Five-Spice Chicken

Ginger, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel, garlic… oh my! This dish really packs a punch when it comes to flavor. Moist chunks of chicken in a reduced chicken broth with crunchy pieces of green beans- it wins on the texture side too. It’s fairly simple in execution and is done easiest when all of the vegetables are chopped ahead of time.


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

4 cups chicken broth

1/2 inch sliced fresh ginger

6 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

5 star anise

1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds

1 medium-sized onion, chopped into big chunks

3 cloves garlic, chopped in big pieces

6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 lb green beans, ends trimmed off and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup minced scallions


  • Saute the onion in a large frying pan over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently

  • Add the garlic and continue to saute for another minute
  • Add the chicken broth, ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, and fennel seeds. Turn the heat to medium-high and simmer for 15 minutes

  • Strain the broth mixture and put liquid back into pan. Bring to a boil and simmer on high heat with chicken pieces, green beans, and mushrooms

  • Add scallion, salt and pepper to taste

I opted to serve this in a bowl, over brown rice that I’d cooked in a mixture of chicken broth and water.

Inspired by this recipe on WHF.

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