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Sweet and Savory Blood Orange Chicken

by Capri Lilly

This incredible chicken dish is marinated in a sweet, sticky glaze of the juice of ripe, succulent blood oranges, along with coconut aminos, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and honey. It’s then cooked with delicious rosemary and more blood oranges. It creates this perfect blend of rich, dynamic, savory, sweet flavor. This Blood Orange Chicken recipe is a tasty take on classic Chinese Orange Chicken but leveled up a hundred notches!

 Don’t FOrget to pin this recipe so you can have it for later!

Don’t FOrget to pin this recipe so you can have it for later!

All I can say is oh my gosh, this chicken dish so good! After my boyfriend’s first bite he closes his eye and exclaims, “Wow, this chicken is bursting with flavor!”. After the second bite, he says, “This taste like a dish we would have at Pierre Sang’s restaurant.” —at this point, I’m blushing. What a compliment! Pierre Sang’s cuisine is the perfect Asian-French Fusion. Last Summer, we had the opportunity to go to his restaurant in Paris, Pierre Sang in Oberkampf.

Personally, I think that’s a great way to describe the flavor profile of this dish. A twist on your typical orange chicken dish, elevated with robust aromatics and luscious blood orange.

The crazy thing is, as complex as the flavors are, this blood orange chicken dish is so easy to make! With a little extra time and effort, you can EASILY make this impressive meal. I am definitely adding this dish to my go-to list when hosting dinner with friends and family. 

If you have been following my recipes for a while, you know I LOVE to make flavorful, healthy, delicious food. All my recipes are easy, straightforward and require very little work in the kitchen. Occasionally I like to share recipes like these, which are elaborate, dynamic, and awe-inspiring, but again, take very little effort in the kitchen!

The Secret is in the sauce

Hands down, this is one of the easiest chicken recipes to make— besides my 5 ingredient Buttermilk Chicken and Nutrient-Dense Avocado Chicken Salad. [Trust me, you’ll want to check out those recipes!]. 

The secret to making this juicy, flavorful chicken is simple: marinade the chicken. Now, for this recipe, 2 hours is enough time for the flavors of the marinade to penetrate the chicken. However, the longer you marinate the chicken the better!

Blood oranges are the key here to get that nice, citrus, tangy flavor. The nice thing about blood oranges is that they are in season November to May—so for quite some time. I love picking up a few blood oranges from the farmers market and having them as a snack or adding them to my smoothies. Although, this time I had something else in mind: a special, elaborate, and effortless dinner.

Ingredients You Will Need:


For the Marinade: 

  • 3-4 blood oranges juices, about 3/4 cup juice: Blood oranges add the perfect citrus flavor to the chicken. Remember to have an orange or 2 on standby for garnish. The thinly sliced, caramelized onions accentuate the dish perfectly and make it picture perfect!

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos: I love using coconut aminos. It is a healthy alternative to soy sauce and it is soy and gluten-free. My favorite brand is from Trader Joe’s and it is linked here.

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar: AVC is great for tenderizing the meat. This helps to break down the meat and help it absorb all the delicious flavors. My favorite ACV is Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

  • 3 tbsp honey: Honey is used to give the chicken the sweet kick that we want!

  • 4 cloves crushed garlic: How could I not add garlic!? Garlic adds so much flavor and depth to a dish. Feel free to use less garlic is you are not a garlic-fanatic like myself. The garlic flavor in this dish is subtle and only helps to add to the complexity of flavors of the chicken.

  • 1/4 red onion: Be sure to finely chop the onion. Typically this would not matter when using onion for a marinade, but I like to save some of the marinade to use as a sauce later and I do not want large chunks of onion distracting from the beauty of the dish. 

  • 2” fresh ginger, minced: The ginger is crucial. It brightens up the dish and adds zest. It also helps to achieve the Asian flavor we all love.

