Easy and delicious, these baked orange chicken thighs start with orange marmalade and cooks entirely in the oven! A great, quick weeknight meal!
Why you’ll love these orange chicken thighs
if you are looking for an easy orange chicken recipe, this one of my favourites! I love that it cooks up completely in the oven, so there is no need to brown the chicken beforehand)
The delicious orange chicken sauce mixes up quickly and making orange chicken with orange marmalade is such an easy way to bring great flavour to orange chicken.
And finally, the jalapeno and sriracha added to the sauce complements the orange flavours perfectly. Don’t worry though, as this one is not overly spicy – just perfectly warming and lick-your-fingers delicious.
Chicken Thighs: I’ve used bone-in/skin-on chicken thighs here, though you could make this dish with just about any chicken, including boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs. Only the cooking time will change. See the Cook’s Notes below for suggested timing adjustments.
Orange Marmalade: Just your regular, grocery-store sweet orange marmalade will work here. I used Smuckers™. You’ll want to avoid Seville marmalade, as it is quite strong and bitter.
Sriracha: In case you’re wondering, the 1 tsp of Sriracha doesn’t make these “spicy”, but just a gentle bit of heat. If you’d like spicier, increase the Sriracha to 2 tsp. If you don’t have Sriracha, something like Asian chili garlic sauce would be a good substitute.
Jalapeno: When seeded and cored, jalapeno isn’t really spicy either. Again, it provides just a nice flavour and gentle heat here. If you don’t have a jalapeno on hand, just omit this.
Coconut: I’ve listed this one as optional. It may not be to everyone’s taste and kids might turn their nose at coconut in a savoury dish :) I love the flavour with the orange and Asian flavours. I’d encourage you to try it, but feel free to skip if it doesn’t appeal to you.
Orange Slices: Totally not necessary, but they really do brighten up the pan :)
Cilantro: If you are cilantro-averse, substitute flat-leafed parsley for a little colour.
If you have a variety of oven-proof skillets to choose from, pick the one that just nicely holds the chicken. This keeps the sauce in and around the chicken as it cooks at the end.
As noted above, you can use other varieties of chicken in this dish. In all cases, you want to cook your chicken to 165F internal temperature. This is best tested with an instant read thermometer. Here is a rough guideline for the total oven cooking time you can expect (will vary somewhat by size) –
Baking time for chicken at 400F:
Bone-in/skin on chicken thighs – 35-40 minutes
Boneless chicken thighs – 25-30 minutes
Bone-in/skin-on chicken breast – 40-45 minutes
Boneless chicken breast (full size) – 35-40 minutes
For boneless chicken pieces, brush with olive oil and seasons with salt and pepper before adding to the pan. You will be able to skip the step for spooning off the fat/liquid in the pan, as you pan will probably be dry.
What to Serve with Sticky Orange Chicken Thighs?
I love to serve these orange chicken thighs with either coconut rice or cilantro lime rice. For coconut rice, cook 1 cup rice, with 2 cups water and about 2/3 cup (or a small can) of coconut milk. For cilantro lime rice, cook 1 cup rice in 2 cups water, then add 1 tsp lime zest, 2 tsp lime juice and 1/3 cup chopped cilantro to the rice after cooking. Simply add a vegetable or salad and you’ve got a great meal!
Get the Recipe: Sticky Orange Chicken Thighs
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in/skin on
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil
- 2/3 cup orange marmalade
- 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp jalapeno, seeded and cored, finely diced
- 1/2 Tbsp shredded coconut, optional
- Fresh orange slices
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Drizzle oil into an ovenproof skillet (such as a cast-iron skillet or any skillet that is ovenproof). Season chicken thighs with salt and freshly ground pepper and place into prepared skillet, skin side up.
- Place into preheated oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is almost cooked and skin is golden.
- Meanwhile, prepare sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
- When chicken is almost cooked, remove from oven and spoon off and discard the fat/liquid in the pan. Spoon a dollop of sauce over each chicken thigh and spread slightly over the top. Return to the oven for for an additional 5-8 minutes.
