Fragrant Chicken

Almost a decade ago, in my early years here in Chicago, my brother was visiting and we were just walking around. We stopped into a random bookstore I probably couldn’t find again if you paid me, and for some reason, I bought a used cookbook. I wasn’t cooking much at the time, and I wasn’t conscious of healthy, lower-fat cooking regardless, but I still bought this hardcover copy of Terry Blonder Golson’s 1,000 Lowfat Recipes. I don’t know what inspired this purchase at all, but it sat in a cabinet for a while, until it didn’t. It might have even been one of the first cookbooks I began referring to on purpose, and is now a dog-eared fixture in my collection, which, if you know me at all, is still totally bizarre and random. But it’s full of GREAT stuff, and it’s provided great ideas and inspiration, as well as some reliable staples in our menu.

Tonight’s dinner came out of this book, though I’d never made it before. And, as usual, it was a great success. Not sure a certain member would ever know it was a “lowfat recipe” without reading this blog (which… do you? I don’t know if you even read this!). We cleared the pan – no leftovers. Just satisfied customers. “Fragrant” is an understatement for this one. It’s so much more than that. Yes, the scent is incredible, so the moniker is apt. But it also hits all the rest of the senses as well. It’s powerful and rich in flavors and spices, full of texture, and pretty to boot. It: smells great, looks great, feels great, tastes great, and even sounds great – fragrant chicken. Mmmmm… I barely modified the original recipe, so here you go.fragrantchx1

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1/4t Kosher salt
* 1t black pepper
* 1/2t cinnamon
* 1/8t ground cloves
* 1/2t ground turmeric
* 1/4C all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
* 1T olive oil
* 3/4C low-sodium chicken broth
* 1/2 a sweet onion, chopped
* 2t minced garlic
* 1C orange juice
* 3T golden raisins
* 1T capers
* 1 orange

WHAT TO DO
Add the salt pepper, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, flour, and chicken pieces to a large ziploc bag, then shake it and massage it around so that the meat gets a light coating.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, and cook the chicken, turning once or twice, until cooked through. If the pan becomes too dry, add a splash of broth to help it finish cooking. When it’s cooked through, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the broth to the pan, cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes, stirring frequently, allowing the onions to begin to soften. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, then add the orange juice, raisins, and capers. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

While that’s cooking, cut the peel and pith off the orange, and then cut it into thick, full-round slices. After 30 minutes, add the orange slices to the pan and cook another 5 minutes. Done.

fragrantchx2

Serve over rice or cous cous – perfect. The meat is juicy and infused with all the wonderful seasoning flavors, and the sauce is pungent and sweet. And the smell – well, it’s just perfectly fragrant. My Tiny Sous Chef ate every last bite with her eyes closed. It’s totally delicious. Enjoy! (And if you’re interested, here’s that link again to 1,000 Lowfat Recipes.)

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