Monday, November 2, 2015

Spirited Orange Cranberry Sauce

Ok, first, let me start off by saying that this is one of the easiest recipes you will ever try. Here's the thing.. In my family, everyone contributes to our amazing, fabulous, can't-wait-for-it-all-year Thanksgiving dinner. The more experienced cooks will take care of cooking the turkeys (yes, PLURAL), and all of the other sides dishes. The less experienced cooks will do appetizers and dips, etc. The ones who don't cook at all will bring the ice, paper products, egg nog, and booze. Is that how it works in your family? Well, cooking novices, here's the perfect recipe for you! If you're usually someone who doesn't contribute to the dinner, you should give this recipe a try! It's amazingly simple to make, you can do it DAYS in advance, and everyone will be so amazed and impressed that you made this yourself. And seriously, the flavor is just SO much better than your basic cranberry sauce out of a can, I can't even put it into words.
 I originally found this recipe on, and it was described as "An easy and slightly different cranberry sauce recipe. Great with turkey or with Brie and crackers." I tweaked it a little, just because I couldn't help myself, and it turned out so great, I couldn't stop eating it. You just throw everything into a pot and let it simmer! Easy, huh? But definitely don't just serve it at Thanksgiving! It goes great with weeknight baked chicken as well! If you like cranberries, I PROMISE you will love it! And everyone will love you for it, especially if you are not known for your cooking skills.
 Try it! And then take a bow.  :)

2 (12 ounce) bags fresh cranberries
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 large orange, zested and juiced
1 cup port wine
2 tbs Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

 Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened, about 25 minutes. Let it cool for a bit so it's not piping hot, then pour into a serving bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Be sure to zest the orange before you juice it. It's just easier that way.
I was a little heavy handed with the port wine. I probably added about 2 tbs more than the 1 cup listed. (I'm not really seeing the downside to this, are you?)
This recipe can be doubled if you're cooking for a crowd. Just sayin!
If you're making this for Thanksgiving, you can do it 2 or 3 days ahead and then just keep it in the fridge. It will be perfectly fine for Thanksgiving, and you'll have one less thing on your to-do list!
Don't just serve this in the Fall. When fresh cranberries are in season, buy several bags and throw them in the freezer! They freeze amazingly well, and then you'll have them on hand to make cook throughout the year!

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