Skillet Baked Orange Chicken

This Skillet Baked Orange Chicken is crispy, juicy and bursting with orange and spice!

This Skillet Baked Orange Chicken is crispy, juicy and bursting with orange and flavor!

So I’ve realized we eat a lot of chicken in my house. I honestly try and mix it up but I always come back to chicken. Tenders, shredded, salad, soup, on a bun, breasts, pasta-ed, casserolled…I mean there’s chicken everywhere round here.

I heard that they say pork is the “other white meat”. I really need to get on board with that, because I think we all might start growing feathers any day now. Weird.

This Skillet Baked Orange Chicken is crispy, juicy and bursting with orange and spice!

Anyhow, I’m always looking for new chicken recipes. And in this case it’s a new recipe for me, but it’s actually an old old one from a cookbook the PTA put together for a fundraiser when I was in Elementary school. My mom saved it and I have to say it’s one of my most favorite cookbooks to cook from. Everything is gloriously filled with condensed soup and imitation crab and called “Glorious” and “Surprise”. I lover love it.

But then there buried within the microwave recipes and jello molds are little treasures like this Orange Chicken. At first glance of the title I  assumed it would be an Asian-type dish, but it isn’t! It’s a baked chicken with tons of flavor that tastes like it’s been fried, when it’s only been baked. Of course I switched it up a bit and added some spice, as well as baking it in cast iron skillet. You guys are gonna love this!


Again, I used my skillet for this one. It’s a 10-incher. I use it so so much… But if you don’t have a skillet, the original recipe was made using a baking dish. I think a 9×13 would be fine.

First go ahead and juice some oranges. For sure you don’t HAVE to use fresh OJ…but really it’s a simple step and it’s just better. Plus, the citrus right now is ridicky.


Then zest some of your oranges to add into your breadcrumb mixture.


I used (bone-in) chicken thighs in this recipe, because I love thighs, but I know you could do this with breasts, legs or even boneless thighs or breasts…you’ll just have to adjust the bake time a bit.

Dip your thighs in a mixture of your fresh OJ and lightly beaten eggs and then into a breadcrumb mixture that I amped up with the zest, thyme, smoked paprika and cayenne!


Melt some butter your skillet and then place your breaded thighs in the skillet, turning them to coat them in the butter. I threw in my orange rinds to add a bit of extra flavor and also because it’s pretty.


Pop them in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Flip the thighs over and bake for another 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

They will be crispy and super flavorful!

This Skillet Baked Orange Chicken is crispy, juicy and bursting with orange and spice!

They taste like they’ve been deep fried…but WAY less work and tons more flavor!


Orange Chicken

  • Author: Cookies & Cups
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: serves 6-8 1x


  • 8 chicken thighs, bone-in (skin removed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, save orange rinds
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 8 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Remove skin from chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a shallow bowl whisk eggs and stir in orange juice. Set aside.
  4. Combine breadcrumbs, thyme, smoked paprika and orange zest in another shallow bowl.
  5. Dip your chicken thighs in the egg mixture and then coat in the breadcrumbs.
  6. In a large oven safe skillet melt the butter. Place chicken evenly in the skillet once butter is melted, turn to coat the chicken in the butter. Place reserved orange rinds in the pan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove pan from the oven and turn the chicken over and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately.


28 Responses

  1. Wow, yum! I am surprised it’s not an Asian recipe, like you said. But what a fun change of pace! Those old school cookbooks are the best! I have one from my when my dad was young. My Grandma submitted a recipe called War Cake and one of the first ingredients is … lard! Yuma-numa 😉

  2. Julie

    My mom also saved a cookbook for me that was put together by the PTA when I was in school. So thoughtful of her! Like you, I have found a lot of gems in there.

  3. I too have a collection of cookbooks like that from my grandma’s house that she gave to me- most put together by the Christ Child Society or something or the other. I love the ones that call for MSG! This looks great, I’m on a total orange kick lately. Pinning!

  4. Erin

    The flavor was there, but I could NOT get my chicken to crisp up!! Such a bummer. Chicken was cooked perfectly, followed directions… But was left with soggy breading not when it was done. Any ideas on what happened? I cooked it in a le creuset braiser (I don’t have a skillet). Could that be it?

  5. Alice

    I made this over the weekend, served it with sauteed broccoli & brussel sprouts, and it was absolutely PERFECT! I used chicken breasts instead of thighs so it cut the cooking time about in half, but the chicken still came out absolutely delicious and succulent and unf, just, finger licking good! I *almost* skipped the add-orange-zest-to-breadcrumbs step and what a tragedy that would have been! It absolutely sealed the deal and brought everything together. Absolutely delicious 10/10 would make again. Thank you so much for sharing this delightful recipe!

  6. sarah

    We made this and it was very good. I used boneless skinless chicken breast, just due to preference, and they turned out great. I’m going to use this with modifications for plain oven fried chicken (just milk in place of orange juice) and it will be a go-to dinner recipe, with the option to glam it up with the oranges when the mood strikes! Thanks!

      1. sarah

        Just FYI: I make this regularly with half the butter and have not missed the extra. The first time I made it, I did it exactly as directed, then reduced it the next time with great results. It can be a bit more tricky to get all the chicken coated in the butter when you flip the chicken before putting it in the oven, but I have noticed no difference in flavor. A true go-to at our house.

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