Put ’em Up! Fruit: Classic Blueberry Jam, Pan-Roasted Chicken with Blueberry Reduction, and A Giveaway

putemup!By now, you’ve heard about Put ’em Up! Fruit, the new book from Sherri Brooks Vinton, right? I mean, Marisa was dishing about it, as was Sean, and Autumn made the glorious sounding lemon, red onion & oregano jam. And with giveaways all over the blogosphere for the next two weeks, surely it won’t be long before you have a copy in your hot little hands. Right?

When Storey Publishing emailed to ask if I’d like to participate in a “blog tour” of Sherri’s new book, I was happy to agree. After all, I have Sherri’s first book, Put ’em Up!, on my preserving shelf, and I dip into it frequently for ideas & inspiration. And despite my tendency to be annoyingly honest, I felt sure that I would find something to love in Sherri’s new work. I was not wrong.

When I first started paging through Put ’em Up! Fruit, it was like chatting with a kindred spirit: berry apple leather and apple scrap (“peel & pip”) pectin, cherry ancho chile jam and citrus margaritas with homemade grapefruit liqueur: we could be browsing through my garage pantry shelves, deciding what to have for an impromptu back deck dinner party. I was thrilled, of course, to see an emphasis on sourcing local produce, directly from the farm (or your backyard), and using the best produce you can find, at the peak of its flavor, rather than simply picking up whatever is on sale (and quickly going south) at the supermarket. And while my beloved meat + preserves combo is well-represented throughout the book, there were certainly new ideas to be found: pierogis with apple pear sauce, a spring roll dipping sauce made with apricot jam, cranberry molasses, and gastrique, to name a few.

I had every intention of trying something new: blueberry ketchup perhaps, using my stash of wild Maine blueberries, served with sweet potato fries, or lemon gastrique, using my last, precious Rangpur lime and the accompanying recipe for tasty Thai chicken. The week got away from me, however: what with taxes to prepare, data to analyze, and birthday cakes to bake, I ran out of time for more ambitious projects, and went with a simple blueberry jam and pan-roasted chicken. I’m glad I did.

putemup!As it turned out, I needed a basic blueberry jam for the afore-mentioned birthday cake, so I turned to my copy of Put ’em Up! Fruit, sitting neglected on the floor by the couch. And yes, I reduced the sugar (because basically every jam recipe in the world is too sweet for me), but other than that it was exactly what I needed: simple, straight-forward, fruit measured by weight and volume; just a nice, simple jam. And today, in my post-birthday-party semi-exhausted haze, it turns out that the recipe accompanying the blueberry jam was a simple skillet-roasted chicken with a jam reduction sauce. There’s even a short demonstration video.Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

I must confess, in my years of combining fruit preserves + meat in a variety of ways, it’s never occurred to me to combine chicken and blueberries. But it was a hit: thoroughly delicious, with just the right notes of savory & sweet. And I appreciate the subtleties in the recipe too: the difference between writing “3 lbs chicken pieces” and “1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces, wings & back reserved for stock,” or including the instruction, but also the reason, like “ladling the sauce over the chicken would cover up and soften the gorgeous brown skin.”

So: lovely preserves, interesting ideas for using up all that jam, a local, whole foods focus, and straight-forward, thoughtfully written recipes. You want your own copy, right? Storey Publishing has generously offered to send a copy to one lucky winner (US mailing addresses only, please. Sorry, international folks.) Just leave a comment below telling me your favorite use-it-up trick. Giveaway closes Sunday, April 14th at midnight: a winner will be announced Monday, April 15th. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on the Put ’em Up! Fruit blog tour for more chances to win:

Disclosure: I was provided a copy of Put ’em Up! Fruit free for the purposes of review and participation in the blog tour. One copy will be provided to the giveaway winner, courtesy of Storey Publishing. I received no monetary compensation and all opinions are my own.


Adapted (slightly) from Classic Blueberry Jam and Pan-Roasted Chicken with Blueberry Reduction, in Put ’em Up! Fruit by Sherri Brooks Vinton

Wild Blueberry Jam & Pan-Roasted Chicken with Blueberry Reduction


Wild Blueberry Jam

  • 1 quart canned wild blueberries + juice (2 lb 3 oz), or 2 quarts fresh or frozen berries (about 2 and ½ lbs)
  • 3 cups (21 oz) sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Blueberry Reduction

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 4 to 8 pieces (reserve wings and back for stock)
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 cup dry wine (I used a dry local rosé)
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 heaped tbsp wild blueberry jam


Wild Blueberry Jam

  1. Combine berries, sugar and lemon juice in a large, wide Dutch oven or preserving pot. If using fresh berries you may want to add up to ¼ cup water to prevent burning and draw out juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring just until sugar melts. Continue to boil hard, stirring only to prevent sticking, until mixture reaches the gel point (220 degrees F, or a small dollop winkles on a frozen plate), about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Allow jam to rest in the pot, off heat, for 5 minutes. Refrigerate, or can the jam: fill hot jars to ¼-inch head space, bubble jars, wipe rims, affix lids, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Yields about 2 pints of jam.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Blueberry Reduction

