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Crispy Orange-Sesame Chicken Breasts

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Serves 4

Marmalade is the tangy binder for the delicious sesame coating on these breasts.

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 7 oz. each), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1/2 cup sweet orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. canola or peanut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. Thai chile sauce (like Sriracha) or other hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups Toasted Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Heat the oven to 450°F. Put a flat rack on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.

With a meat pounder or a heavy skillet, lightly pound the chicken between two sheets of plastic wrap to even out the thickness of the breasts.

Crispy Orange-Sesame Chicken Breasts Recipe

Using a rasp-style grater, grate the zest from the orange. With a serrated knife, cut 4 very thin slices from the center of the orange (save the rest of the orange for snacking or another use).

In a large bowl, combine the zest with the marmalade, honey, soy sauce, canola or peanut oil, sesame oil, chile or hot sauce, and salt. Add the chicken and toss to coat well. You can proceed directly to coating the chicken breasts with crumbs, or let them marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

In a large shallow dish, toss the breadcrumbs with the sesame seeds. Working with one piece at a time, transfer the chicken to the dish of crumbs, scoop some crumbs on top, and press well a couple of times so the breadcrumbs adhere to both sides. Transfer to the rack on the baking sheet. Dip the orange slices in the leftover marmalade mixture to coat both sides and set on the rack. 

These crumbs are coarser than your average breadcrumbs, so it takes a little extra force to get them to adhere. My method is to pat a healthy amount of breadcrumbs on top of the chicken and then use the heel of my hand and a firm rotating motion to press the crumbs onto the chicken. Don't shake off the excess when transferring the breasts to the baking sheet; you want to keep as many crumbs on the chicken as possible.

Bake the chicken until it’s firm to the touch and registers 165°F on an instantread thermometer, about 20 minutes (the orange slices should be lightly browned). Serve immediately, topped with the orange slices.

Make Ahead Tips

Make the crumbs ahead. They'll keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Or if you want to whip up a few batches of crumbs, you can store them in a zip-top bag in your freezer for a couple of months.

Marinate ahead. You can pound the chicken and immerse it in the sticky flavor bath the day before you plan to cook it. The results will be excellent because the flavors will really sink into the meat.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings; Calories (kcal): 380; Fat (g): 16; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 39; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6; Carbohydrates (g): 21; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6; Sodium (mg): 330; Cholesterol (mg): 95; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

We really wanted to love this, as it reminded us of a dish we use to get from our favorite gourmet grocery store. Followed the recipe to a T -- except we didn't have anything to make our own breadcrumbs so substituted panko bread crumbs instead. It just didn't turn out right. My husband didn't like how strong the orange flavor came across - almost bitter. And the rest of the chicken lacked additional flavor and depth. Disappointed.

I made the recipe as recommended by "Dashx" and would highly recommend it. Two observations: my daugher craved the gooey sauce typically served with this dish in restaurants. Next time, I might make more of the marinade, reserve a portion (before dipping the chicken), and heat it up to use as a finishing sauce. The homemade toasted breadcrumbs were labor and time intensive for a weekday family meal. I will try using store-bought panko next time. Happy eating!

I've made this several times, and my family and I enjoy it very much. The first time I followed the recipe exactly; the following times I adjusted the marmalade and honey mixture as follows: 1/3 cup marmalade, 1/8 cup honey, 1/4 cup rice vinegar. The original recipe was too sweet for our taste, but overall is a fine recipe

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