Combine cranberries and balsamic in a small pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until cranberries soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper and let cool slightly. Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce. Place chicken breasts and 1/2 of the sauce in a large sealable plastic bag. Seal and shake gently to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the shallots begin to soften, about 1 minute. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard marinade). Add the chicken to the pan and cook until just beginning to brown, 2 minutes on each side. Add the reserved cranberry –balsamic sauce; heat and stir and then coat the chicken. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 6 to 10 minutes.
Prep: 10 minutes
Marinate: 1 hour
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings