but am at a loss as to how to make two items. One is a muffin with a wonderful hard crust on the top. I used to go to a restaurant called Afternoon Delight in Ann Arbor, Mich., when I attended the University of Michigan many years ago. They were famous for their hard-topped muffins. I like muffins with a wonderful crust (like you would get at Panera) rather than a muffin that tastes like a cupcake. Do you have any ideas to make a good crusty top?

"My second question is: How do you make veggie chips like they make at Kaya in the Strip District, without frying them? Is there a solution? I hope someone can help me."


Daryl Cross of Friendship offers this suggestion: "A good way to rid your hands of the smell of chopped onion or garlic is to rub your hands with a steel spoon under running water, then wash as normal. Try it."

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail toaburnett@post-gazette.com . Please include a name, neighborhood/city/-borough/township and state and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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