Chicken With Cherry Balsamic Sauce Recipe

This recipe for chicken with cherry balsamic sauce balances the rich flavor of balsamic vinegar with the natural sweetness of fresh cherries to create a sauce that's both unique and irresistible. Spooned over chicken breasts, it makes for a sweet and sour main course that feels both sophisticated and fresh.

According to Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, this recipe is a standout choice for those looking to impress. The preparation is straightforward and quick, while the cooking time is a mere 30 minutes; it's a meal that's both quick and delicious. For those who like to plan ahead, the cherry balsamic sauce can be made up to three days in advance and stored in the refrigerator, ensuring that your meal can come together in a snap when you're ready to serve. When you're ready to serve, simply reheat the sauce, add the chicken, and you're good to make a romantic meal for two or an impressive main for a dinner party.

If you happen to have leftovers, shred the chicken breasts and let them soak up the sauce overnight. This gives the recipe a new life, turning it into a fancy, sweet and tangy version of pulled chicken that's perfect with pasta or even in tacos.

Gather the ingredients for chicken with cherry balsamic sauce

To prepare chicken with cherry balsamic sauce, start by setting aside boneless, skinless chicken breasts. For the sauce, you'll need fresh cherries, which will be pitted and halved, and balsamic vinegar for a rich, tangy element. Shallots and a clove of garlic are required to build the foundational flavors, while olive oil is used for cooking the chicken. You'll also want to have chicken broth on hand to add a savory note to the sauce, as well as salt and pepper for seasoning. Finally, cornstarch and water will create the slurry that will thicken your sauce to the desired consistency.

Step 1: Season the chicken

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Preheat the oil

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Step 3: Sear the chicken breasts

Sear the chicken breasts until browned on both sides, about 6–7 minutes per side.

Step 4: Remove the chicken from the pan

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Step 5: Saute the shallots and garlic

In the same pan, saute the shallots and garlic for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Step 6: Add the cherries, vinegar, and broth

Add fresh cherries, balsamic vinegar, and chicken broth.

Step 7: Bring to a simmer

Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cherries soften slightly.

Step 8: Make a cornstarch slurry

Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to make a slurry.

Step 9: Add the slurry to the cherries

Slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into the cherry mixture, stirring constantly.

Step 10: Simmer to thicken

Simmer for 2–3 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

Step 11: Return the chicken to the pan

Return the chicken breasts to the pan, turning to coat with the cherry balsamic sauce.

Step 12: Cook in the cherry sauce

Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature measures 165 F.

Step 13: Serve

Serve the chicken with the cherry balsamic sauce spooned over the top.

Can I use frozen or jarred cherries instead of fresh ones in the sauce?

If you cannot find fresh cherries or are making this outside of the fleeting cherry season, you can certainly use jarred or frozen cherries to make this sauce. Fresh cherries are recommended to give the dish optimal flavor and texture because the cherries retainins a lot more of their firmness in this form. Frozen cherries are your next best choice; should you opt for them, ensure that they are thoroughly thawed before incorporating them into the sauce to avoid diluting the flavor. 

If you're considering jarred cherries, be mindful to drain any excess syrup they may be preserved in, as it could add too much sweetness to your sauce. It's important to taste your sauce after adding jarred cherries and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, to balance the sweetness and maintain the sweet-and-sour flavor of the dish.

What sides go well with this sweet and savory chicken dish?

There are a variety of options that can round out the chicken with cherry balsamic sauce and turn this recipe into a full meal. The sauce's robust and slightly tangy flavor pairs exceptionally well with a range of sides. For a hearty accompaniment, consider serving the chicken alongside pasta, such as this fresh fettuccine recipe. It will go nicely with couscous or quinoa salad, which can absorb the sauce and add a satisfying texture. Even using it alongside this sweet, autumnal pearl couscous salad could work well. 

Roasted potatoes are another excellent choice, offering a crispy contrast to the tender chicken and providing a vehicle for the delicious sauce. One of our favorite approaches is shredding the chicken and using it instead of the duck in duck tacos, with the cherries replacing the cranberry sauce. Whichever side you choose, aim for one that will support and enhance the main dish's flavors.

Chicken With Cherry Balsamic Sauce Recipe
4.9 from 18 ratings
Perfectly juicy chicken breasts sit under a sauce made with fresh cherries and balsamic vinegar, a unique pairing that balances sweet, sour, and savory notes.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
2
servings
Two chicken breasts with cherry sauce on pink plate
Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ pound fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ⅛ cup water
Directions
  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Sear the chicken breasts until browned on both sides, about 6–7 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, saute the shallots and garlic for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  6. Add fresh cherries, balsamic vinegar, and chicken broth.
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cherries soften slightly.
  8. Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to make a slurry.
  9. Slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into the cherry mixture, stirring constantly.
  10. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  11. Return the chicken breasts to the pan, turning to coat with the cherry balsamic sauce.
  12. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature measures 165 F.
  13. Serve the chicken with the cherry balsamic sauce spooned over the top.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 568
Total Fat 14.9 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 200.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 38.8 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Total Sugars 26.6 g
Sodium 808.7 mg
Protein 64.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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