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Dry the chicken pieces thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel, then place on a clean plate, skin-side up. Sprinkle with the Kosher salt and allow to come to room temperature, uncovered, while the oven preheats. Resting chicken in the open air dries out the skin a bit and helps to crisp it upon roasting.
  2. In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat until hot & shimmering. Add the chicken pieces, skin-side down, without crowding the pan. Brown chicken until the skin is a deep golden brown and pieces lift easily from the surface of the pan, about 5 – 7 minutes. Turn the chicken skin-side up, then transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until cooked through (internal temperature is at least 165 degrees F), about 20 – 25 minutes. Remove the chicken to a clean plate: keep uncovered to maintain crisp skin.
  3. Drain off all but 2 tbsp of the fat in the skillet, being careful to retain the browned bits and fond. Reserve the poured-off schmaltz for another purpose. Add diced shallot to the skillet and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent, about 3 – 4 minutes. Stir in the flour, then the wine, and bring to a lively simmer, scraping up any bits of fond from the pan as you stir. Simmer until nicely thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, thyme and black pepper, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Stir in the blueberry jam and stir until uniform.
  4. Scrape the reduction sauce onto a serving platter, then top with chicken pieces. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Serves 4 – 6.


  1. Sherri’s original Classic Blueberry Jam recipe calls for 2 quarts of fresh blueberries and 4 cups of sugar. I know that for my palate, that would be too sweet, so I reduced it to 3 cups. The book includes a blueberry bourbon jam version, wherein you stir a ¼ cup of bourbon into the jam during the final resting stage. You know I don’t disagree with that plan.
  2. Sherri’s original chicken recipe called for dry white wine: I had rosé open in the fridge. I guess it would be delicious with any dry wine.


Jam: Canned, store in a cool dark spot for up to 1 year, or refrigerated it will last for several weeks. Chicken & sauce: Refrigerated for up to 5 days: cover once completely cool, in order to maintain crispy skin.


Blueberries are in season in high summer. With canned or frozen blueberries, you can make the jam year-round, and of course, you can make the chicken whenever you have jam.


  1. Diana

    Jam sandwich scones are a great way to use up that last half jar of jam. I just whip up a basic dough roll half out, spread on jam and put the other half on top and bake as normal. They’re a great grab and go too-condiments are already built in!

  2. Courtney

    So far my favorite use it up trick is to puree my preserved lemons and brush the paste over my veggies and meat before roasting! Amazing!

  3. I love Put ‘Em Up! The Cauliflower Salad on Muffaletta is so delicious. My favorite use it up strategy is to mix it with yogurt. Peach Butter, Strawberry Sauce, Lemon Curd. Haven’t gone the savory route much. Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity!

  4. Catherine

    My favorite use it up is to make salad dressing in the last of a jar of mustard. No bother trying to scrape out the last little bits, and perfectly contained.

  5. Kris

    I got this trick from my mother-in-law … Pour a bit of spiced jam over a brick of softened cheese cream to serve with crackers at a party. A huge hit and super easy when I’m don’t have time to make anything to bring.

  6. Cinnamon

    The easiest “use it up” trick I have is adding my jams to plain yogurt for the kiddos. In fact, we only ever buy plain, because I know there is always something to put in it at home. (And some day I will start making my own yogurt too.)

  7. Meg

    Blueberry jam hasn’t always been a fav or mine, but the blueberry bourbon jam sounds great, as does the chicken recipe! Thanks for inspiring me!

  8. I always look forward to your posts in my inbox! They keep me motivated and inspired – thank you!

    For starters, I try to display my canned goods out in the open so I never forget about them. (We’ve all found that 4 year old jam jar collecting dust in the back of a cupboard…) I love to bake with summer jams (thumbprints, tarts), and my favorite use of canned whole peeled tomatoes from the garden is as a simple raw tomato sauce on homemade pizza. Pickling liquid is great for dressings, marinades, or reduced for a bright gastrique over grilled meats. There’s something so hopeful about opening a jar of summer preserves in the dark of winter – especially here in Portland, OR, where our dreary days are plentiful.

  9. When making any dinner I try and use up something in the fridge otherwise the condiments can take over. Last week I put a half jar of your roasted red pepper ketchup and some red wine-onion jam in chili and it was delicious.

  10. I read this somewhere a long time ago, and since I constantly have half dozen unfinished jars of jam in my fridge, this has worked out wonders for me: add some olive oil and vinegar of your choice and a dash of s&p to the unfinished jar of jam, shake it up and you have a lovely dressing for your salad.

  11. Liz Hariton

    It’s not very creative, but I pretty much binge on generously buttered whole grain toast spread spread with the preserves in question.

  12. jrozgadeboni

    Oh… I love the feel of this book already! Honestly, we hardly ever have preserves or such left over. We’re jar hounds. Plus, I am the maker of all things pickle trays when we go over to others homes.

  13. Shawn brown

    This recipe and the book it came from, sound amazing. I already have Put Em Up! And love it. As for left over jam, who has leftover jam? I have two teenagers in the house – there is rarely left-over anything, especially preserves.