  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped ~3 Stalks: Here is where we add some depth to the sauce. Rosemary is a deeply pungent, aromatic herb. It is described as having a lemon-pine flavor. I love adding it to marinades, especially ones for chicken, as it adds a savory complexity to the dish.   

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar: Helps to sweeten the sauce and create a stick coating on the chicken. Feel free to use coconut sugar instead in you would like to keep this recipe refined sugar-free.

  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes: The red pepper flakes give the recipe a bit of heat. Feel free to skip the red pepper flakes

Once the marinade is ready, this recipe gets even easier! 

Simply grab a bowl large enough to house the chicken and the marinade. Rinse, clean, and pat dry your chicken. I prefer to use chicken thighs with the bone in because it’s guaranteed to yield a tender juicy flavor. AND, I can stick a few blood orange slices under the skin. This marinade goes well with chicken breast, legs, thighs, wings, or whatever you prefer!

 The Chicken is halfway Complete!

The Chicken is halfway Complete!

Pour the marinade onto the chicken, making sure to save a fourth of a cup for later. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for up to 24 hours.

When it is time to cook the chicken, transfer the chicken onto a cast iron or large baking dish. Be sure to pour some of the marinade onto each piece of chicken. Take a few blood orange slices and gently wedge it under the skin of the chicken. Season the dish with salt and pepper, throw in a few sprigs of rosemary, and transfer it to a preheated oven of 400° F. 

 The Chicken Dish is complete!

The Chicken Dish is complete!

After 25 minutes, baste the chicken with the sauce. If there is an excess of sauce and juices at the bottom of the cast iron or baking dish, pour about half of it out.  Return the chicken to the oven for an additional 20 minutes. Once the chicken is done it will have a nice, crispy, golden crust.

To finish the dish, saute the orange slices with the extra sauce (that was kept aside). Simply pour 1 tbsp of the sauce into a pan over medium heat, add the orange slices, and cook them for about 2 minutes on each side. Then garnish the dish with oranges. If you would like extra sauce, add the remaining sauce to the hot dish and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes.

What to Eat this tasty blood orange chicken with!

This is a dynamic dish and can be enjoyed with simple side dishes such as brown rice, cauliflower rice, or salad.

Or! You can prolong the adventure in the kitchen and make it with “Soy” Glazed Eggplant and Butternut Squash Puree. I made these for sides and it felt like I was eating a gourmet meal. These recipes are also VERY easy to make and pair perfectly with the chicken.

If you happen to have any chicken left over, enjoy it the next day for lunch over rice or a salad.

I hope you all love this recipe as much as I do! If you’ve tried this recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts! Don’t forget to comment and share! 🙂


Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Sweet and Savory Blood Orange Chicken

This incredible chicken dish is marinated in a sweet, sticky glaze of the juice of ripe, succulent blood oranges, along with coconut aminos, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and honey. It’s then cooked with delicious rosemary and more blood oranges. It creates this perfect blend of rich, dynamic, savory, sweet flavor.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, Sauce or Marinade
Cuisine: American, Chinese, French
Keyword: Healthy Orange Chicken, Orange Chicken Marinade, Orange Chicken,
Servings: 6
Calories: 270kcal
Author: Capri Lilly

Ingredients

The Marinade

  • 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • 2" Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped ~3 Stalks
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • Zest of 1 Blood Orange
  • 3-4 Blood Oranges Juiced about 3/4 cup juice

