Pan-Seared Chicken with Balsamic Cherry Sauce
It will be hard not to bathe in this sauce. Add a 1/2 lb of pitted fresh cherries the last few minutes of cooking as an optional, seasonal variation.
Serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil
4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (6 oz each)
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/8 tsp ground cardamom or nutmeg
1/2 cup dry fruity red wine, such as pinot noir
1 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp cherry jam
2 tbsp chopped, lightly toasted pistachios (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and place, top-side down, in pan.
Sear chicken without moving in pan until deeply browned and cooked almost halfway through, 10 minutes. Flip chicken and transfer to oven; bake until just cooked through, an additional 10 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven and transfer to a plate, draining all but 1 tablespoon of the pan drippings. Add shallots, remaining salt and pepper, and cardamom to pan and cook on the stove over medium heat, stirring, until shallots are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add wine, stock, vinegar, and jam; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. (Optional: Stir cherries into sauce). Return chicken to pan. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. To serve, spoon equal amounts of sauce over each piece of chicken and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon pistachios.

From the kitchen of Marisa de la Rosa