Chicken/ Main Dishes

Orange Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

cooked chicken thighs with orange teriyaki sauce in a glass baking dish with a stainless steel serving spoon

I’m always looking for quick recipes for chicken thighs. I had a couple of oranges in my fridge, so I zested and squeezed them into an orange teriyaki marinade. The result: fantastic!

I used to be intimidated by the idea of making my own teriyaki sauce, but it couldn’t be simpler. Bring the sauce ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan, turn the heat down to a simmer for four minutes, and you’re done! Use it immediately or as a marinade.

I make the teriyaki sauce in a high-speed blender to create a smooth sauce. You can mix the ingredients together by hand if you prefer more texture. You can substitute lemons or limes for a different, delicious citrus flavor.

Bone-in chicken thighs have more flavor than boneless, but both will work in this recipe.  You don’t have to marinade the chicken thighs in the sauce, but I think they taste better if you do. If you have time, salt the chicken thighs and keep them in the fridge a few hours before you plan to use them.

Teriyaki sauce must be sweet, so I use a combination of coconut sugar, honey, vegetable glycerin and stevia to keep the glycemic index to a minimum. Coconut sugar has a slightly lower glycemic index than does refined sugar, but I try to use as little of it as possible. If you don’t have all these sweeteners, the sauce will taste fine with just coconut sugar or honey or a different combination of sweeteners. Stevia is super-sweet, but it can have a slightly bitter aftertaste, and vegetable glycerin isn’t as sweet as sugar, so I always blend them with other sweeteners.

Springhouse Turtle Eats

Orange Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

By Springhouse Turtle Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour

Orange juice adds flavor and sweetness to the teriyaki sauce, requiring less sugar.


  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless or bone-in (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt
  • pink or black pepper
  • Orange Teriyaki Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable starch (corn, potato, arrowroot, tapioca), optional, for thickener
  • Zest of two oranges
  • 1.5 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia



Make the teriyaki sauce:


Put all sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.


Pour the sauce into a small pan, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer 4 minutes.


Remove from heat and allow to cool.


Wash the chicken thighs and cut into quarters.


Put the thighs in a bowl and stir in 1 cup of the sauce, coating the chicken completely.


Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.


When ready to cook the chicken:


In a large skillet with a cover, heat the oils until they shimmer.


Add the onion, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and sauté until translucent.


Stir in the chicken and sauté for five minutes, turning it over until the pink color is gone.


Add another 1/2 cup of the teriyaki sauce, turn up the heat and bring to a boil.


Immediately turn down the heat to a low simmer


Cover and simmer 30 minutes, checking after 15 minutes (add 1-2 tablespoons water if liquid is evaporating too quickly)


Serve with pasta or rice with extra sauce on the side.


Store any remaining sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Marinate the chicken thighs in the orange teriyaki sauce for at least 4 hours to bring out the orange flavor.

chicken thighs marinating in orange teriyaki sauce

Serve the cooked chicken thighs over rice with their own delicious sweet Teriyaki sauce.

cooked chicken thighs with orange teriyaki sauce in a glass baking dish with a stainless steel serving spoon

Springhouse Turtle Eats


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