Tangy Cherry Chicken

Total Time:
35 min
15 min
20 min

6 servings

  • 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 pignoli (pine nuts) 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
  • Generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Watch how to make this recipe.

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 minutes or until the celery and onions are tender. Add the white wine, and cook until the pan is almost dry, 1 minute. Add the 2 cups boiling chicken stock, and 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.

In a medium saucepan bring the remaining 1 cup chicken stock to a boil, 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.

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