Chef Richard's Roasted Chicken with Cherry and Almond Rice

One of the latest culinary trends is the use of “whole grains.”  Whole grains have great nutritional benefits, which is why we are embracing them at Baptist Health South Florida. 

With a higher fiber and mineral content than refined grains whole grains are intact — meaning they have not been processed to remove the bran — the outer layer of the grain. Therefore, whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains.

Some whole grains are labeled non-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms), which means that the plant’s gene structure has not been altered or bioengineered in a laboratory. For more information about non-GMO products, check out 

Indian Harvest, one of the companies we work with at Baptist Health, offers artisan grains, which are a variety of rice and legumes. Indian Harvest’s high quality and responsibly sourced products have helped us elevate our wellness initiatives, which is why I am delighted to share this recipe with you.

Roasted Chicken with Cherry & Almond Wild Rice
4 servings



  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 orange, peeled and quartered
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup pitted and halved fresh bing cherries

Cherry & Almond Wild Rice

  • 4 quarts water
  • 8 oz. wild rice
  • 4 oz. butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup pitted and halved fresh bing cherries
  • ¼ cup shaved almonds
  • ½ cup amaretto liqueur
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh rosemary, as needed 


  1. For the chicken: Pour balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, butter, orange quarters and onion into a large bowl. Mix well.
  2. Add chicken to the bowl, and sprinkle with salt and rosemary. Toss chicken in the balsamic mixture to coat.
  3. Mix in cherries and transfer the chicken and sauce to a roasting pan. Roast at 400°F for 45 minutes until chicken is golden, basting as needed. Reserve pan juices.
  4. For the wild rice: Bring water to a boil; cook wild rice according to package directions. Strain and set aside.
  5. In a large sauté pan, heat butter over medium. Sauté onion until caramelized. (Take care not to burn.)
  6. Add tomatoes and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add cooked wild rice and cherries. Toss with shaved almonds. Add amaretto to the pan and season with salt.
  8. To serve: Place wild rice on a serving platter; top with roasted chicken, and garnish with rosemary.

*Recipe courtesy of Indian Harvest.

Chef Richard Plasencia, executive chef at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2011. He is an award-winning chef who is passionate about creating and sharing fresh local and seasonal recipes seasoned with flavor and good health. In addition to an interest in nutrition, Chef Richard has an extensive history in the hospitality industry.

He served as Chef at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, the Shore Club, Por Fin, and the Conrad Hotel. He also was part of several teams that received the Mobile 4 and 5 star awards, as well as Cioppino being named to America’s Top 50 restaurants by Esquire Magazine 2005, during his time at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Chef Richard Plasencia graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts.


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With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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