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Raw chicken thighs topped with cherries and rosemary in a skillet; overhead shot.
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5 from 30 votes

Cherry Chicken

A sweet and tart cherry chicken summer dish that's built in a single pan, making for minimal cleanup! Tender, juicy chicken thighs with crispy skin are topped with a sweet-sour fresh cherry sauce.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Californian
Servings: 6
Author: Daniela Gerson


  • 6 chicken thighs possible to use breasts too
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup minced shallots about 2 large or 4 medium
  • handful fresh rosemary springs
  • 2 cups cherries any kind, pitter
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste


  • Pat the chicken thighs (or breasts) dry with a paper towel and season with kosher salt. Let it sit out while you prep the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Whisk together the balsamic, honey, olive oil, shallots, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and make sure all the chicken is coated. Let sit at least 30 min and up to overnight in the fridge. Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before placing in hot oven. 
  • Meanwhile, pit the cherries and set aside.
  • To cook chicken: about 30 min before, take it out of the fridge so chicken can come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chicken thighs (or breasts) skin side up in a shallow roasting dish or cast iron skillet. Nestle the rosemary springs in between the chicken pieces of top with the pitted cherries, moving them around so they fall in between the chicken pieces leaving as much as the skin exposes as possible. The pour the marinade over the chicken. The marinade should generously cover the bottom of the pan.  
  • Slide the pan into the oven and rotate every 10-12 minutes. 
  • Cooking times; for breasts: cook 20 minutes; for thighs: cook 45minutes. If using both remove the breasts while the dark meat continues cooking.
  • When the dark meat is tender at the bone and cooked through, return breasts to the pan and increase oven to 450 F. Let the sauce reduce and the chicken skin get dark and crispy, about 12 minutes. Move the cherries around again in needed to expose more chicken skin. Brush the chicken with the marinade from the pan every 3-4 minutes to glaze them.
  • Serve warm, with crunchy sea salt and freshly grinded black pepper. 


  • When possible, buy pasture raised organic chicken.
  • When possible, buy cherries grown sustainably.
  • For best flavor and texture, use bone-in, skin on chicken.
  • If marinating chicken overnight in the fridge, let it come to room temperature before placing in the oven.
  • Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 days.
Did you make this recipe? Please share and tag @DanielaGerson! I'd love to see how you're making colorful waves in the kitchen!