Recipes excerpted from California: Living + Eating by Eleanor Maidment, published by Hardie Grant Books, May 2019. Orange chicken is often available at the hot deli counter at Erewhon, an organic food store in LA that I’m slightly besotted with. Their version is more like Chinese-style battered lemon chicken, and my version is a slightly more elegant take on it. This is a really undemanding dish that can be thrown together quickly for a weeknight supper and goes with pretty much anything: rice, mash and any veg.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes


3 oranges, juice from 2 (about 150 ml/ 5 fl oz/scant 2/3 cup) and one sliced
1 tablespoon English mustard powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
8 chicken thighs, skin-on sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Additional Items to Serve:

Cooked rice or mashed potato and greens


Preheat a fan oven to 180˚C (350˚F/gas 6). Heat the orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, then let it bubble until it has reduced by half. Put the mustard powder in a bowl, then pour in the hot orange juice, stirring until the powder has dissolved. Add the soy sauce and sugar, mixing to combine. Arrange the chicken skin-side up in a baking tray (pan). Pour the orange sauce over the chicken and baste the chicken a few times with the sauce. Season the chicken skin lightly with salt and pepper, then nestle the orange slices into the pan. Bake for 35 minutes, basting the chicken twice during cooking, until cooked through. Serve the chicken with rice or mashed potato and plenty of greens.