Cherry Chipotle Chicken Recipe | PBS Food

Cherry Chipotle Chicken

This dish is sweet, spicy and savory – all perfectly balanced.

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  • 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 2 lbs. fresh or frozen dark sweet, pitted cherries
  • 1 32-ounce box chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper


  1. Begin by brining the chicken. Pour 4 cups water into a large bowl. Whisk in 3 tablespoons kosher salt and 4 tablespoons sugar until dissolved. Add chicken breasts, cover and set in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes; can be done overnight.
  2. Chop onion into large chunks. To a large sauté pan add cherries, onion, chicken stock, chipotle powder, mustard powder, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a couple grinds fresh black pepper, and whisk to combine. Add chicken on top (do not rinse), pushing down into broth. Bring to boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip chicken with tongs and simmer, covered, for an additional 5 to 15 minutes. Use a thermometer to test chicken tem; It should reach 150 degrees when done. Cooking times will vary with poultry thickness. Once chicken is at 150 degrees, remove breasts to a small bowl and cover; set aside.
  3. Return pan to high heat and continue to boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced by three-fourths, it will be a dark maroon color and thick. Be sure to stir occasionally.
  4. While sauce is reducing (and after the chicken has rested covered for at least 10 minutes) remove chicken to a cutting board. Using one fork to hold the chicken, stick the other fork in the edge of the chicken and pull through to shred. Continue to shred all the chicken. Place back in bowl and cover until reduction is ready.
  5. Add shredded chicken back to hot pan. Stir to coat with reduction; cover for 5 minutes. Serve hot as a sandwich on a baguette, as an appetizer on crackers, or as a main dish accompanied by a salad.
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