Chicken Cutlets with Cherry-Balsamic Pan Sauce / The Happy Hikers Make a New Friend

Lately we have been enjoying very simple, quick and easy meals. That doesn’t mean that they have to be boring or lacking flavor! A simple pan sauce using low calorie yet highly flavorful ingredients dresses up plain chicken breasts turning them into something elegant. While the chicken breasts are cooking roast a baking sheet( or two) of cut up fresh vegetables tossed with some olive oil and garlic cloves. Dinner is on the table in less than 2o minutes! Love that!

I used an all fruit spread combined with the balsamic vinegar and the results was stellar. You’ll have to refrain from licking the plate!

Chicken Cutlets with Cherry-Balsamic Pan Sauce

  •  20 ounces Chicken breasts — boned and skinned
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth,
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp cherry preserves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

1. Mix broth, vinegar, and preserves or fruit spread in a liquid measuring cup. Set aside.

2. Heat a large 12 inch non stick skillet over low heat while preparing chicken cutlets. Lightly pound chicken breast to a more or less even thickness or halve large breasts crosswise to make 4 cutlets. The thinner the cutlets the quicker they will cook. Place cutlets in a bowl or pie plate, drizzle with olive oil, season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat evenly.

3. Increase heat under pan to a strong medium – high, when skillet is very hot (about two minutes) add chicken (turn on exhaust fan), cook turning chicken only once, until chicken is well browned and just cooked through, 5-7 minutes for thin cutlets and about 4 minutes for tenderloins, if your cutlets are thicker allow for more cooking time. When chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

4. Add pan sauce ingredients to skillet, reduce sauce by half, whisk in cornstarch mixture and continue to whisk until sauce has thickened.

5. Drizzle sauce over chicken and serve.

Servings: 4

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 261.54,Total Fat 10.6g, Saturated Fat 1.78g, Cholesterol 90.72m,g Sodium 261.42mg, Potassium 567.01mg, Total Carbohydrates 8.51g, Fiber 0.11g, Sugar 6.13g, Protein 30.78g  WWPP 6

Recipe Adapted From Pam Anderson Losing Weight & Eating Great

Nutmeg Notes

I can’t believe it’s Tuesday already! The weekend flew by as we ended up hiking both Saturday and Sunday. Our son  has nicknamed us, “Outdoor Adventure Mom & Dad!” Our hike on Saturday was so amazing, the weather was beautiful as we hiked along a ridge following The American river.

 The narrow trail was made for the gold miners to use during the California Gold Rush!

We hiked down to the river to enjoy our lunch. It was relaxing and so peaceful.

 Hubby Tom enojoyed his Subway sandwich.

My fine dining consisted of cottage cheese with frozen blueberries and fresh strawberries. I also had some beef jerky and raw veggies to munch. We only hiked a little over 7 miles but, because it was pretty rugged and included a lot of elevation change it took about 5 hours. We discovered that there was another trail that went along the other side of the river and the trail head was located in what use to be a booming mining town called Iowa Hill.

Sunday morning hubby Tom asked me if I was game to go back up and explore the other trail.  Oh yes I was! The trail head began just behind this old store/bar.

 This side of the river was shady, cool, filled with lots of moss covered rocks, little streams and water falls.

When we headed out on the trail three dogs that were at the store followed us. After about a 1/4 mile down the trail two of them turned back but not this guy. He led the way! I named him “Charlie” as he hung in there with us for 5 hours. He would run ahead and scout out the trail and then wait until he saw us coming before he would continue. At times he couldn’t see me behind hubby Tom, so he would run back and make sure I was still on the trail.

We encountered a little surprise at this point on the trail. Part of the trail had fallen away down a ravine. The only way to continue was to use this rope that was tied to a tree and climb up this ridge and then back down the other side to get back on the trail.  I think this is where we really did deserve our new title of “Outdoor Adventure Mom & Dad!”

My lunch was fat free Greek yogurt mixed with 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder, oatmeal, frozen blueberries and fresh strawberries. Delicious and so filling!

Our lunch time view of the river was spectacular. After about 20 minutes “Charlie” was getting anxious to head back. He kept walking up to the trail and coming back down to us as if to say “let’s go.” This hike was just over 11 miles and took right at 5 hours to complete. It was a continuous gradual climb up all the way back. I peeled off my layers and ended up in my short sleeves by the end. When we got back to the store at Iowa Hill we talked to the owner and found out that our guide dogs name was actually Shorty. He likes to accompany hikers and some people even call ahead and ask if he will be available to go with them on their hikes! She told us that when he scouts ahead he is clearing the trail of snakes and making sure the path is safe. We sure enjoyed his company and look forward to hiking with him again.

We thought we had been working our calves, thighs and glutes pretty good in the previous weeks hikes but on Monday we could really feel how much of a work out we got over the weekend. I think mother nature provides a good match to any machine that can be found in a gym. Just ask my glutes!

The Happy Hiker!


I enjoy working yard work, walking, hiking and bike riding – you get a work out, get to be outside and have fun at the same time.

Add Your Thoughts

What is your favorite form of exercise?

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  1. Racheal @ Running with Racheal says:

    My favorite exercise is obviously running! But, I love to run to get somewhere. When I was younger I used to run to work and then take a shower there. It felt good to have a purpose. 😉

    Your story of Charlie / Shorty made my heart smile. What a sweetie! So protective. I hope you get a chance to hike with him again soon.

  2. janine says:

    Loved loved loved hearing about your hike with Shorty. Bet he loved it as much as you did. I’ve never loved exercise–but I do enjoy long walks around pretty paths with my dog twice a day. He lets me know EXACTLY when we should be going, should I get sidetracked.

    1. Tami says:

      You know Janine I think he enjoyed himself! It was really fun to have his company.

  3. Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds says:

    I’m totally in love with Shorty!!! If only there were more Shortys in the world, we’d all be racing to exercise. 🙂 Hope you get to workout with him again!

    1. Tami says:

      Too true Jenn!

  4. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    Loved the pics of your hike – how beautiful & you are lucky yo have that close by & a guy that wants to hike with you! 🙂

    Me – you know my fav is lifting weights!!!!!

    Pinning that recipe!!!

  5. Renee@Mykitchenadventures says:

    so cute about your four legged tour guide! Such beautiful pictures…you are so lucky to have such areas available to you to explore!! Good for you and Tom for taking the time to enjoy that God given beauty!

    My favorite form is exercise is truly walking outside when the weather is good…enjoying the great outdoors! I like to dance too….but I’m not very good at it…lol

  6. Cyn Murray-Hayden says:

    Just found your blog. I grew up in Iowa near Lake Okoboji and have lived in Northern California for 20 years. I live in Garden Valley near Coloma. Wondering if we are living in the same neck of the woods?

    Great recipes and photographs!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Cyn!
      We are actually in Roseville CA. We have lived here since 1989 and love it. We feel like CA is home. There is so much to do and see here – gotta love the weather too!

      I’m so glad you found my blog. I hope you will stop by often and let me know you are reading.

      Happy Trails!

  1. Chicken Cutlets with Cherry-Balsamic Pan Sauce » Nutmeg Notebook says:

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