Monday, November 26, 2012
Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken
Although I do love Mandarin Chicken, I tend to find what most restaurants serve to be far too greasy and far too salty, for me to be able to truly enjoy the dish. And the idea of having a frozen version of this dish, in no way appealed to me. But eventually, after three years of great success with Trader Joe's products (including many products I had little to no faith in) I decided, why not?
And I sure am glad that I did. Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken can be baked, instead of fried, which avoided that overtly greasy taste and texture that tends to ruin Orange Chicken for me. The chicken had my ideal consistency, and also had a great taste. It managed to avoid that wretched taste of processed chicken (which most frozen chicken foods have), and if served at a restaurant I would have believed it to have been fresh.
And as for the sauce, it was fantastic. And since you control how much sauce you use (the sauce is added after the chicken is baked), it was easy to adjust it to my own taste. The sauce was excellent, not as salty as it usually is, and the citrus flavor was bright and noticeable (the way it ought to always be). I can honestly say that this was by far one of my favorite Trader Joe's dishes, and I can surely see why it's their most loved item. I will definitely be making this part of my regular grocery trip.
The bag cost $4.99, and offers five 1 cup servings. In reality this translates into 2-3 adult servings, or 4-5 servings for a family with children. The chicken can be cooked in the oven, or in a skillet with oil, but considering the quality of the chicken after being baked, the added fat seems unnecessary. It also comes with two separate sauce packets, so it's easy to use this for two separate dinners. Also great for single folks, since half the bag works great as a dinner, with leftovers for lunch.