- Serve with fresh orange slices and chopped cilantro garnish.
Any substitute for sesame oil?
Hi Mary, you could use extra virgin olive oil in place of the sesame oil.
Oh my goodness! So easy and so delicious. Highly recommend this recipe.
So glad you enjoyed it, Mary! Thanks so much :)
Super easy and really good! I made exactly as directed with bone in, skin on thighs. As someone who does not like spicy food I was a little “concerned “. Have no fear, Jennifer is correct—this is not spicy! In fact the sauce is so good that I stirred the leftover into the coconut rice (another great suggestion) and served the thighs over a bed of rice as a one dish meal.
Thanks for another great recipe Jennifer!
So glad you enjoyed it, Joni! I don’t do spicy either, so you can definitely rely on my spicy-meter :) Thanks so much.
Very yummy. Definitely will become a favourite.
So glad you enjoyed it, Heather :) Thanks so much!
Decided to try this receipe rather the usual savoury. This gave me a chance to try marmalade again and it didn’t disappoint. (Even had it on toast!) Easy & very tasty. YUM!!
Glad you enjoyed it! I love citrus with chicken :) Thanks Irene!
Made this recipe while in Mexico. I didn’t have marmalade so used a pineapple jam. Very, very yummy. Our dinner guests nearly licked their plates. Great recipe!
So glad you enjoyed it, Jan :) Thanks!
Made this last night and it was DELICIOUS! (We did remove the skin on the bone-in thighs, and still awesome.) Made a little extra sauce for the side dishes of jasmine rice and delicata squash… yum! Jennifer, you create the most flavorful recipes… love that this wasn’t loaded with sugar like a lot of other orange sticky sauces…. You can never retire from doing this! Happy Holidays from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
So glad to hear, Paula :) Thanks! And since I’m unlikely to ever stop eating, I’m sure to keep cooking :)
I am totally drooling over these chicken thighs, Jennifer! That sticky orange sauce is calling my name! I’m pretty sure I would be licking my fingers clean after eating this! YUM!
Thanks so much, Cheyanne :)
This is one scrumptious looking chicken skillet. I love the flavors and the rustic presentation.
Thanks so much, Milena :)
Jennifer could you use chicken wings for this dish?
Hi Donna and yes, this would work well with wings! Oven time would probably be a bit less, other than that, should be great!
Thanks Jennifer. I am sorry I don’t comment more often because I use many of your recipes and the are always the best! Made your apple jelly and let it sunbathe in the window:-)) And your Chelsea buns are on the menu for Christmas week. Thank you.
So glad to hear, Donna! Thanks so much :)
What kind of shredded coconut do you use for this? Is it the sweetened kind or the finer, unsweetened kind? Looking forward to trying this!
Hi Wendy, I don’t often have unsweetened coconut around, so I usually use sweetened shredded. If you only have unsweetened around, it will be fine as well. There is so little of it that the sweet or not doesn’t really tip the dish either way. It just adds a subtle coconut flavour note to the dish. Enjoy :)
So much flavor in this dish Jennifer. And orange marmalade happens to be one of my favorites. Adding to our menu soon because I know we’d all enjoy this one!
Thanks so much, Mary Ann :)
A sweet n sticky sauce with chicken? Count me in! Looks like my kinda meal! Delicious Jennifer :)
Thanks so much, Dawn :)
I have a bottle of orange marmalade in the fridge that I was wondering what to do with! Now I know. These chicken thighs look perfectly saucy!
Thanks Leanne :) I love marmalade on toast, but I keep an extra big jar on hand just for this dish. Such an easy way to get a great orange flavour!
Love that sticky sauce and the addition of coconut sounds wonderful. We crave one-pan, baked chicken dinners and this one sounds, and looks, like a winner! I can taste it now :)
Thanks Tricia! I love dinners that can just go straight into the oven. No fuss, no muss :)