  14. Sara

    I tend to get overzealous in making applesauce, so I almost always end up making a few applesauce cakes for the freezer or friends when I realize I still have several jars.

  15. Tricia

    I smear what remains in the jar on meat, chicken or shrimp that we grill. You just have to be careful of flair ups.

  16. twicecookedhalfbaked

    I nearly always through in a pint of jam when I make a pulled pork. Allowing the meat to braise in the juices and sugars makes for pretty fine eatin’!

    I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this lovely book 🙂

  17. MC

    So far, I’ve only been as creative as to use a spoon and lick- but goodness, what great ideas abound here! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  18. Valerie

    My favorite way to use up the end of a jar of preserves is to build a marinade in the jar and keep it in the fridge for later. That way I put off washing the jar as long as possible.

  19. jodi

    My sweetie usually does a fine job of scraping the jars clean… but in the off chance there’s a wee bit left I put it in my yogurt bowl in the morning : )

  20. Robin

    I don’t usually have a problem with leftover jam, with my obsession for crusty bread and jam. If I have too many opened jam/jelly jars in the fridge, I stir it into greek yogurt, add some granola and call it breakfast.

  21. usmcwidow

    Crepes are great and those scone/jam sandwiches are next on the list, but my favorite way to use up a glut of sweet jams is to mix it up with liquor & ice. Yum-o! It really brings a little of the summer sun into a snowy evening, too.

  22. Allison

    Another vote for oatmeal here. I make plain oats for my kids & only sweeten with my homemade jams and fruit butters (in which I also reduce the sugar–too much, and you can’t taste the fruit!). Makes me feel good about their breakfast.

  23. Jennifer L.

    I love using my jams in plain yogurt & granola. This is my breakfast almost every morning! I was so excited to hear that Sherri has another book! Her’s was the first I bought when I started on my canning adventures, and it still my go-to for basic jam recipes using pomona’s pectin and a variety of other recipes. 🙂 I would love to win this book.

  24. I don’t have much trouble using up my jam (in fact, my eleven-year old rations out our precious stock of “red jam” which is her favorite; 2 jars left) but my favorite way to use my fruit butters is in french toast butter. Apple butter french toast is the best.

  25. Any time I see a savory recipe for jam, I get very excited. While I love sweet jam recipes, it’s much better to use some of these jars in savory, “every day” recipes!

  26. Kathleen

    I use the last spoons of jam over vanilla ice cream for a sweet treat. If, I don’t win, I’ll have to go buy this book.

  27. Devon H

    One of my favorite ways to use up a jar of jam is to make jam crumb bars, but depending on how much I have, I also swirl into baked oatmeal or a lovely coffee cake, and top my whole milk yogurt with some and granola.

  28. I agree on the jam crumb bars! I’ve also added layers of jam to coffee cake. In my house, though, jam is usually a pretty hot commodity – we don’t need to work hard to use it up!

  29. Karla

    I’ve been making yogurt in my crockpot for a couple months, and jam (often homemade, but I’m cleaning storebought out of my pantry) is just the thing to put in the bottom of jars and top with plain yogurt.

  30. Taryn

    Oooooh… this looks delicious!
    My favorite ways to use up preserves are putting a layer in banana bread before baking it, using fruit butter in granola (learned that from your website!), or putting both a jam/chutney and a pickle on a cheese plate at potlucks. I do have a hard time finishing preserves and need to find more savory applications! Otherwise, many get given away as gifts. Those who enter my house (hopefully) leave with a jar.

  31. robyn

    Every time I make bread, I spread butter and jam on it while it’s still hot. i could eat the whole loaf. I also have a 5 year old that puts away pb&j like nobody can. If we don’t have bread…no problem. He’ll eat it in a bowl. Thanks for the chance to win!

  32. Sandra

    I really like the fact that they include ideas to use up what you make – I tend to run out of ideas after toast and thumbprint cookies.

  33. Kathy

    My favorite use-it-up trick is to open a jar of jam and put it in front of my husband and boys… they go through jar after jar, all year long. Their favorites are using it on fresh bread, pancakes, or in oatmeal. Good thing I don’t put too much sugar in it!! 🙂

  34. HelenF

    We never have leftover jam. My kids have never let a jar of jam spoil! I remember waking up at 2 am and hearing a noise in the kitchen. I went to check on it and found my then 5 year old spooning up the last of a jar of strawberry jam. She looked at me and told me “Don’t worry Momma, I was going to rinse it out!”

  35. cyndi

    I love to use jam and cream cheese with crackers at night..so yummy and I feel good about using every last bit of my hard work.

  36. When I finish a bottle of Penzey’s vanilla extract, I save the spent vanilla bean and add that into various jams and jellies during the cooking process!

  37. SarahM

    I often end up dumping yogurt directly into the almost-empty jam jar, and then topping with granola or a handful of nuts. It’s delicious and it saves a dish!

  38. Pingback: Limoncello Italian Lemon Liqueur — Shockingly Delicious

  39. Pingback: {giveaway} Put ‘Em Up! Fruit. | FROM SCRATCH CLUB

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