Spanish Chicken in Orange Sauce

Orange glazed chicken breast with rice
Stacie Peterson / Getty Images
  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

This recipe originates in Valencia, Spain, a region well-known for its citrus fruits, so it can claim authenticity based on its geographical roots. If you want to sound cool and sophisticated, call it by its Spanish name, "Pollo a la Naranja." 

This is a simple recipe with lots of fresh taste. Chicken breasts are first browned in oil, then sauteed in a sauce with intense citrus flavors. 


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (filleted)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Juice of 3 oranges
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup white wine 
  • Garnish: orange slices

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan with a heavy bottom.

  4. Fry the chicken breasts, turning so that they brown on both sides, about 15 minutes.

  5. When the chicken is well-browned, remove from the pan and set aside.

  6. Dice the carrots and onions or place in a food processor to dice.

  7. Put the vegetables in the same frying pan and saute until the onions are brown.

  8. Add the orange and lemon juices and the white wine.

  9. Reduce the sauce a bit by simmering for a few minutes. This will strengthen the flavors of the sauce.

  10. Pour the sauce into a food processor or blender and puree. If you prefer a "chunky" sauce, you do not have to puree, so you would skip this step.

  11. Return the sauce to the frying pan.

  12. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

  13. Return the chicken to the frying pan filled with sauce.

  14. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until the chicken reach an internal temperature of 165 F.

  15. Place chicken on separate dinner plates and spoon the sauce over each piece. Garnish with orange slices. 

  16. Enjoy!

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with white rice and a fresh green salad that includes bits of orange and a mayonnaise-based dressing or a lemon and pepper vinaigrette dressing. Alternatively, go all-in with citrus with a fruit salad with oranges as a base. Add crusty bread to make a delightful meal. 

This recipe includes white wine, so if what you are using is table-worthy, that is the best choice. If you are using cooking wine, crack open citrusy Spanish Verdejo or Albarino; both have citrusy notes that would be a tasty pairing with chicken in orange sauce. Either one would also be a great choice to use in the recipe.

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