Cantoro's cherry chicken salad recipe

February is National Cherry Month. Unfortunately we won't be getting our fresh Michigan cherries just yet, but Chef Alex Bazzy from Cantoro joined us on The Nine to show us a way we can celebrate in the meantime. 

You can find foods like cherry sausages, cherry cheeses and more at Cantoro Italian Market - and get a recipe for cherry chicken or sausage salad below. 

Cherry Chicken or Cherry Sausage Salad
    3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    4 to 5 6oz Chicken breasts, boneless, skin-on (or 1.5 pounds of Cantoro Cherry sausage, First, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Then, add the sausage, and cook it for about about 16 minutes until all the sides are brown, adding salt and cherry balsamic vinegar to taste, about 1 tbsp.)
    2/3 cup mushrooms, diced
    1.5 Tbsp shallot, minced
    1/3 cup chicken or veggie broth
    1/4 cup Cantoro cherry balsamic vinaigrette
    ¼ tsp Sea salt or any other salt
    2 dashes Fresh ground pepper
    ¼ tsp Dried thyme
    4 cups fresh salad greens, your choice
    1 English cucumber, peeled, chopped
    ¼ pecans, optional

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Dry chicken breasts then score 4 to 5 times. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, add more pepper if you like. Heat olive oil on medium to high setting. When hot, add prepared breasts skin side down and cook about 6 minutes till brown with some crisp, turn over and cook minimum 3 minutes more. 
Remove from the pan. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and bake 5 to 7 minutes. You can pour off the fat, leaving just enough behind to saute the mushrooms and shallots 3 minutes until they are soft. Now Add the broth and deglaze the pan and reduce broth to just a little left, a few tsp. Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce  until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add a dash of pepper.
Slice the breasts into 1/4 inch thickness pieces. Spoon 1 Tbsp of Cherry Balsamic sauce top of each and serve immediately. Serve chicken OR THE CANTORO CHERRY SAUSAGE on a bed of greens with fresh chopped English cucumber. Top w pecans and add another dash balsamic vinegar if you like.