Five-Spice Chicken Breast in Orange Broth packs protein, flavor
Five-Spice Chicken Breast in Orange Broth is anything but boring. It’s also nutritious.
Eating healthy on a budget and tight schedule means the boneless skinless chicken breast makes frequent appearances on our dinner table. It's a smart choice as a lean protein: One cup of cubed chicken breast has 43 grams of protein yet only 5 grams of fat.
But the chicken breast story goes beyond protein. White meat chicken provides a sizable chunk of our daily requirements for several vitamins and minerals, most notably B-6, niacin, phosphorous and selenium, and smaller quantities of a slew of others. Impressive stats from the cut of meat that goes on sale about every four weeks and freezes so well that you can stock up when it does.
The problem with the chicken breast is that it is so mild and low-fat (read: low-flavor) that it can become "blah." The lower fat also puts this protein at high risk for drying out. Today's recipe solves both those problems.
Five-Spice Chicken in Orange Broth starts on the stovetop and then finishes in the oven, bathed in an aromatic orange juice broth.
If you don't have five-spice blend on hand, I suggest it as a worthy purchase, because its warm spicy flavors (think ginger, anise and cinnamon) add depth to many dishes. Another recommended purchase: an instant-read thermometer. A final tip: Most chicken breasts are larger than one serving. Consider serving the meat already sliced on a platter, and you'll find that two or three breasts will easily feed a family of four.
Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."
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FIVE-SPICE CHICKEN BREAST IN ORANGE BROTH
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, about 3 breasts
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups diced)
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice (spice blend available at regular grocery stores)
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
3 to 4 carrots, trimmed and halved both crossways and lengthwise
4 garlic cloves, smashed
¼ cup white wine
¾ cup orange juice
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra if needed
Chopped cilantro for garnish, or parsley
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pat the chicken breasts dry, trim visible fat and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over both sides of the chicken breasts and lightly press the flour into the meat.
In a large oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Brown the chicken breasts until golden, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove and set aside on a plate. (The meat will not be fully cooked.) Add the onion to the same pan with a pinch of salt and stir with a wooden spoon. Once the onions are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, add the five-spice, cumin, carrots and garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Increase temperature to high and deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any crusty bits on the bottom of the pan as it bubbles for a minute. Add the orange juice and 1 cup of broth and stir. Return the chicken breasts to the pan, including any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Add extra broth (or water) so the liquid level is about ¼ the way up the chicken breasts. Spoon some of the sauce on top of each breast. Bring the mixture to a simmer and place in the oven to continue cooking until the chicken breasts reach 160 degrees, about 15 to 20 more minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest a few minutes before slicing and serving with the carrots and the fragrant broth spooned on top. Garnish with cilantro.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 271 calories (61 calories from fat), 7g fat (1g saturated, 0g trans fats), 86mg cholesterol, 262mg sodium, 19g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 9g sugar, 29g protein.