Citrus Brown Sugar Chicken


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Citrus Brown Sugar Chicken recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you likely know that we eat a lot of chicken. I’ve shared over 100 chicken recipes here on the blog and there isn’t an end in sight.

This chicken is sweet, slightly tangy and incredibly tender. I’ve made this recipe with breasts and thighs, with orange and with lemon. The orange version is my favorite, but they are both delicious.

My kids flipped for this chicken and my oldest son thanked me for making “his favorite chicken” again. (Take this with a grain of salt though, they each have about 50 favorites.)

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I have a notebook full of chicken ideas and there are always more recipes that cross my path to try. If YOU have a favorite chicken recipe, feel free to email me. I might want to try yours too.

I served this chicken with roasted potatoes the first time I made it and I chopped it up over rice the second time I served it. We liked it both ways.

Citrus Brown Sugar Chicken recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Citrus Brown Sugar Chicken

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Eat Live Run
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • zest of 1 large orange or 2 medium lemons about 1 tablespoon zest
  • juice of 1 large orange or 2 medium lemons about ⅓ - ½ cup total
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour I used brown rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350. If the pieces of chicken are more than 1/2" thick, place them in a heavy freezer ziploc bag and pound them thinner. Combine the flour, paprika and salt in a flat bottomed bowl or pan. Whisk together and then drop each piece of chicken in the flour and flip to coat well.
  • Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large flat skillet. Place each piece of chicken in the oil and brown for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and place in a 9x13 baking pan. Pour the citrus juice in the hot skillet stir to de-glaze and scrape up all the browned bits. Pour this mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle with the zest and the brown sugar. Bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Big Dude says

    I generally am a savory dish guy and pay little attention to recipes with "sugar" in the title, but since it's you, I read it. With the citrus to sugar ratio, I can see this being totally delicious and will save it to try says Larry from Durango, CO.

    • Anonymous says

      Rice with green onions even better if lightly fried in sesame oil with some Aromat (or other seasoning)

  2. Jenn S says

    We eat a ton of chicken too! I mean, it's so versatile… I always feel like Bubba on Forrest Gump – You can grill it, bake it, broil it, fry it.. lol

    This sounds wonderful! Can't wait to try it!!