Cherry Chipotle Chicken

Presented by: Chef Ricky Flickenger, Bourgeoisie Brunches, Seattle

Chef's Note: This dish is sweet, spicy and savory – all perfectly balanced.


  • 2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 2 pounds 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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.



Hello everyone! This is Chef Ricky (I wrote the recipe and submitted it)I wanted to answer everyone's questions! Thank you so much for an interest in the recipe - this is really one of my favorites, and one of the most requested by my clients.

In regards to the questions about nutritional content, I do not know, but if you look at the nutritional content of the ingredients you put in, it should be easy to figure out.

As for servings, it serves 4 people as an entree, and should serve 10 or more if used as an appetizer. For an entree, I recommend serving it on toasted or grilled baguette as a sandwich, over garlic mashed potatoes, or served by itself with a side of cold beet & greens salad. For an entree, serve warm with sliced baguette or crackers. The next day, this is also delicious cold.

As for the question about the chicken type. I am talking about boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, whole. I've actually never seen chicken marked left or right...but it doesn't matter. You can use them with bone and skin, but it will be more difficult to shred at the end and will add a small amount of fat to the dish.

Any other questions, please feel free to post on here, or email me at for a more immediate response.

I hope you all enjoy the recipe!


I noticed I typed "for an entree" twice - sorry to confuse, the second "for an entree" should read "for an appetizer"


I would also like to know how many servings this recipe makes. Do you mean two complete breasts, left and right, or two half-breasts? If the number of servings were included in the recipe it would be easier to judge.

Thanks, Shirley


Hi Shirley, I commented on the breasts in the large comment above to everyone - but after rereading your question, I can see where you are coming from. In general (at least in the stores around Seattle where I shop) the packages marked "chicken breasts" are really the "half breasts" you were talking about - not a combination of the left & right sides for a full breast. My recipe counts each half breast as one breast of chicken, as most recipes do. Hope that is a good clarification for you, and happy cooking!


Shirley, are you pulling our (collective) leg? Chickens are not mammals and they don't have a "left and right" breast - it's just the chicken's "chest", if you will. A chicken has one breast.


Back to your comment of March 27/11, chicken breasts are usually sold in the stores in Vancouver, Canada as half breasts, with the breast bone that divides the two sections having been removed. I have butchered many chickens as I used to live on a farm in a previous lifetime, so I do know my chickens. My job in the assembly line was to "gut them" and also cut them up, so believe you me, I do know my chickens. When a recipe includes the number of servings it is obvious, but in this case it wasn't.


Actually, you can purchase chicken breasts as well as half breasts. I'm with you, Shirley. Recipes are often unclear in this regard.

It was a good question. Um, thanks for the chicken anatomy lesson, "Guest" though it did nothing to clarify anything in relation to this recipe...and I'm not just pullin' yer leg..


This recipe comes from a chef not a cooking school or magazine. While it would be nice to have the nutritional info, it is not realistic to expect a chef to have it. The stock, cherries and sugar will have nutritional info on their packages. One can look up nutritional info for chicken breasts--obviously their weight is vital info here.

The spices and onion are not nutritionally important except for the salt. One can look up the sodium in 1/2 teaspoon of salt.


Can this recipe be adapted to use sour, pie cherries ? I have an abundance of them!


Sour pie cherries should be just fine in the recipe, though you may have to up your sugar content to get the right flavor. Also, I should mention they should be fresh or frozen cherries, and not already made into a filling, that won't work. Otherwise, experiment and see what you come up with! I would love to know how they turn out, feel free to write me or post on my facebook @


I'd like to know how many people this is designed to serve. I'd also appreciate knowing the nutritional content per serving (or for the whole dish). For example, the amount of calories, g fat, mg cholesterol, g protein, g carbohydrates, g fiber and mg sodium. thank you.

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