Tomato-Basil Chicken with Spices

The complex flavor of fresh basil appeals to Jerry Traunfeld. He makes a chunky, fresh-tomato sauce that enhances basil's natural spiciness with cinnamon, star anise and ginger, creating a simple but exotic topping for moist chicken breasts.

Slideshow:Quick Chicken Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Couscous or orzo, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, star anise and ginger and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, turning the chicken once, until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

  2. Transfer the chicken to plates. Stir the basil into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve with couscous.

Suggested Pairing

Velvety, flavorful red, such as one from Nemea.

Contributed By Published August 2005

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