Five-spice pow­der will warm up chicken blahs

Five-Spice Chicken Breast in Or­ange Broth

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Melissa D’Ara­bian Food Net­work star Melissa d’Ara­bian is an ex­pert on healthy eat­ing on a bud­get. She is the author of the cook­book “Su­per­mar­ket Healthy.”

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 a whop­ping 43 grams of pro­tein yet only 5 grams of fat (fewer than 2 of those are sat­u­rated).

But the chicken breast story goes be­yond pro­tein gram counts. White meat chicken pro­vides a size­able chunk of our daily re­quire­ments for sev­eral vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, most no­tably B6, niacin, phos­pho­rous and se­le­nium, and smaller quan­ti­ties of a slew of oth­ers. Im­pres­sive stats from the cut of meat that goes on mega-sale about ev­ery 4 weeks, and freezes so well that you can stock up when it does.

The prob­lem with this wal­let-friendly nu­tri­ent won­der is that it is so mild and low-fat (read: low-fla­vor) that it can be­come “blah” and unin­spired on the weekly fam­ily menu, el­e­gantly re­ferred to as be­ing in a rut. The lower fat also puts this pro­tein at high risk for dry­ing out. To­day’s recipe solves both those prob­lems while also stay­ing week­night-speedy.

Five-Spice Chicken in Or­ange Broth is a skil­let chicken that starts on the stove­top with a quick sear and then fin­ishes in the oven, bathed in an aro­matic or­ange juice broth, sim­mer­ing to juicy per­fec­tion.

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 a per­fect depth to a ton of dishes, both sa­vory and sweet. How­ever, feel free to ex­per­i­ment with sim­i­lar spices or blends (such a pump­kin pie spice). Another rec­om­mended pur­chase: an in­stant-read ther­mome­ter, which will im­prove your meat-cook­ery over­all, so you can stop cook­ing the chicken as soon as it reaches 160 de­grees.

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. Start to fin­ish: 40 min­utes Serv­ings: 4 In­gre­di­ents

1½ pounds bone­less skin­less chicken breast, about 3 breasts 2 ta­ble­spoons all-pur­pose flour 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil salt and pep­per 1 large onion, diced (about 1½ cup diced) 1 tea­spoon Chi­nese five-spice (spice blend avail­able at reg­u­lar gro­cery stores) ¾ tea­spoon ground cumin 3-4 car­rots, trimmed and halved both cross­ways and length­wise 4 gar­lic cloves, smashed ¼ cup white wine ¾ cup or­ange juice (fresh or car­ton) 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus ex­tra if needed

chopped ci­lantro for gar­nish (or pars­ley, if pre­ferred) Di­rec­tions Pre­heat the oven to 350 de­grees F. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a pa­per towel, trim vis­i­ble fat, and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Sprin­kle the 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 flame. Brown the chicken breasts un­til golden, about 3-5 min­utes per side. Re­move the chicken and set aside on a plate (it 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, about 2-3 min­utes, add the fivespice, cumin, car­rots and gar­lic, and cook un­til very 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 just wa­ter) so that liq­uid level is about 1/4 the way up the chicken breasts. Spoon some of the sauce on top of each breast. Bring the mix­ture to a sim­mer and then place in the oven to con­tinue cook­ing un­til the chicken breasts reach 160 de­grees F, about 15-20 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 fresh ci­lantro.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 271 calo­ries; 61 calo­ries from fat; 7 g fat (1 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 86 mg choles­terol; 262 mg sodium; 19 g car­bo­hy­drate; 3 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 29 g pro­tein

Five-Spice Chicken Breast in Or­ange Broth is a wal­let-friendly recipe that is low in fat but high in fla­vor.

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