Cranberry & Honey Glazed Smart Chicken

Here's how to enjoy all the flavors and goodness of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner without cooking a 20-pound turkey.

1 whole Smart Chicken, (3 1/2 - 4 pounds)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small onion, cut into quarters

1 small orange, cut into quarters

2 sprigs fresh sage, plus more if desired

4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more if desired

Extra-virgin first cold-press olive oil or vegetable oil

Cranberry-Honey Glaze, recipe below

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rinse the inside of the Smart Chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season body cavity with salt and pepper. Sprinkle outside of Smart Chicken with pepper. Place quartered onion, orange, sage, and thyme sprigs into body cavity. Note: for additional flavor, you can insert more herbs under the Smart Chicken's skin.
  • Place Smart Chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow baking or roasting pan. (Note: I like to spray the rack with non-vegetable spray to aid in clean-up. Using a rack will ensure that the fat drips out of the Smart Chicken and away from the meat). Brush Smart Chicken with olive or vegetable oil. Cover loosely with foil. Place in the pre-heated 375 degree F. oven. Roast for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. While Smart Chicken is roasting, prepare the glaze.
  • During the last 20 minutes of roasting, remove foil and begin brushing Smart Chicken often with glaze. Roast for approximately 20 minutes more or until an instant thermometer inserted into the thigh just above the leg reaches 175-180 degrees.
  • Remove Smart Chicken from oven. Discard onion, orange, sage, and thyme sprigs. Brush glaze one last time. Cover with foil; let the Smart Chicken rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

Cranberry-Honey Glaze:

1 (8 -ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce

1/4 cup apple jelly

2 Tablespoons honey

1 Tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme


1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt cranberry sauce, apple jelly, honey, lemon juice, and snipped or dried thyme. Brush on Smart Chicken during last 20 minutes of roasting. Discard after use.