Company Cherry Chicken

chickendinner4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 shallots, chopped medium-fine
1 cup (or more) dried sweet cherries
2-3 cups red wine
1 cup flour
butter, few tablespoons
canola oil
salt and ground pepper

Slip chicken breasts into large Ziploc bags and using a meat mallet, pound each to even, 1/4 – 1/2” thickness.

Toss flour with salt and pepper to season, and spread on a plate.  Dip each chicken breast (both sides) in flour, patting to remove excess, and set chicken aside.

In large sauté pan (preferably non-stick) heat oil to medium-high.  When sizzling, add chicken breasts, cooking each side to nicely browned, 1-2 minutes per side.  Turn heat to medium-low and remove chicken breasts to clean plate; tent with foil to keep warm.

Toss chopped shallots into the same pan, sizzling and moving about 30 seconds, until cooked through and transluscent.  Add about 1 cup of the red wine, sizzling with shallots until wine begins to reduce.  Add dried cherries all at once, moving with spatula to blend with shallots and wine.

When cherries start heating up, add the remaining red wine.  Increase heat to medium and cook cherry mixture, stirring occasionally, until cherries are softened and a small amount of liquid remains.  Turn heat off.  Using a spatula or whisk, swirl in butter, mixing to form a rich, red blend.  Season with salt and a generous amount of fresh ground pepper.  Test and adjust seasoning to taste, adding more butter, salt or pepper as you wish.

Turn heat back on to low.  Place cooked chicken breasts in the pan, turning to coat each side in cherry mixture.  Remove from heat, plate chicken and top with cherry-shallot mixture.

note:  this is more of a cooked, reduced cherry mixture than a true sauce.  If you’d like more liquid in your sauce, add more red wine and reduce a little less.

Serves 4, and is perfect with blue-cheese mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus.

- Recipe courtesy of Marilyn Naron