Clementine & Five-Spice Chicken
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.
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.
1 fruit, 4 lean meat