Juicy 20-Minute Marmalade Chicken

The other day, I was thinking about scones slathered with marmalade. And I found myself wondering if I could use the orange fruit spread in a different way.

Vertical image of seared and seasoned poultry breasts on a plate, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Well, my friends, it turns out that marmalade makes a pretty fantastic glaze for meat, chicken in particular. What you have here is a flavorful twist on the basic skillet poultry recipe, and it’s all about the sauce.

Before we dive into dinner, let me backtrack for a second to reminisce, and tell you about the inspiration for this sweet and savory entree.

Whenever I think about marmalade, I’m automatically reminded of afternoon tea with my grandmother.

When I was little, every year my mom’s side of the family would do a ladies only tea during the holiday season. We would gather around multi-tiered platters of finger sandwiches and slather scones with marmalade as we sipped on our tea.

The marmalade was one of my favorite things to eat, because I loved the orange flavor. It was usually homemade, and had those delicious pieces of orange peel to provide texture and a slight note of bitterness.

Vertical top-down image of four seared chicken breasts on a plate next to a small white bowl with gravy and a white bowl with a citrus jam.

I was totally the kid that would sneak a scoop and lick it straight off the spoon when no one was looking…

It’s one of my favorite family memories, and I only wish we had done it more than once a year.

This dish combines my favorite marmalade, a little mustard, and fresh orange juice for an added punch of flavor. I love the little bit of tanginess that comes from the Dijon – it’s super tasty, trust me. And you can even update by using your favorite marmalade. Maybe something with a little kick, like our hot chili zucchini marmalade!

So, how do we make this juicy and delicious 20-minute poultry dish?

Starting with a hot skillet, you cook up the poultry breasts and then set them aside.

While that’s going, you whisk together the ingredients for the magical orange sauce. This is added to the pan after the breasts are removed, and you let it reduce for a few minutes so it gets nice and thick.

Vertical image of seasoned and cooked pieces of meat covered with a thin glaze on a blue plate.

After that, add the poultry back into the pan, coat it well, and it’s ready to serve.

If there’s any liquid left in the pan, I like to serve it on the side for extra drizzling or dipping.

To me, nothing pairs better with this dish than rice and a green vegetable. But you can also mix things up by pairing it with potatoes or whatever veggies you prefer. The poultry also tastes amazing on top of a simple bed of greens for a healthy lunch.

This recipe serves four people, or you could also make it for meal prep. While the pieces are in the pan, just cook up the rice and vegetables that you want to pair with it. Divide everything up in airtight containers, and enjoy them throughout the rest of the week for lunch.

You can’t do much better than making four meals in 20 minutes, am I right?

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Horizontal image of searing pieces of meat in a liquid in a pan.

Juicy 20-Minute Marmalade Chicken

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


20-minute marmalade chicken is a quick entree that’s flavorful and extra juicy. Serve it with rice and vegetables for an easy weeknight meal.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3.54 pounds)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. Add oil to a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, and swirl to coat the pan.
  2. Sprinkle chicken all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. When the oil is shimmering, add chicken to the pan and cook 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.
  3. While the poultry is cooking, whisk together the remaining salt and pepper, chicken stock, marmalade, mustard, orange juice, and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  4. Remove from the pan and set aside. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Add marmalade mixture to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. Return chicken to the pan and turn to coat well with sauce. Serve warm, with extra sauce from the pan on the side for dipping if desired.
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Poultry

Keywords: marmalade, chicken

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Measure Ingredients

Horizontal image of prepped ingredients and raw meat on plates and in glass bowls.

Measure out all of the ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.

Select marmalade without added sugar for a lower sugar option if you like, and use homemade or low-sodium chicken stock for less salt.

Step 2 – Cook the Breasts

Horizontal image of searing four pieces of seasoned meat in an oiled skillet.

Add the oil to a 12-inch skillet and place it over medium heat.

Season each piece of poultry with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

When the oil is shimmering, add the seasoned pieces. Cook it through completely, for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.

Remove from the pan, transfer to a plate, and set aside.

Step 3 – Make Sauce

Horizontal image of a light orange liquid with zest pieces in a pan.

While the poultry pieces are cooking, make the sauce in a small bowl. Whisk together 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with the stock, marmalade, mustard, orange juice, and cornstarch. If you have any extra orange juice, save it for a tasty recipe like our strawberry mint orange juice.

Why cornstarch? It will help to thicken the sauce.

Step 4 – Finish Dish and Serve

Horizontal image of searing pieces of meat in a liquid in a pan.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the marmalade mixture to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens. This will take about 2 to 3 minutes.

Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if you want.

Return the poultry to the pan and turn each piece to coat it in the sauce.

Serve warm with the extra sauce in the pan. You can drizzle the liquid over the top or serve it as a delicious dipping condiment on the side.

Tips for Making This Entree the Best It Can Be

This is a quick and simple recipe to make, but if you have a few more minutes free, you can bump up the flavor a bit with fresh juice and citrus zest.

For even more orange flavor, grate about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of zest before you juice the orange. Add it to the sauce when you whisk together the other ingredients. A little zest goes a long way.

Horizontal image of seared and season pieces of meat on a blue plate next to sliced citrus fruit, a bowl of gravy, and a bowl of jam.

What should you do with the leftovers? No matter what, you won’t want to let them go to waste if you have any!

Allow the meat and any leftover liquid to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to reheat mine in the oven, but you can also reheat it with some of the sauce in a skillet on the stove. Or, enjoy it cold on a sandwich or salad!

Craving even more quick and simple chicken recipes? Try these scrumptious flavor combinations next:

Will you whip up this recipe for a quick dinner, or meal prep to enjoy it throughout the week? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to come back and rate the recipe once you try it!

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published  on August 14, 2012. Last updated on December 18, 2020.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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