I had a moment of illiteracy in the grocery store the other day and wound up with a bottle of Pinot Noir in my shopping bag. I don’t really like pinot, so this was a huge disappointment. I had also impulsively grabbed an enormous bag of fresh cherries. Who can resist fresh cherries on sale? Not this girl!
I really hate returning things. I don’t know why, but it just seems like such a PAIN. So I started thinking about what I could make with this rogue Pinot Noir. In my head I added cherries and chicken and balsamic vinegar to the stow away pinot… and then a flavor profile started to develop. My disappointment vanished and I couldn’t wait to get to the kitchen.
The ensuing dish was warm and comforting. The flavors were vibrant but they still let the cherries shine. If you want a more summery dish, just omit the spices and add some more orange zest. Easy! This sauce would also be amazing with pork chops.
Lindsey’s Chicken in Cherry Wine Sauce
2 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
2 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
2 ½ cups fresh sweet cherries, halved & pitted
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup pinot noir wine or a similar fruity red
¼ teaspoon fresh orange zest
1 cup low sodium chicken broth (bonus points for home made!)
Preheat oven to 400°
Taste your cherries. Mine were moderately sweet. Adjust your sugar accordingly.
Heat a large stainless, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and swirl to coat skillet. Brown chicken on both sides and remove from pan. Loosely tent with aluminum foil and set aside.
Sauté the shallots until they are soft. Stirring frequently. Add the wine, vinegar, cloves, cinnamon, orange zest, and sugar to the pan. Scraping the bottom to remove all the browned bits. Yummy. Bring to a boil and then add chicken broth and cherries. Stir and bring back to a boil. Add the chicken back to the pan and spoon sauce over chicken.
Cook in preheated oven 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan and loosely tent. While the chicken rests, reduce the cherry wine sauce to the desired consistency.