Cherry-stuffed Grilled Chicken

At this time of year, when cherries are in season, I love eating them fresh! But I also love to find as many recipes as possible that use fresh cherries – then I can justify the amount of fresh cherries I buy… I found this recipe a few years ago in our local newspaper, and over the years, I’ve made it with both chicken and pork, and either way it’s fantastic! Enjoy!

Cherry-stuffed Grilled Chicken

Adapted from recipe from San Antonio Express News (Originally cherry-stuffed grilled pork tenderloin)
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lb chicken breasts, 5 oz each, pounded 1/2 inch thin – pocket cut horizontally (or use 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/4 lbs)

Filling:
3/4 cup pitted, chopped sweet cherries
1/2 Tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh thyme

Marinade:
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions:
Combine cherries, onion, sage, thyme, and salt. Set aside.

Mix marinade, place into gallon-sized ziplock bag.

Slice a pocket in each chicken breast. Fill with cherry-sage filling. Place chicken into marinade, and marinate for 30-45 min in refrigerator.

Preheat grill. Prepare one side for indirect grilling (turn one side of gas grill to low, or pile charcoal on one side for charcoal grill). Cook over indirect heat until internal temperature reaches 165-170 degrees (about 20-30 min).

**Note** For pork tenderloin: Slice pork tenderloin lengthwise, pound with meat mallet to even thickness. Fill with filling, then roll tenderloin over filling. Secure with kitchen twine (3-4 places). Marinate, then grill over indirect heat until cooked through, about 30 min (about 145 degrees). Remove from grill, and let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional info (chicken):
Calories: 204.7
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 436.3 mg
Potassium: 66.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 5.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 3.8 g
Protein: 33.0 g

Nutritional info (pork tenderloin):
Calories: 219.1
Total Fat: 8.3 g
Saturated Fat: 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.7 g
Cholesterol: 92.2 mg
Sodium: 507.2 mg
Potassium: 585.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 5.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 3.8 g
Protein: 30.2 g

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