Try homemade orange chicken thighs, glazed with a heavenly sauce, and braised with tender baby bok choy and juicy mandarin oranges. A much healthier version of Chinese take-out!
Why you’ll love it: It’s a one pan meal that has tons of flavor!
How long it takes: 42 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: large oven-safe skillet
Spiced chicken, sweet baby bok choy, and mandarin oranges are braised in a super flavorful sauce, with ginger, garlic, shallot, soy sauce and Sriracha. You’ll love this delightful one pan chicken entrée. It’s elegant but easy to make.
Food bloggers spend a lot of time looking at recipes. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. My cookbook library is bursting at the seams and I subscribe to a variety of food magazines as well. As I was paging through an issue of Eating Well, I came across this beautiful chicken recipe and knew I had to share it with you.
Since we all love cooking but hate cleanup, I made quite a few adjustments to the recipe so it can be prepared in one pan, braising the chicken right in the sauce so the lovely flavors of the sauce permeate all the way into the chicken and boy choy, making it tender, juicy, and so, so tasty.
I think you’re going to love this alternative to fast food deep fried Chinese orange chicken. I know we do! Add fragrant jasmine rice or healthy brown rice to your plate and you have a completely delicious meal.
P.S. If you’re craving a closer experience to Chinese take-out orange chicken, try making homemade orange chicken. It’s battered and fried, and has a really wonderful sauce.
About this recipe
You’ll need a large heavy skillet that’s oven-safe to prepare this dinner. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, no worries, use a baking dish for the second part of the cooking time. That will be two pans but the baking dish can go in the dishwasher, right?
After you stir together the sauce ingredients, pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it with Chinese five spice. Heat the skillet and sear the skin side of the chicken until golden brown, just five minutes or so. Flip it over, and nestle halved baby bok choy and mandarin oranges alongside the chicken.
Pour the yummy sauce over everything and pop the pan into the oven for twenty minutes, or until the chicken is done. That’s it!
As always, you’ll find the printable recipe card below with complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
What you’ll need
- Chicken Thighs: This recipe uses bone in, skin on chicken thighs. If you prefer, remove the skin.
- Chinese Five Spice Powder: Chinese five spice is a blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and fennel. Try it on these sweet potato wedges, too!
- Oil: Choose a high-heat oil such as grapeseed, avocado, or coconut oil, since you’ll be using it for browning.
- Baby Bok Choy: About the cutest veggie in the market, with small tender leaves, and a sweeter flavor than regular bok choy.
- Mandarin Oranges: Make sure to reserve the syrup, because you’ll be adding it to the sauce.
- Flavorful Sauce Ingredients: The sauce is comprised of reduced sodium soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, shallot, garlic, ginger, and Sriracha.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce. You could also use arrowroot powder.
Make It Your Own
- Prefer white meat? You can make this recipe with chicken breasts. I find that chicken thighs have a bit more flavor and aren’t as dry but the sauce in this recipe is wonderful with both dark and white meat.
- This recipe works really well with pork, too. Try boneless skinless pork chops or pork tenderloin, browning all sides.
- Don’t have Chinese five-spice? Substitute garam masala, a blend of spices used in Indian cuisine that is somewhat similar.
- Like chicken thighs but looking for something different? Try slow cooker Moroccan chicken thighs with butternut squash or tarragon chicken with vegetables.
Stir up the sauce ingredients up to a day ahead and refrigerate. That will save you a fair amount of prep time when you’re making dinner. You can also season the chicken earlier in the day, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it. Wash and halve the baby bok choy so it’s ready to use.
Storage & Reheating Tips
You won’t be sorry if you have leftover orange chicken because it’s great the next day, too. Refrigerate leftovers for up to two days.
Reheat for 60-90 seconds in the microwave or simmer in a skillet over medium-low heat until heated through.
One Pan Chicken Dinner Heroes
Looking for healthy entrées that are easy to fix and don’t make a ton of dishes dirty? Aren’t we all! One pan chicken dinners come to the rescue! Try:
- Creamy Chicken Spaghetti — one pan, endless variations!
- White Wine Chicken, Mushrooms and Bacon
- Easy Chicken Tikka Masala
- Chicken Fricassee Recipe
- Chicken Stir-Fry with Ginger and Basil
- One Pan Mediterranean Chicken and Israeli Couscous
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Chicken Thighs Sheet Pan Dinner with Smashed Potatoes (30 minute meal)
- Instant Pot Honey Sriracha Chicken — add steamed rice and broccoli for a quick tasty dinner
- Sheet Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken and Vegetables
- 2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon high-heat oil (grapeseed or avocado work well)
- ½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 16 oz. baby bok choy, halved
- 1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges in light syrup, syrup removed and reserved
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot (about 1 small shallot)
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic (2 large cloves)
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- Sliced green onions to garnish
- Preheat oven to to 400ºF.
- In a small bowl, whisk together syrup from oranges, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, shallot, garlic, ginger, sriracha, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with five-spice powder and salt. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook until the skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Flip the chicken over and arrange bok choy and oranges in the pan. Pour sauce over everything.
- Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh without touching bone reads 165°F, 20-22 minutes.
- Serve immediately, one thigh with 2 halves of bok choy, with sauce, garnished with sliced green onions, if desired. Steamed jasmine rice or couscous are perfect sides.
- Make Ahead Ideas: Stir up the sauce ingredients up to a day ahead and refrigerate. That will save you time when you’re making dinner. Wash and halve the baby bok choy so it’s ready to use.
- Storage Tips: Refrigerate leftovers for up to two days.
- Reheating Suggestions: Reheat 60-90 seconds in the microwave or simmer in a skillet over medium heat until heated through.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.