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Easy Five Spice Braised Chicken Recipe – 50 Women Game Changers In Food – Pim Techamuanvivit

by Jeanette on October 13, 2011 · 42 Comments
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Five Spiced Braised Chicken
With busy school nights, I’ve been trying all sorts of different make-ahead dinner ideas, including a Five Spice Braised Chicken recipe that I found on Chez Pim. Some days, I start making dinner in the morning, other times, not until the afternoon, but rarely can I make dinner right at dinnertime since I’m usually driving the kids around. As soon as my boys walk in the door, they are starving, so I try to have dinner completely cooked and ready to serve well before then.
This Five Spice Braised Chicken that I made was the perfect candidate for a weeknight meal as it can be made ahead of time, and even better, it can be made in a crockpot. I finally dusted off my crockpot and took it out a fews weeks ago, and have been using it ever since. Sometimes I cook in it, and other times, I use it to keep dinner warm.This chicken dish was cooked briefly on the stove, then transferred to the crockpot to finish cooking, and kept warm while I went to pick my kids up from school.

To go along with it, I made steamed brown rice in my rice cooker, which can also be left on the warm setting. The only dish I made when I walked in the door were some stir-fry vegetables, which I prepped earlier in the day, so all I had to do was throw them in the wok for a few minutes to cook. The sauce from the Five Spice Braised Chicken, which was fall-off-the-bone tender, was delicious served over the brown rice – my kids loved it!

If I could relive my life, I think I might like to try on Pim Techamuanvivit’s shoes. She has a job that I dream of on some days…globetrotting around the world, eating her way through the streets of Asia and Three Michelin Star restaurants. And, she cooks a mean pot of curry. The New York Times once said, “Pim is not a professional cook, but she is a professional eater.” Not just that, her partner is the “wildly talented” chef David Kinch, chef and owner of Manresa in Los Gatos, California, one of the country’s most innovative restaurants. What could be better…eating good food all the time, whether you’re away or at home.

This week, a group of bloggers is celebrating Pim Techamuanvivit, one of the 50 Women Game Changers in Food. Pim’s famously popular blog, Chez Pim, which I believe has been around for almost ten  years, chronicles her eating forays, and features tons of recipes as well.

5 from 1 reviews
Five Spice Braised Chicken Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from Chez Pim. Five Spice Powder is a spice blend typically made with star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns and fennel seeds. I made a few changes to the cooking technique, including browning the ginger and chicken in the pot before braising it, and using low sodium chicken broth instead of water as the braising liquid for more flavor. I also finished cooking the chicken in a crockpot for convenience.This chicken is so tender that it falls off the bone. I served it with brown rice and stir-fried vegetables.
Serves: 4-6
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 cilantro roots
  • 1 teaspoon of white and black pepper
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons five spice powder
  • ½ a medium onion, diced
  • one 2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks (or one 4-pound chicken cut up)
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  1. Combine garlic, cilantro roots, peppercorns and a pinch of salt in either a small food processor or mortar and grind well.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot and add garlic paste. Cook paste, stirring vigorously until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add five spice powder, onion, and ginger, and cook until the onion is translucent and the five spice is fragrant.
  4. Add chicken pieces and cook until browned on both sides.
  5. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and chicken broth and bring to a boil. At this point, you can either continue to simmer the chicken on the stove for 30-45 minutes, or transfer the chicken and broth to a crockpot and continue cooking it until done.
  6. I finished the chicken in my crockpot on high for 40 minutes, then kept it warm on low until dinner was served.

If you’re interested in joining our group as we cook our way through this list of 50 influential women in food, just ask Mary from One Perfect Bite.

Please stop by and take a look at what the rest of the group made this week in celebration of Pim Techamuanvivit :

Linda from There and Back Again
Val from More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne from Eats Well with Others
Taryn from Have Kitchen Will Feed 
Susan from The Spice Garden 
Heather from girlichef 
Claudia fromA Seasonal Cook in Turkey 
Miranda from Mangoes and Chutney
Katie from Making Michael Poland Proud
Mary from One Perfect Bite
Sue from The View from The Great Island
Kathleen from Bake Away with Me 
Viola from The Life is Good Kitchen 
Barbara from Movable Feasts 
Kathleen from Gonna Want Seconds 

Amy from Beloved Green
Martha from Lines From Linderhof

Nancy from Picadillo
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  1. This is the perfect choice for this weeks challenge Jeanette and still follows your healtht philosophy.

