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  • Writer's pictureBritt Boone

Oven Roasted Cherry Chicken with Rosemary

Cherry season is here!!!

Celebrate the very best of summer’s sweet cherry bounty with this deliciously sweet and tart chicken dish that easily comes together in ONE single pan!

I’m talking glistening, juicy, tender chicken thighs with crispy, deep brown skin and a tangy, sweet and sour pan-sauce that bursting with a whole lotta bright and fresh cherry flavor!

Why this Recipe Works

  • Marinating the chicken! Results in greater depth of flavor.

  • Crispy skin and moist tender chicken! Thanks to roasting the chicken in the marinade while keeping the skin exposed.

  • That deliciously addictive sweet-sour sauce! Created by the balsamic vinegar/honey combo.

  • Balance! The savory chicken and wildly fragrant, woodsy rosemary balance the tangy cherries.

  • Minimal clean up! The dish comes together in a single pan.

Cherries have the trifecta of flavor: sweet, tart and bright!

The sauce is both savory and sweet, without being excessively tart.

How to Make this Recipe

Dry and season chicken. Let the chicken sit while ya prep the rest of your ingredients. Mince those shallots. Whisk that marinade. Pit those cherries. Place chicken in marinade at least 30 minutes and up to overnight in the fridge. Just not any longer cause the acidity in the vinegar will break down the texture of the chicken. Place chicken thighs, skin side up, onto pan. Tuck rosemary sprigs and cherries in between chicken pieces, leaving most of the skin exposed so it crisps properly. Pour marinade over all and let the oven to do the rest of the work.


  • 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 local cherries grown sustainably.

  • For best flavor and texture, use bone-in, skin on chicken.

  • Don’t place chicken in oven straight from the fridge! Let it come to room temperature first.

  • For easiest prep, invest in a cherry pitter.

  • Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

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