Chinese Five Spice Barbecue Chicken

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I have another recipe for you, but I’ll get to that in just a moment. So ladies out there. Are you intimidated about lifting weights because you might get bulky and build muscle like a man? Are you planning to hit the elliptical and spin classes come the New Year to whip yourself into shape? Well pull up a chair and let me tell you a story. It’s quite humorous when you aren’t in the moment of living it. I was at the gym today for a chest and shoulder workout. I’d planned quite a few supersets during the workout.

I lifted with my steely determination as heavy as possible for set after set for 4o minutes worth. My chest was dying and my shoulders were vibrating they were so tired. (In fact I can still feel them shaking 8 hours later.) My last task was to finish with 3 sets of as many push ups as I could do each set. I spied a random mat and plopped myself down into position. I actually didn’t notice that I was about 4 feet in front of a man busy using some ab machine.

I started my push ups and with my shoulders screaming at me to stop, I slowed down considerably by the 8th rep. Suddenly I heard Ab Man cheering me on. “Come on! You got it. One more!” Some how I eeked out 10 total push ups without face planting and was sitting for my 30 seconds before going again. I was feeling so proud for giving it my all. That’s when it happened. Ab Man congratulated me… on doing so well for someone who was just starting to workout.

Queue the wah wah wahhhhh horn here. Hey, buddy. Yes, I’m scrawny and can’t do push ups, but I’ve been in this place 6 days a week for 2 years. Plus I’m pooped out from the first 40 minutes of the workout that you didn’t see! Let this be a lesson to you. If you are female, you can lift like Hell day after day and not get bulky. We don’t have the genetics or hormones to build huge amounts of muscle. We’re lucky if we build moderate amounts of muscle. So get yourself in the weight area without fear. Weights do wonders for your metabolism and will build a nice shape to your backside and arms that cardio alone just can’t do.

I laugh at the thought of ever having to worry about becoming too muscular. As if that’s even in the Land of Possibility. 😉 OK men, you can now join the conversation again. Here’s a great BBQ chicken recipe that I threw togther the other night. It’s not your usual BBQ chicken that’s loaded with sugar and chemicals. It’s an Asian version that’s so much healthier for you and still tastes great. Chinese Five Spice is a blend of different spices (five!) that you can find in the spice section of most grocery stores. It’s used a lot in Asian cooking and has an almost sweet taste to it. I love the smell of it too.

I used it to make a marinade for chicken breasts the other night and they turned out amazing. The chicken absorbs the flavor of the marinade, but it adds very little calories since most of the marinade gets left behind in the baggie. You can use either chicken breasts or thighs for this recipe. I went with breasts this time since that’s what I had on hand. They turned out moist and a wonderful brown color. You can use the chicken on top of steamed rice, sliced onto salads, tossed with veggies, or tons of other ways. I’ve just been eating mine plain because that’s how I roll in a hurry.

chinese-five-spice-bbq-chicChinese Five Spice BBQ Chicken

  • 1 – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

Mix the spice, soy sauce and brown sugar together in a small bowl to make the marinade. Place the chicken breasts in a ziploc baggie and add the marinade. Marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours. I started mine in the evening and flipped the baggie over the next morning at around the halfway mark.

Remove chicken from the marinade and grill or broil until cooked all the way through. Throw out any leftover marinade since it had raw chicken in it. You don’t want that hanging around. I did my chicken on the grill because I have a thing for grill marks and love cooking on my grill.

Look at those brown chicken beauties! It really is as simple as that. Great flavor, low calories, and no time at all. You don’t have to bore your taste buds with plain chicken breasts when you can have 5 Spicy Chicken. Have you ever used Chinese Five Spice in anything?

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