Chicken with Cherry-Wine Pan Sauce Recipe


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (around 1.5 pounds total)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 cup dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pitted sweet cherries (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  • Large skillet (preferably cast-iron)
  • Meat mallet or heavy rolling pin


Prep the chicken:

  • If needed, pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness (about 1/2-inch) for faster, more even cooking. This also helps tenderize them.
  • Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.

Sear the chicken:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in the large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken breasts and cook until well-browned on both sides, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Don’t overcrowd the pan; cook in batches if necessary.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Make the sauce:

  • Add the minced shallot to the same skillet and cook until softened, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Add the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, and cherries. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly and reduced by about half, around 5-7 minutes.

Finish the dish:

  • Nestle the chicken breasts back into the sauce.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165°F), approximately 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, fresh thyme (or dried thyme), and lemon juice.


  • Spoon the rich cherry-wine sauce over the chicken breasts.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice, or a simple green salad.


  • Wine choice: Choose a dry red wine you’d also enjoy drinking. A Merlot or a Chianti can be good options as well.
  • Sweetness: Adjust sweetness levels to your preference. Add a touch more balsamic vinegar for a slightly tangier sauce.
  • Make it creamy: For a richer, creamier sauce, stir in a splash of heavy cream at the end, just before serving.
  • Fresh vs. frozen cherries: Use fresh cherries when in season, and frozen ones are a perfectly good substitute outside of that.

Enjoy your elegant and flavor-packed Chicken with Cherry-Wine Pan Sauce!


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