Ready in just 20 minutes, this tangy, gluten-free recipe is easy enough for a midweek family dinner but elegant enough for a festive occasion. Cherries are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help lower risk for cardiovascular disease by reducing levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammatory markers. Cherries also contain melatonin, a hormone that contributes to sound, refreshing sleep. Studies have linked eating chicken (as part of a diet that is high in plant foods) to lower risk for becoming overweight or obese. To complete the meal, serve the chicken with steamed or sautéed dark greens, other veggies of your choice or your favorite salad. For a flavor variation, replace rosemary with thyme.
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
6 sprigs fresh thyme, with stems removed and leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup red wine
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary, stems removed and leaves chopped
2 cups fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Pound chicken breasts with a rolling pin to an even thickness. Brush with extra-virgin olive oil on both sides and season with thyme and pepper. Preheat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, then sauté chicken in the hot skillet until browned on both sides (about 5 minutes for each side). Transfer chicken to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, reduce heat to medium and sauté the garlic for 2 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer until sauce is reduced by half (about 4 minutes). Top the whole or sliced chicken breasts with sauce and enjoy! Serves four. Adapted from fedandfit.com, iowagirleats.com and heatherchristo.com.