For the Oven

  • 2 lbs Chicken with Marinade
  • 2-3 Stalks Fresh Rosemary
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1-2 Blood Oranges, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Mix the ingredients for the marinade together in a large bowl. Add chicken and marinade for 2-24 hours. (The longer the better.)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Transfer the chicken onto a cast iron or large baking dish. Be sure to pour some of the marinade onto each piece of chicken. Take a few blood orange slices and gently wedge it under the skin of the chicken. Season the dish with salt and pepper, throw in a few sprigs of rosemary, and transfer it to the oven.
  • After 25 minutes, baste the chicken with the sauce. If there is an excess of sauce and juices at the bottom of the cast iron or baking dish, pour about half of it out.Return the chicken to the oven for an additional 20 minutes. Once the chicken is done it will have a nice, crispy, golden crust.
  • To finish the dish, sauté the orange slices with the extra sauce (that was initially kept aside). Simply pour 1 tbsp of the sauce into a pan over medium heat, add the orange slices, and cook them for about 2 minutes on each side. Then garnish the dish with oranges. If you would like extra sauce, add the remaining sauce to the hot dish and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve chicken over rice, or your favorite sides. Drizzle with sauce and enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Serving: 6
  • Fat: 2.3g
  • Cholesterol: 46mg
  • Carbohydrates: 35.2g
  • Sugar: 26.6g
  • Protien 13.5g

Tips:

Marinade the chicken up to 24 hours before cooking. You can marinade the chicken the day before cooking to have an easy meal to simply roast in the oven!

Store the chicken in an airtight container and place in the fridge to enjoy for up to a week

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you and helps me keep my site running! I’m sharing these products because I use them, trust them, and cannot recommend them enough. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own

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19 comments

Lauren Branch March 19, 2020 - 1:33 am

Omg! This chcken looks soooo good! I can’t wait to try this recipe out!

Reply
Capri Lilly March 19, 2020 - 6:03 pm

I hope you like! It’s one of my favorite dishes to make when I am hosting a dinner.

Reply
Marta March 19, 2020 - 2:11 am

5 stars
I love that, instead of being regular ol’ orange chicken, you’ve livened it up by using blood orange.

Reply
Capri Lilly March 19, 2020 - 6:02 pm

Thanks, Marta! It really makes such a huge difference, especially when paired with the Rosemary. 🙂

Reply
HALIMA March 19, 2020 - 9:30 pm

5 stars
I think this is will be one of my best recipes soon. I love the idea of blood orange and i cant wait to make this for my chicken-loving family.

Reply
Capri Lilly March 20, 2020 - 1:17 am

Hi Halima! I hope you and your family enjoy the recipe!

Reply
Tamara J. March 20, 2020 - 12:27 pm

5 stars
Girl this chicken has my mouth watering! I love the flavor of citrus and chicken, so I know this is amazing! I’m going to pull out my pack of chicken thighs so we can whip this up!

Reply
Capri Lilly March 20, 2020 - 10:11 pm

Yess! I hope you like it! I can’t wait to hear what you think 🙂

Reply
Aline March 20, 2020 - 7:50 pm

Such a beautiful and comforting dish – this over some rice is all I need today

Reply
Katrina Adams March 20, 2020 - 11:37 pm

5 stars
You have 2 of my favorites chicken and blood oranges!! Delicious!!

Reply
Desirée March 21, 2020 - 3:46 am

5 stars
Oh wow! I’ve never seen blood oranges used this way. So creative!

Reply
Capri Lilly March 23, 2020 - 8:51 pm

Thank you Desiree!

Reply
Mila March 22, 2020 - 1:57 pm

5 stars
This is a great idea! Well done!

Reply
Capri Lilly March 23, 2020 - 8:53 pm

Thank you, Mila!

Reply
Kaluhi March 22, 2020 - 6:32 pm

5 stars
Blood orange is a much welcome departure from the norm! This looks super delicious!

Reply
Capri Lilly March 23, 2020 - 8:52 pm

Thanks Kaluhi!

Reply
Jayne Rain March 24, 2020 - 3:37 pm

5 stars
No lie, this orange chicken is so legit. We all loved it.

Reply
Capri Lilly March 25, 2020 - 7:29 pm

Hi Jayne! I am so happy you liked it!!

Reply
Jazz March 31, 2020 - 1:12 am

5 stars
Love this recipe! You can literally see all the flavor. 🙂

Reply

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