So you think that cherries are only for dessert….

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cherry chicken dinner wp-image-2188 summary: recipe for cherries and chicken; Peninsula Ridge Shiraz; information about Not Far From the Tree; (click on image(s) to see larger views and more photos)

So we grow together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition;
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
-William Shakespeare

cherries wp-image-2158 We started the day off as usual, by sitting on the front porch to watch the world go by and have morning coffee and toast. We talked about how we should feature dinner with the lovely sweet red NFFtT cherries that I had picked a few days before.

Then we jumped on our bikes (it was a beautiful day – a little overcast and softly warm) and rode the long scenic way through neighbourhoods towards the lake then back up through parks and more neighbourhoods to get free range chicken, and then on to the farmers’ market to get sugarsnap peas for our feast that night. (Total riding distance: 20.43km – I had only 856km to go before crossing 53000 on my odometer….)

cherry chicken and shiraz wp-image-2199 T made the most fabulous grilled chicken (simple dry rub of dried thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder) serving it with oven roasted potatoes, sugarsnap peas with mint from the garden, cherry sauce (mustard, thyme, rice vinegar, hint of sugar) and herbs from the garden. Wine: Ontario Peninsula Ridge Shiraz 2012.

We dined in the garden, listening to the summer city humming.

We WERE going to have cherry shortcake jubilee for dessert but we were too full from dinner so waited to have it for breakfast. (Sorry, no photos, we ate all the evidence.)

What a great day!!

shiraz wp-image-2198

Peninsula Ridge Estate Winery wp-image-2200 Sitting majestically at the gateway to Niagara with spectacular views of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Skyline, Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery is devoted to producing incredible award winning wines that will truly inspire the senses… […]
2012 Shiraz This wine is fruit forward with aromas and flavours of lavender, bright red fruit with a hint of white pepper and rosemary. It is medium bodied with lively acidity.
Peninsula Ridge Estate Winery
5600 King Street West
P.O. Box 550 Beamsville Ontario L0R 1B0
Tel: 905-563-0900 Fax: 905-563-0995

The LCBO notes say that Peninsula Ridge Shiraz VQA is “Medium-bodied & Fruity [and is] Clear ruby with violet at the rim; red fruit aromas with a touch of white pepper; medium body with sweet cherry fruit flavour with soft oak spice to finish“.

Did we detect the white pepper and cherry? Or lavender or rosemary? I’m afraid not. (How does white pepper differ from black pepper??) But the wine did have wonderful sour fruit notes and complemented the chicken perfectly.

chicken dinner wp-image-2196 Read between the lines to see what T did to make this magical dinner:

no measurements – you just have to wing it

Cherry Chicken
loosely based on Supertoinette’s recipe for Sauce aux cerises et ses blancs de poulet


  • chicken legs
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dried thyme


  • a good shot of fresh cherries
  • hint of sugar
  • fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • butter
  • onion, minced
  • grainy mustard
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • cornstarch, for thickening
  • thyme (optional)
  • green onion, to garnish
  1. Chicken Cover the chicken with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Place in a covered bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours or so until it’s time to cook dinner.
  2. Sauce Wash and stem the cherries. Remove any that have really bad blemishes. Cut each cherry in half and remove the pit (or simply leave them whole if you have a cherry pitter). Scatter a little sugar over the cherries and set aside.
  3. Saute the ginger and onion in butter.
  4. Add grainy mustard and cherries.
  5. Continue to cook over medium low heat until the cherries are done. Add salt, pepper, a pinch or two of sugar, if the cherries seem sour, and a little corn starch to thicken the sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Cooking Grill the chicken until the skin is golden and crispy.
  7. Assembly Gently reheat the sauce. Put the cooked chicken onto hot plates and drizzle the sauce overtop artfully. Garnish with chopped green onion.

Served immediately with sugar snap peas and oven-roasted potatoes.


For 2 chicken legs, we used half an onion and 3 or 4 large handfuls of cherries.


Not Far From the Tree Not Far From the Tree

“Not Far From the Tree” (NFFtT) is a Toronto organization that includes a residential fruit-picking program to pick fruit (with permission, of course) that would otherwise go to waste.

There are lots and lots of fruit trees in Toronto!! Bearing fruit that is eaten by birds, squirrels and raccoons. If you have such a tree and would like the animalsto share the fruit with people, please do contact “Not Far From the Tree”. They will send a team of pickers to clean up your yard of fallen fruit and pick the good fruit that is still in the tree. The harvested fruit is divided evenly into 3 portions: one third going to the tree owners, one third going to the volunteer pickers and the final third going to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens.

For more information about NFFtT and how you can donate your time and/or share your fruit, please go to


Then hath thy orchard fruit, thy garden flowers,
Fresh as the air, and new as are the hours.
The early cherry, with the later plum,
Fig, grape, and quince, each in his time doth come:
The blushing apricot, and woolly peach
Hang on thy walls, that every child may reach.
-Ben Jonson


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This entry was posted in food & drink, main course, NFFtT, posts with recipes on by . cherry chicken dinner

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