    • Thanks Bellini – I am definitely adding this to my easy dinner repertoire, especially since it can be made so easily in the crockpot.

  2. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe….I have some five spice and have only used it a couple times. A plus with this recipe is you can slow cook it while you’re busy doing other things!

    • Thanks Barbara – I love five spice powder and don’t use it enough. It is such a nice spice to have in the pantry for dishes like this one. Loving my slow-cooker these days…it’s about 20 years old and doesn’t have any of the fancy buttons, but it still works terrifically.

  3. This looks delish! I love five spice powder!!

  4. These spices sound so inticing and inviting Jeanette. This time of year, as the days get shorter and darker, I really look forward to the energizing potential of food. Wonderful dish.

    • Thanks Kelly – yes, I do believe what we eat can affect our mood, especially during the darker colder days coming in the next several months.

  5. This sounds so fabulous, especially with the five spice powder. I’m going to have to try this one!

    • Thanks Anne – hope you enjoy this, it is such an easy dish, and the five spice powder adds a nice flavor dimension.

  6. Another great chicken dish from Pim. I love the sound of this, probably because I love 5-spice! Another one for the “to try” list :)

  7. I haven’t had 5 spice in ages. I recently had it in a soup and realized I’d forgotten how much I liked it. I don’t have a crockpot anymore:( but I can whip this up on the stove. I look forward to trying it out.

    • Hi France – I don’t use five spice as much as I’d like, but I’m hoping to take it out more as I really like the warming spices in this mix. You definitely don’t need a crockpot for this, I just used it out of convenience so I didn’t have to worry about leaving a pot on the stove while I was picking my kids up from school.

  8. I love crockpot recipes and this sounds and looks awesome! Going to add this to my list to try.

    • Thanks Julie – I’ve been trying to use my crockpot more lately…it makes getting a warm dinner on the table a lot easier!

  9. What a great comforting meal for fall!

  10. I love Chinese Five Spice blend too. Adds such a unique flavor. Great chicken recipe :)

    • Thanks Marla – Chinese Five Spice is a nice blend of sweet warm spices, definitely perks up this chicken dish.

  11. This sounds fabulous! I love all that gorgeous Cilantro on top!

  12. I’m a huge fan of five spice powder. My latest favorite way to use it is in apple sauce — and apple pie, and baked apples.

    • Lydia – love the idea of using five spice powder in apple sauce, apple pie and baked apples – it must add a nice flavor dimension, something different but still with sweet spices.

  13. I NEED to pick up 5-spice powder the next time I see it. So many delish dishes I wanna make with it

    • Penzey’s or your local Asian market sells 5 spice powder. It has sweet spices in it so it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.

  14. Beautiful photo! The beauty is in the simplicity. I’m sure it taste delicious as well!

  15. Simple humble dishes are often the most satisfying. I only started using 5 spice a few years ago. and I love the flavor combination in so many foods. Last winter I was experimenting with it with baking and that was very interesting!

    • I agree Donalyn, humble simple foods are often the comfort foods that we seek. I haven’t tried baking with five spice, but I’ve seen more recipes using it as a baking spice.

  16. did you blog change in format and font?? yay for change! :) and what is GF soy sauce? i’ve never heard of it! i want to try mushroom soy sauce (since i am soyfree!). love the five spice flavor here!

    • Hi Junia – yes, I just moved my blog over to WordPress and made some changes in the process, including a recipe index that I am really excited about! Gluten-free soy sauce does not have wheat in it, which is in most soy sauce products. The mushroom soy sauce I’ve seen has soy in it, so if you’re soy-free, I’m curious which mushroom soy sauce you use that’s soy free.

  17. Pim always has such wonderful recipes. The idea of this waiting in the crockpot when we get home from soccer practice is so appealing to me.

  18. Yum! Love five spice and have a bunch of chicken in the fridge right now.

  19. Looks so lovely and satisfying!

  20. Gorgeous photo and this sounds so good.

    Quick question — what could I use in place of cilantro roots? I have never seen those before.

    • You can probably just use the cilantro stems instead of the roots. I’ve found cilantro with roots mostly at Asian grocers.

  21. I was happily looking through your Pinterest boards then stopped at this one. It’s not right to be drooling at 8 in the morning. You always have great recipes, Jeanette!

  22. Please, can you tell me when to add the soy sauce and the fish sauce? Thank you.

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