Sesame-Orange Chicken

Here’s a fun way to add a lot of flavor to breaded chicken breasts – cover them with orange marmalade, sesame oil, soy sauce and honey, and coat them with toasted sesame seeds. With all the jamming I do, we are practically swimming in marmalade this time of year. Who says marmalade is just for buttered toast? It makes an easy and delicious coating for chicken too.

Sesame-Orange Chicken Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 7 oz. each)
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil or peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds


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1 Heat a small skillet on medium high heat. Add the sesame seeds. Toast sesame seeds until fragrant and lightly browned. Do not turn your back on the seeds while cooking, they can easily and quickly burn. Stir often to keep them from burning. You may hear them pop, and some of them may hop out of the pan while cooking. When lightly browned remove from heat and set aside.

2 Mix melted butter in with the bread crumbs. Heat a large skillet on a medium high, add the bread crumbs, stir often until the bread crumbs get toasty brown. Remove from heat, let cool.

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3 Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a roasting pan with foil. Put a flat baking rack on the lined roasting pan.

4 Use a meat pounder to lightly pound the chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper to even out the thickness of the breasts.

5 Use a microplane grater to grate the zest from the orange. Place the zest in a large bowl. Cut 4 thin round slices from the center of the orange to use with this recipe. Save the rest of the orange for snacking.

6 Add to the large bowl with the zest, the marmalade, soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut oil, red pepper flakes and salt. Mix well. Add the chicken to the sauce, coating every piece. You can at this point make ahead by 24 hours and let the chicken marinate, or you can go ahead with the recipe.

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7 In a large, shallow dish, mix together the toasted sesame seeds and bread crumbs. Working with the chicken one piece at a time, dredge the chicken in the coating, pressing down on the crumbs to make sure they adhere well. Transfer to the backing rack on the lined roasting pan. Dip the orange slices in the leftover marmalade mix and set on the rack.

8 Cook at 400°F until the chicken has an internal temperature of 160°F, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately, topped with the orange slices.

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Inspired by a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine.


  1. thecoffeesnob

    I’ve never had breaded chicken done this way but it looks and sounds great. I can’t wait to try it.

    By the way, i tried the Panko-crusted salmon the other night. It was delish!

    Thank you so much for this great site and invaluable recipes!

  2. Arcey

    This sounds really good. Can you describe exactly what you mean by “red chili sauce”? Thanks.

  3. Susan from Food Blogga

    Your orange and sesame seeds go nicely together. Looks delicious on the blue plate.

  4. missb

    Can it be? A tasty-looking baked chicken breast recipe! I’ve been hunting for a non-fried breaded chicken breast recipe (bathing suit season is coming soon). I’ll try this tonight!

  5. jonathan

    Pre-toasting the sesame seeds/bread crumbs for that crunch without frying…..the sweetness of the marmalde/honey marinade…..

    Yeah…I’m diggin’ this. And I’m thinking my kids will too. Brilliant!

  6. lydia

    Just posted about sesame seeds yesterday, too — this recipe looks absolutely luscious. I love sweet (but not too sweet) and chicken.

  7. Oscar

    You probably know that. In Austria they serve the [famous] Wiener Schnitzel with Lingonberry jam. What I like about your recipe is that it is baked! Love it.
    Love your blog.

  8. Nic

    This looks lovely! Question though, I always chill my recently breaded item unless I’m using panko to help it stick better, I’m guessing that’s not a problem here and that everything is still crispy? Also, would you consider using panko?

    I’m always looking for great chicken marinades that I can set up in the morning before work and just pop in the oven when I get home from the gym, so I may try the marinade without the breadcrumbs as well. Yum1

  9. D-man

    Oooooh, yeah! Any time you put citrus and chicken together it’s a good thing. Great photos too!

    Nice meeting you yesterday……stop on by the ranch sometime.

  10. Trig

    I think sesame and orange go together classically, but to balance the sweet and bitter flavours of sesame and marmalade and the pungency of chilli the sourness of ginger is just perfect.

  11. ama

    Wao, It`s wonderful recipe. look very delicious too. I cook in Japanese type like nudoole(Raamen)and Susi. tyhank you for your sharing.


  12. Monika

    I like this idea of toasting the breadcrumbs, with butter and sesame seeds and then baking it with no other deep frying. Great idea!!

  13. Deanna (domestic chicky)

    My favortie marinade has orange marmalade in it…you use 1/4 C oil, 2T Marmalade, 2T Soy Sauce, 2T Dijon Mustard…Whisk together, use for roasting chicken or turkey (makes amazing gravy!), or for pork loin…SO yummy!

  14. Rose

    I just made this tonight. Since I didn’t have any other plain breadcrumbs on hand, I used panko. I also used crushed red pepper in place of the chili sauce. It seemed to work, because the marinade was fantastic. I actually ended up cooking it down a little and using it as a sauce for steamed broccoli. Thanks for the recipe! Definitely a keeper.

  15. Tammy

    After looking at this recipe for days, I purchased all the ingredients and made it last night. It was very good. My DH said “I stuck my foot in it!” Question- What else can I use grapeseed and sesame oil in?

    Thanks again for a wonderful site full of inspiration.

  16. AJ

    Do you use hulled or natural sesame seeds? Can’t tell from the photos. Thanks.

  17. Dan

    This recipe caught my eye the day it ran and I knew I had to make it. I did yesterday and it turned out great. My only comment is that I had enough marinade and breading to easily handle the whole family pack of 7 rather large breast halves, so I cooked them all. It’s not a problem as I expect the left overs will be great sliced on a salad tonight and as sandwiches tomorrow.

    Thanks for the great site.

  18. Chris T

    I made this recipe tonight. It turned out nicely, the sesame and orange flavors were terrific. The only thing that could be better.. I thought the dish could use an orange sauce to finish it before serving.

  19. crystalia

    What about adding cardamon to the marinade?

    Why not? Let us know how it turns out if you try it. ~Elise

  20. Loll

    Tried the Sesame-Orange Chicken tonight – delicious. I have never cooked chicken this way … easy – and the chicken was crunchy on the outside, but remained really moist on the inside. I found that I had tons of the bread crumb/sesame seed mixture left over so will cut down on the amount next time. I used Tangarine Marmalade made by Stonewall Kitchen – it was awesome! Thanks for the great recipes!

  21. Anna Marie

    I have been an oven-baked chicken virgin until tonight & I’m so happy I took the plunge from my usual grilled variety! I was shocked how much the orange flavor really pops in this recipe. Delicious!

  22. Abby

    This is excellent. It is now my go-to recipe for company. I simmer a little bit of the marinade in a saucepan and serve it on the side for anyone who wants it.

  23. Melissa

    Mmmm, looks really yummy! I am making this for dinner tonight. I was just looking for something with chicken and orange marmalade.

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