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!

Overhead view of a skillet with chicken thighs, bok choy, and oranges.

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. 

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 complete printable recipe below in the recipe card. 

Close up of chicken and bok choy in a pan.

What you 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 Bhoy: About the cutest veggie in the market, with small tender leaves, and a sweeter flavor than 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.

How to make this recipe 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 Chineses five-spice? Substitute garam masala, a blend of spices used in Indian cuisine that is somewhat similar.
Black skillet with orange chicken thighs and bok choy, on a wooden surface.

Make-Ahead Ideas

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 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. 

Reheating Suggestions

Reheat for 60-90 seconds in the microwave or simmer in a skillet over medium-low heat until heated through. 

Overhead view of chicken thighs and baby bok choy in a black pan with a blue and white linen.

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:

Black pan with chicken thighs, baby bok choy, and mandarin oranges.

Orange Chicken Thighs with Bok Choy

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes

Try homemade orange chicken thighs, glazed with a heavenly sauce, and braised with tender baby bok choy and juicy mandarin oranges. 

Ingredients

  • 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 11-ounce can 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to to 400ºF.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together syrup from oranges, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, shallot, garlic, ginger, sriracha, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Notes

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. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 432Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 713mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 30g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram