One of my favorite things about summer is all the fresh fruits that are in season! I love sweet fruits, but today I decided to share a recipe I found and enjoyed that incorporates cherries into a chicken dish – Tangy Cherry Chicken.
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces each
2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves, about 6 sprigs
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup pinenuts a couple of handfuls
3 cups chicken stock, divided
4 tablespoons cold butter, divided
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
1 cup dry white wine, 1/4 of a bottle
1 cup dried cherries, a couple of handfuls
2 cups plain couscous
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, eyeball it
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, eyeball it
1/4 cup honey, eyeball a healthy drizzling
2 scallions, finely chopped
A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with the 3 turns of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, about 3 tablespoons. Season chicken liberally with half of the thyme, salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
In the bottom of a medium sauce pot, heat and toast pine nuts over moderate heat and remove. Add 2 cups stock and 1 tablespoon butter to the pot and bring to a boil.
Return the chicken skillet to the burner over medium-high heat, add 1 turn of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, add the onion, celery, crushed red pepper flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper, cook for 3 to 4 or until the celery and onions are tender. Add the white wine, and cook until the pan is almost dry, 1 minute. Add 2 cups chicken stock, dried cherries and continue to cook for about 5 to 6 minutes or until there is only about 1/2 cup of liquid left in the pan. Turn the heat off the under the pan. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons cold butter in small pieces and whisk until it has completely melted.
To remaining 1 cup of boiling stock add couscous, allspice, cinnamon and a little salt. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Drizzle honey over the couscous and add the pine nuts, scallions and parsley. Toss and fluff with a fork to combine.
Serve the chicken whole or sliced with cherry sauce poured over it and couscous alongside. Dark seared greens or simple salad complete the meal.
What’s your favorite fresh produce to incorporate into a summer meal?
This recipe is courtesy of The Food Network.