What do you do with a tin of mandarin oranges and a pile of chicken thighs? You turn it into a sticky orange chicken traybake, and surprise the family with a delicious new twist on chicken thighs!
Sticky orange chicken thighs – a new twist on chicken
Succulent sticky chicken thighs, with a crispy baked skin, covered in a delicious orange sauce on a bed of rice. This chicken is so full of flavour it should be illegal.
The key to all the flavour lies in a simple tin of mandarin orange segments. The chicken is placed on a bed of chopped vegetables, covered with the contents of the entire tin, including the juice, and then baked in the oven. As it bakes the orange juice permeates the chicken chicken, giving it a delicious citrus flavour and the juice combines with the vegetables and chicken juices to form a mouthwatering, delicious gravy.
Serve this on a bed of rice, with your favourite vegetables on the side, and you have a supper that will have the whole family coming back for seconds.
How to make sticky orange chicken thighs
You can get the complete recipe on the printable recipe card below.
You will need the following ingredients
Chicken thighs – you could also use chicken drumsticks. If you want to use chicken breasts I would recommend you get the ones with the skin still on, as the crispy skin is an essential part of this dish. Depending on the size of the thighs, I would allow 2 to 3 per person.
Mandarin orange segments – you will need a 312g tin, including the juice.
Carrots, potatoes and onions – these are used for resting the chicken on as it cooks, to keep it above the juices. Once cooked, the vegetables are pushed through a sieve into the juices to help thicken the gravy. I like to remove the carrots first, and serve these alongside the chicken rather than adding to the gravy. It’s your choice.
Garlic and ginger – you can use fresh if you prefer. I find that bottled works just as well, and is much more convenient.
What you need to do
- Start by peeling and chopping the carrots, potatoes and onions.
- As these are used for thickening the gravy, and not intended to be eaten separately, the quantity is not too important. One large potato and two medium carrots and onions will be sufficient. If you are intending to serve the carrots separately, then by all means add extra carrots.
- Next cut and excess skin away from the chicken thighs, and trim of any visible fat. Discard.
- Drain the orange juice into a jug and add 1 teaspoon crushed garlic and 1/2 teaspoon crushed ginger. Stir to combine .
- Arrange the chopped vegetables in a large roasting tin, and place the chicken thighs on top.
- Sprinkle the chicken skin with a little salt.
- Pour the orange juice and galic over the chicken. Top with the orange segments.
- Cover with a lid or a sheet of tinfoil. If using tinfoil, fold the edges over tightly to seal well.
- Place the chicken in a pre-heated oven (200C / 400F) for 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes remove the chicken from the oven. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate, then press the juices and vegetables through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Discard any pieces of vegetables that do not go through.
- The vegetables should thicken the gravy nicely. If you feel it is still too runny just mix a teaspoon of cornflour to a paste with a little water and stir a little at a time into the gravy, stirring over a low heat, until the desired consistency is reached.
- If you are serving the carrots separately, remove them first and set aside to serve later.
- Replace the chicken pieces in the roasting pan and return to the oven for 5 minutes until the skin is browned and crispy. Keep your eye on it. As you will probably have noticed from the photos, I left mine in a little too long and it started to burn (but it still tasted amazing 🙂 )
Serve on a bed of rice, covered in the gravy, and with vegetables of your choice.
Convert grams to cups
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If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read about how to do this in this post on baking at high altitudes.
Recipe – Sticky Orange Chicken Traybake
Sticky Orange Chicken Traybake
- Sharp Knife
- Chopping Board
- Roasting pan
- 8 large chicken thighs allow 2 to 3 thighs per person
- 1 large potato
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium carrot If serving the carrots as a vegetable then add more carrots.
- 312 g tin mandarin oranges including the juice
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed ginger
- salt to taste
- Peel and chop the vegetables.
- Trim any excess skin and fat from the chicken thighs.
- Drain the orange juice into a jug and mix with 1 teaspoon garlic and 1/2 teaspoon ginger.
- Arrange the chopped vegetables i a roasting tin and place the chicken thighs on top.
- Sprinkle the chicken skin with a little salt.
- Pour the orange juice over the chicken then arrange the orange segments on top
- Cover with a lid or a sheet of tinfoil and bake in a preheated oven (200°C/400°F) for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the chicken pieces to a plate.
- If you intend serving the carrots as a side vegetable, remove the carrots and place in a serving dish.
- Pour the juices from the roasting tray through a sieve into a saucepan. Press with the back of a spoon to squeeze all the vegetables through the sieve. Discard any pieces that do not pass through. Thicken with a little cornflour mixed with a splash of water if necessary.
- Return the chicken to the roasting tray and place the uncovered tray back in the oven for 5 minutes to allow the skin to brown and crisp. Keep your eye on it, it burns easily.
- Serve on a bed of rice, covered with gravy, and with your choice of vegetables.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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