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Maple Cranberry Roast Chicken

Maple Cranberry Roast chicken is a show-stopping whole bird kept juicy and moist with an herby brine and glazed with a sweet-savory sauce for the holidays.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Soak Time: 8 hours
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea


  • Organic whole chicken (I used a 5-10 lb. small chicken; See Notes!)


  • 1 gallon cold water (That's 16 cups)
  • 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar
  • 3-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3-5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3-5 sprigs fresh sage
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 large brining bag
  • 2-3 Tbsps unsalted butter, softened at room temp.


  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt



  • Combine 2 cups water, salt, and brown sugar in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil for about 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the remaining brining ingredients, including the remaining amount of water, stirring until combined. NOTE: Ensure that the brine is cool and if not----add additional cold water.
  • Clean your chicken by removing the neck and scooping out any excess tissue/fat from inside and right under the skin. Rinse chicken with water and squeeze a lemon as your rinse to fully cleanse.
  • Pat dry and place the chicken in the brining bag and pour the brine (including all herbs) atop chicken until full covered. Tightly seal bag and place in the refrigerator carefully for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • When ready, remove the brining bag with the chicken from the refrigerator, pat the chicken dry and allow it to air-dry for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease an oven-safe cast iron essential oven pot or roasting pan.
  • Once dry, using your fingers, dress chicken with butter ensuring that you get directly under the skin, etc.
  • Add chicken to the prepared essential oven or dutch oven (breast side down with feet tied together with twine), along with your choice of veggies (i.e. cubed butternut squash, potatoes, etc. NOTE: You can stuff chicken with additional sprigs of herbs for more flavor if desired.
  • Roast chicken for 45 minutes before adding glaze.


  • In a saucepan, add together all ingredients over medium-high heat, stirring until combined. Once cranberries begin to pop, continue stirring until mixture begins to thicken a bit and cranberries are broken down. Remove from heat.
  • Halfway through, brush half of the glaze unto the chicken all over the tops and sides. Continue roasting (for another 45 minutes or so) or until chicken becomes golden and the thickest part of the chicken reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush on remaining glaze.
  • Once done, remove from oven and let it rest for 15-30 minutes before slicing.
  • Bon Appetit!


  • SIZE OF CHICKEN: I used a smaller whole chicken (b/n 5-10 lbs, however, if you choose to use a larger size----simply double ingredients for the brine + glaze). 
  • BEST COOKING TIP: I recommend cooking your chicken (regardless of size) for 20-25 minutes per pound. For much larger chickens, you can always "spatchcock" it, which flattens and opens it up for a better cook through.