Though basil is a savory herb, it works well in combination with slightly sweet ingredients, like orange juice. In this low-fat chicken dish, chicken breasts are cooked in a tangy combination of orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. For a quick sauce, the poaching liquid is thickened a bit and chopped basil is stirred in.


2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch blended with 1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons chopped basil


1 In a large skillet, combine the orange juice, broth, vinegar, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the chicken and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.

2 Lift the chicken from the poaching liquid and transfer to serving plates. Bring the poaching liquid to a boil and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the basil. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned on top. Makes 4 servings

Pineapple-Mint Chicken In the poaching liquid (step 1), substitute pineapple juice for the orange juice, and add 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. In step 2, use mint instead of basil.

Nutrition Facts

per serving: calories 190, total fat 2.4g, saturated fat 0.6g, cholesterol 83mg, dietary fiber 0g, carbohydrate 7g, protein 33g, sodium 510mg

good source of: niacin, selenium, vitamin B6


Often mistaken for a wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar is actually made from highly concentrated grape juice (usually from the white Trebbiano grape) that never becomes wine, but is reduced by cooking and then aged in a succession of barrels, each from a different wood. Authentic balsamic vinegar from Italy comes in both a commercially made (industriale) and traditionally made (tradizionale) form. The commercially made vinegar is manufactured in bulk and may or may not be aged. This is the type found most commonly in supermarkets. Traditional balsamic carries a much heftier price tag, because it is always aged. The traditional should be used sparingly as it is often thick and syrupy; it is also quite expensive. Because this vinegar is so mild, you can make dressings and marinades with less

Many of the recipes in this book contain off-the-shelf foods to help keep recipe prep effort to a minimum—a benefit for your arthritic hands. However, some foods—like canned beans—can hike up sodium levels. If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Arthritis Health, edited by John A. Flynn, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.R. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 13 Sep 2011

Last Modified: 06 Apr 2015