Chicken Breasts in Island Aromas (Petti di pollo ai profumi dell'isola)

May/June 1993

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A marvelous blend of fresh citrus, herbs and spices flavors the chicken. The dish is also quite good when served cold. Make it a meal: Stir extra citrus juice and chopped fresh mint into cooked bulgur to echo the flavors of this dish.

Chicken Breasts in Island Aromas  (Petti di pollo ai profumi dell'isola)

Makes: 4 servings

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Total Time:


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions (about 4)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, (2 shallots)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle or spice mill
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry, (see Note)
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (1 pound total), trimmed
  • Salt & freshly ground white or black pepper, to taste
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add scallions, shallots and 1 tablespoon mint; sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in fennel seeds and ginger. Add orange juice, lemon juice, sherry and 1 teaspoon sugar; bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced by half, 5 to 10 minutes; set aside.
  3. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board. Along the thinner, long edge of each breast, make a horizontal slit with sharp knife, cutting nearly through to the opposite side. Open each breast so it forms two flaps hinged at the center and sprinkle with orange and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Pat the breasts closed and place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound with a mallet or pan to flatten slightly.
  4. Place rosemary sprigs in the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Set the chicken on top and season with salt and pepper. Pour wine and the sauce over the chicken.
  5. Bake, uncovered, until the chicken is no longer pink inside, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and keep warm. Discard rosemary.
  6. Pour the sauce into a small pan and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more sugar, if desired. Spoon over the chicken. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon mint and serve.

Tips & Notes

  • Note: Sherry is a type of fortified wine originally from southern Spain. Don't use the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets—it can be surprisingly high in sodium. Instead, purchase dry sherry that's sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store.


Per serving: 212 calories; 3 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 66 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 1 g fiber; 152 mg sodium; 478 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (55% daily value), Selenium (29% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 fruit, 3 1/2 lean meat

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Recipe Categories

Total Time
1 hour or less
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

Type of Dish
Main dish, poultry
Ease of Preparation
May/June 1993
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