Five Element Recipes

For Spring: Enjoy Cranberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs!

April Five Elements Recipe

For Spring: Enjoy Cranberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs!


Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”

This famous quote is often attributed to Hippocrates, although there’s no actual proof he ever said it. But whoever did say it was brilliant! Everything we put in our bodies affects us, so not only can we nurture ourselves with food, we can heal and balance ourselves with it, too!

It’s long been known that specific flavors impact each of the Five Element energies. This month we honor the energy of Wood, the element that supports the manifestation of renewal and growth. The taste that supports the Wood element is sour, which means April is an excellent time to enjoy these tart (but yummy) Cranberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs! Chicken is a healthy protein source full of essential amino acids, iron, and niacin, all of which help cell growth and metabolism. And the vinegar and cranberries provide the sour taste we need to help support Wood energy.

Making this delicious and energy-balancing main dish is a breeze, too. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to help support your Wood energy with this energy-balancing and delicious Cranberry Balsamic Chicken Thighs courtesy of eating Bon Appetit!


  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (about 1½ pounds)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups cranberries (thawed if frozen)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus a bit more for garnish


  1. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, reduce heat to medium and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.
  2. Turn the chicken over and add cranberries, vinegar, honey and thyme to the pan. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part without touching bone reaches 165 degrees F. Usually 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Increase heat to high, add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook uncovered, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute.
  4. Serve the chicken with the sauce and a healthy green vegetable or salad on the side.

Nutritional Information

Serving: 1 thigh and 3 Tbsp sauce

317 calories; protein 22.6g; carbohydrates 16g; dietary fiber 1.4g; sugars 12.6g; fat 17.7g; saturated fat 4.4g; cholesterol 80.4mg; vitamin a iu 178.4IU; vitamin c 5.6mg; folate 6.4mcg; calcium 20.1mg; iron 1.6mg; magnesium 23.1mg; potassium 219.2mg; sodium 363.5mg; added sugar 9g.