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Chicken breasts poached in a broth flavored with star anise, cinnamon, ginger, scallions, and soy sauce is a Chinese classic. Traditionally you would save, not serve, the broth—it improves each time you use it—but we can never resist serving it with the chicken as a light sauce. If you like, boil noodles separately and add them to the broth for a meal in a dish.
The exotic yet delicate broth requires a flavorful but light white wine. A German riesling would be ideal; if the riesling you choose has some slight sweetness, all the better.
- 3 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
- 2 carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
- 6 scallions including green tops, 5 cut into 4-inch lengths, 1 chopped
- 6 1/2-inch slices peeled fresh ginger, smashed, plus 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, preferably dark
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 5 whole star anise
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
In a large saucepan, combine the broth, carrots, the 5 scallions, the smashed ginger, the garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Add the sherry and chicken and bring back to a simmer over moderately low heat, covered. Turn the chicken and simmer, covered, until the chicken is just done, about 5 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, carrots, and star anise to large shallow bowls. Strain the broth and add the minced ginger and 2 tablespoons of the chopped scallion. Ladle the broth over the chicken and top with the remaining chopped scallion.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
324 calories; 2g total fat; 87mg cholesterol; 1334mg sodium; 30g carbohydrates; 6g fiber; 43g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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