Chicken with Cherry Wine Pan Sauce

This past week we celebrated Valentine’s day. I was planning on making this chicken with cherry wine pan sauce for our special night, but Bill was craving sushi, so he twisted my arm and I succumbed to having rainbow sashimi and lobster rolls. It was rough, but anything to make him happy. So, I decided to make this chicken dinner the following evening and I must say, I was so happy that I did.


This is a simple dish, but the flavors go so well together and it tastes so good. It has such an elegance to it. You could make this for a quick dinner, or a romantic evening in. It totally fits the bill for both events. The cherries mix well with the red wine and thyme. I honestly could have sat there and eaten the sauce with a spoon. In fact, don’t tell anyone, but I kind of did. Bill looked over at me as I was cleaning up and said, “Are you actually sitting there by the pan eating that sauce with the spatula?” “Uhh…maybe….” Yes, I liked it that much.


I think what I like so much about it is that you have the savoriness of the chicken and the sweetness of the sauce. What goes together better than sweet and savory? Mix this dish with some roasted vegetables, potatoes, or a side salad and a nice big glass of that red wine and your golden.


Serves: 4


  • 4 chicken breasts (about 1-1/2lbs)
  • extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine like Cabernet
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 12oz fresh or frozen pitted sweet cherries NOT sour cherries (if frozen, do not thaw)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness then brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat then add chicken and saute until no longer pink, 3-4 minutes a side. Remove to a plate then tent with foil to keep warm.
  2. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in same skillet then add shallots and saute until tender, 2 minutes. Add wine, chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, and fresh cherries, if using, then simmer until sauce is reduced by nearly half, 3-4 minutes. If using frozen cherries, add now with thyme then continue to reduce sauce until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes, pressing down on cherries gently with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Remove skillet from heat then stir in remaining Tablespoon butter and lemon juice. Spoon over chicken breasts then serve.


Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, inspired by



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