Happy Friday! Do you have any hot and exciting weekend plans? I hope at least one of them involves some friends, some food, and some barbecue because I have an awesome Orange Chicken Marinade that’s perfect for kabobs and other grilled delights.
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Simple summer recipes are made even better when paired with this orange chicken marinade. Not only flavorful and delicious, but this marinade also represents how I want my summer dinners to go down —> more time relaxing, less time cooking.
The chicken marinade is made with:
- Orange Juice
- Soy Sauce
That’s it. THREE INGREDIENTS.
My favorite way to enjoy this marinade is in kabob form (for all my kabob tips see this Chicken Kabob post) because the vegetables cook right along with the chicken, meaning you don’t even need to make a separate side dish if you aren’t in the mood.
While quick, easy, and delicious are all qualities I prize in any recipe, tonight I’m especially appreciative of the simple fix, because I’m heading into one of the busiest weekends of my summer, one that I have been looking forward to since I made my summer bucket list back in June.
In the span of 36 hours, I’ll be
- Doing my best Riverdance imitation at Milwaukee’s citywide Irish festival.
- Attending a four-course wine dinner at a local farm.
- AND floating down a lazy river for a few hours outside of the city with girlfriends.
Since I’ll be out of the house so often, I needed a low-fuss summer recipe (like this Grilled Pork Tenderloin) for tonight so I could squeeze in some quality time with Ben and my pup before the happy whirlwind begins.
Enter orange chicken marinade.
How to Make Orange Chicken Mariande
I’m grateful for simple but delicious recipes like this marinated orange chicken that allows me to carve out extra time in my day.
While easy to make, it still tastes special and reminds me that I don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen or resort to takeout to enjoy a hot meal at home, even on the busiest of nights.
- Chicken. Packed with lean protein, I opt for boneless, skinless chicken breasts whenever I whip up this marinade. Need more orange chicken? Check out my classic Orange Chicken recipe.
- Orange Juice. Bursting with bright citrus flavor and packed with vitamin C.
- Soy Sauce. Seasons the chicken, adds salt and packs this chicken with delicious savory Asian flavor.
- Honey. Sweetens the marinade and helps the chicken caramelize while on the grill.
- Vegetables. Stick with classic red onion and bell pepper or add mushrooms, zucchini, squash or other seasonal favorites.
- Navel Oranges. Include a few slices of orange on your skewers. As they cook, their juices and aroma will infuse the chicken and veggies further with fantastic orange flavor.
- Combine and mix the mariade ingredients.
- Pour over the chicken and mariade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for even more flavor.
- Assemble skewers with pieces of chicken, orange slices and veggies.
- Grill until fully cooked.
- Season, as desired. Serve and ENJOY!
More Grilled Chicken Recipes
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs
- Grilled Chicken Fajitas in Foil
- Grilled Chicken Pesto Skewers
- Fajita Chicken Kebabs
What to Serve with Orange Chicken Marinade
- Vegetables. These Sautéed Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Sautéed Cabbage, or Crock Pot Creamed Corn would all be delicious vegetable sides.
- Fries. Both Crispy Baked Fries and Grilled Sweet Potato Fries would be tasty.
- Salad. A fresh, healthy salad like Ramen Salad or Anytime Arugula Salad would make a great side dish.
No matter how busy or how full your agenda is, I hope you find a few spare moments to pause (let yourself marinade) and enjoy it.
Orange Chicken Marinade
FOR THE MARINADE:
- 1/2 cup 100% orange juice about 1 large orange if freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
FOR THE SKEWERS:
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 large navel oranges (or 3 medium oranges) divided
- 1 large red onion
- 1 large bell pepper
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh cilantro optional for serving
- In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, and honey.
- Place the chicken pieces in a ziptop bag, pour in the marinade, then tightly seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Turn and lightly squish the bag to coat the chicken. Set the bag in a shallow baking dish (to protect from leaks), then let marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or place in the refrigerator to refrigerate longer or overnight. If using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water for at least 1 hour prior to grilling.
- Preheat an outdoor grill to medium high, about 425 degrees F, or an indoor grill pan to medium high. Slice one of the oranges into thin, 1/4-inch-thick rounds, then cut the rounds in half. Cut the onion and bell pepper into 3/4-inch-thick chunks. Slice the second orange in half and set the two halves aside.
- Thread the chicken pieces, onion, bell pepper, and orange slices onto skewers, alternating each ingredient. When adding the orange slices, fold each slice in half and thread the skewer through both layers.
- Generously oil the grill, then place the skewers on the grill. Cover and let cook until the chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink in the center, about 6 to 8 minutes, turning the chicken once or twice throughout so that it cooks evenly. Remove to a plate, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and cover to keep warm.
- Place the cut sides of the remaining orange halves on the grates and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until nicely charred. Do not move them during the first 2 minutes to ensure the flesh does not tear. Let cool slightly, then squeeze over the chicken skewers. Sprinkle the skewers with fresh cilantro and serve warm.
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