Five-Spice Chicken with Fresh Plum Sauce

In-season plums are equally delicious in savory recipes or infused with an array of warm and sweet spices such as in this aromatic chicken dish.

Photo: Yvonne Duivenvoorden

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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
60 min



  • 3 plums
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder (TRY:Organic Fair Chinese Five Spice Blend)
  • 1 tbsp raw honey


  • 1/4 cup sliced unsalted almonds
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 4 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp safflower oil


  • 1 large bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed (about 1 lb)
  • Zest of 1 orange plus 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sliced unsalted almonds, toasted
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare sauce: Cut plums in half and remove pits. Cut each half into 4 slices. In a medium saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add plums and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until plums begin to brown slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add broth and five-spice powder, cover and simmer for 4 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook at a steady simmer until liquid reduces by about two thirds and plums are soft. Stir in honey and continue simmering until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. (MAKE AHEAD: Sauce can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Reheat on stovetop on low.)
  2. Prepare chicken: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place almonds in a heavy duty zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin to make fine crumbs. Add five-spice powder and shake to combine. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. With a spoon, sprinkle half of almond mixture over chicken and lightly press into meat to help almonds adhere. Flip chicken over and repeat with remaining almond mixture on opposite side.
  3. Heat oil in a large oven-safe skillet on medium-high. Add chicken and cook, without moving, until golden brown on bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip over and repeat on opposite side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until thickest part of chicken is no longer pink and temperature reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare rabe: Add about 2 inches water to a large saucepan and fit with a steamer basket. Cover and bring water to a boil. Add broccoli rabe, cover and reduce heat to medium. Steam until broccoli rabe is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add orange zest and juice, oil and almonds. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Place 1 chicken breast on each of 4 plates. Top each with about 1⁄3 cup plum sauce and serve broccoli rabe on the side, dividing evenly.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 chicken breast, 1/3 cup plum sauce, 2/3 cup rabe
  • Calories 402
  • Carbohydrate Content 21 g
  • Cholesterol Content 99 mg
  • Fat Content 15 g
  • Fiber Content 2 g
  • Protein Content 48 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 2 g
  • Sodium Content 223 mg
  • Sugar Content 11 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 4 g

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