Gluten Free Manhattan Chicken Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on February 25, 2011

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How do you make everyday chicken fancy enough for guests?

First, call it something special – Manhattan Chicken just oozes sophistication! I named this dish Manhattan Chicken because it uses some of the same ingredients found in the classic cocktail, “The Manhattan.”  The fact that it sounds tres chic is an added plus.

Second, roast the chicken parts. Roasted chicken is a favorite for a reason; roasting really makes the chicken juicy and succulent. And it is so easy! Just toss the cut-up chicken pieces in some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and then let your oven do all the work. I like to use chicken legs with the thighs attached because we are big dark-meat fans in this house and it makes for a generous portion, feel free to use chicken breasts or a combination of parts if you prefer. For maximum flavor use chicken parts with the bone in and the skin on.

And third, make a super simple sauce that adds not only fabulous taste but amazing color. As I said the sauce uses some of the ingredients from the cocktail of the same name; whiskey and maraschino cherries with a dash of lemon zest instead of the bitters and some pomegranate juice.

So there you have it, a Wednesday night meal fancy enough for Saturday night!

Gluten Free Manhattan Chicken

Gluten Free Manhattan Chicken Recipe


4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and legs (or chicken breasts or combination)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole lemon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup maraschino cherries, roughly chopped
1 cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons whiskey
3 tablespoons cold butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the chicken on a sheet pan, and drizzle with the olive oil. Finely grate the zest of the lemon and reserve for the sauce. Squeeze the lemon juice on the chicken and season with the salt and pepper. Rub the oil all over the chicken piece and then bake for 50 -60 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the juice from the chicken runs clear when you pierce with a knife.

While the chicken bakes, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the zest of the lemon with the chopped cherries, pomegranate juice and whiskey. Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered until the liquid reduces by half and the mixture thickens – about 8 minutes. Stir the cold butter into the sauce to give it gloss and body. Taste the sauce and add some salt and pepper if needed. Reserve until the chicken is done.

To serve, spoon the sauce on top of the chicken or serve on the side.


This gluten free recipe makes 4-6 servings.

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Categories:    Main Dishes

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia Lynn February 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Sounds delicious!!! YUM!


Karen February 25, 2011 at 8:14 pm

This looks so good! Love the cocktail reference.


InTolerantChef February 26, 2011 at 6:52 am

Would never have thought to use the maraschino cherries, great idea to go with a classic combo. Yumm…


Sarah March 1, 2011 at 7:13 am

I made this on Sunday and everyone swooned! Thank you so much.


Ann Leizerovici May 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Besides the “short-lived” EDF, I feel like I am in a game drought. Nothing is coming out until September!


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