This chicken recipe gets intense, complex flavor from tangy clementines, five-spice powder and pungent Sichuan peppercorns. This dish is a marvel for entertaining: it takes just 35 minutes of prep and a handful of ingredients, but it looks and tastes super-special. Feel free to use mandarins, honey tangerines or oranges here instead of the clementines.

Lori Longbotham
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2012




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Finely grate 1 teaspoon zest (see Tips) and squeeze 1 cup juice from 6 to 8 clementines. Combine the zest, juice, five-spice powder and peppercorns (if using) in a small bowl.

  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt. Cook the chicken, turning frequently, until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Pour in the juice mixture; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is just cooked through, 16 to 18 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, peel 2 of the remaining clementines and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.

  • When the chicken is done, transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce, stirring often, until thickened and reduced to 1/2 to 2/3 cup, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the clementine slices, cilantro, scallion greens and sesame oil. Serve the chicken with the sauce.


Tips: Chinese five-spice powder is available in well-stocked super markets and Asian markets--all blends contain ground cinnamon, fennel seed, cloves and star anise; some versions are made with white pepper, some with Szechuan pepper.

Most Asian markets carry the wonderfully pungent Sichuan peppercorns; they are most often found in clear bags rather than in jars. They don't look like regular black or white peppercorns--they have a beautiful reddish brown color and are cracked open as though they have exploded.

When we call for citrus zest (i.e., 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest) we are referring to the finely grated outer rind (not including the white pith) of the citrus fruit. Use a microplane grater or the smallest holes of a box grater to grate the zest. In some cases we call for long strips or threads of zest. To get long strips, peel the citrus with a vegetable peeler. To remove long threads, use a 5-hole citrus zester or remove long strips of zest with a vegetable peeler, then use a knife to cut into very thin strips.

Nutrition Facts

270 calories; protein 26.4g; carbohydrates 11.3g; dietary fiber 0.9g; sugars 8.6g; fat 12.9g; saturated fat 3g; cholesterol 92.1mg; vitamin a iu 272.6IU; vitamin c 50.3mg; folate 36.4mcg; calcium 33.2mg; iron 1.8mg; magnesium 32.7mg; potassium 387.4mg; sodium 358.5mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (9)

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9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 3 stars
great melody of flavors Full of flavors that definitely blend well together. It was a little heavy in the cilantro department and I prefer my orange slices on the side. Next time I will use 3 Tablespoons of Cilantro and slice the oranges but leave them out of the chicken and leave them for an on the side treat. For an even quicker cook time for the chicken use chicken breast and slice it into medallions then cook as recipe calls. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Very Delicious and Family Friendly The three empty plates at the end of dinner said it all. From adult to child this was enjoyed. Easy to put together yet looks very elegant. Pros: tasty healthy family-friendly Cons: none Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Potential disaster made it even better This recipe is delicious and idiot proof: I stupidly dumped my raw brown rice into the simmering sauce instead of the boiling water and was able to scoop it out (with 1/3 of the sauce) and ended up with amazing chicken AND tasty rice. Pros: easy to make with wonderful complex flavor Cons: no complaints Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Given the great reviews I was really expecting to love this dish but actually did not like it at all. Will not make again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Perfect! I am a vegetarian so I made this with quorn chicken and had to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious! My only complaint is that I would have loved more sauce because it was so good. I served it with rice and some brussels sprouts sauteed with scallions 5 spice powder and soy sauce. The slight bitter of the sprouts with the sweet of the orange was perfect. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Really Good This is a yummy and easy recipe I would highly recommend. Delicious and beautiful to look at! Pros: Easy to make Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Awesome flavor! We loved this recipe! I love chicken thighs so I was excited to try this dish. I was thinking the szechuan peppercorns would add a little heat. Well it didn't. I will have to come up with something to give it the perfect spicy bite to go with the orange tang! Pros: Easy to make Cons: None Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Delicious healthy sauce offers a unique twist This recipe took about an hour from start to finish. Other than that I have no complaints. The sauce is healthy and very delicious. My husband absolutely loved it. Serve with brown rice for a nice complete meal. Pros: tasty new flavors healthy Cons: time consuming Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Amazing and Easy! This dish was super yummy and easy not to mention healthy! I used boneless breasts and pounded into cutlets. After they rested I cut them into pieces so we could use chopsticks. I served the chicken over brown rice and then topped with the sauce. I can't wait to make it again! Pros: Flexible ingredients - use any kind of orange any kind of chicken... Cons: None Read More