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Orange Spring Chicken

orange spring chicken

In spring and summer our thoughts turn from comfort foods to lighter fare. The freshness of oranges and two of the season’s earliest offerings -- mint and asparagus – brightened this chicken dish.

Our tangy marinade included vitamin C-rich orange juice; turmeric, a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant; and mustard, which is high in minerals such as potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

Then we dressed up the brown rice with orange zest and mint for a unique flavor burst; and plated it next to nutrient-packed asparagus for a meal that’s low in calories, fat and sodium, and high in protein and fiber.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes


  • 2 lbs (about 3) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, scored and cut in half
  • 1 cup 50% less calorie orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (curry can be used as a substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon less sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice
  • 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 lb. asparagus with ends trimmed
  • Fresh mint sprigs for garnish


  1. Using a sharp knife, cut each chicken breast in a diamond pattern, about ¼ inch deep, and cut in half.
  2. Make a marinade by combining the orange juice, turmeric, mustard, honey and soy sauce in a small bowl and whisk together until honey is dissolved.
  3. Place chicken breast portions in a zip loc bag and add the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for half an hour to several hours or until ready to use.
  4. Finely grate, or zest, the outside rind from the orange, then completely remove the rind and cut the orange into segments. Set aside.
  5. Cook the rice according to package directions. Since brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook you will want to start the rice ahead of time. When the rice is done, stir in the orange zest and chopped fresh mint and keep covered in the saucepan until ready to serve.
  6. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Save the marinade to use for the sauce.
  7. Heat olive oil in large skillet and add the chicken, cut side down. Sauté the chicken over medium high heat, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Turn chicken over; add ¼ cup water to the skillet, then place the asparagus on top of the chicken.
  9. Cover the skillet and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes over medium to medium high heat until asparagus is tender crisp when pierced with a fork.
  10. Remove the chicken and asparagus to a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
  11. Add the reserved marinade to the skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  12. Plate the rice, asparagus and chicken. Spoon sauce over chicken as desired and garnish with fresh mint and orange slices.

Makes 6, 5-to-6 ounce servings of chicken.

Nutritional Information
Per 6 oz serving of chicken with ½ cup rice, 3 asparagus spears and 1 tablespoon of sauce: 306 calories; 8.3g total fat (2.5g saturated fat, 0.9g polyunsaturated fat, 4.3g monounsaturated fat); 104g sodium; 86.7mg cholesterol; 21.2g carbohydrate; 2.2g fiber; 3.7g sugars; 36g protein; 221.7mg potassium.

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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