Cherry-Almond Braised Chicken

In this recipe, chicken is slowly braised until very tender in a sauce of fresh cherries, cherry juice, and toasted ground almonds. With 3 hours in a slow cooker, the flavors intensify into a rich and hearty braise.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 1/4 cup (about 6 ounces) raw almonds 
  • 2 cups cherry juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 skinless bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds), fat trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion (about 2 cups), finely chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh Bing cherries (about 1 1/2 cups), pitted and halved
  • Flat leaf parsley for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Remove from the oven and transfer 1 cup of the toasted nuts to a small food processor and pulse until finely ground. Roughly chop the remaining 1/4 cup of almonds and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, add the cherry juice to the slow cooker and turn the temperature to medium-low heat.

  3. Mix together the cinnamon, coriander, salt, and pepper and rub into the chicken thighs. In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet, making sure to not overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken until it’s richly golden brown and seared, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker.

  4. Return to the large skillet and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the oil and set over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and cook until they have softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the sautéed onions, finely ground almond meal, and all but 1/4 cup of the fresh cherry halves to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 3 hours until the chicken is tender and the sauce has slightly thickened.

  5. To serve, set the chicken over steamed rice in bowls, spoon over the cherry almond sauce, and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of fresh cherry halves. Garnish with chopped almonds and parsley.

Make Ahead

The chicken can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Contributed By Photo © Sarah Bolla Published January 2014

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