This $5 Freezer Find Is Trader Joe’s Most Popular Item of All Time

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Commack, NY, USA, 7.20.23 - Snack, cookies, and stiff nutrient successful an aisle astatine Trader Joe's. A motion says Appetizers Right Here pinch an arrow pointing down.

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No matter really you consciousness astir it, there’s nary denying that the astir celebrated item sold astatine Trader Joe’s is its Mandarin Orange Chicken. I utilized to activity for Trader Joe’s, truthful I cognize firsthand really chaotic nan frenzy tin get astir this stiff delight. In nan South, wherever my peculiar shop is, immoderate folks would recreation up to 200 miles conscionable to banal up for nan period connected each of their stiff standbys (cooler bags and crystal packs successful tow!), which often meant bags upon bags of Mandarin Orange Chicken.

As for me, location are definite Trader Joe’s items that clasp specified circumstantial sensation memories for maine — and Mandarin Orange Chicken is 1 of nan astir vivid. It was my assemblage standby meal, for erstwhile nan devil connected my enarthrosis said, “We could conscionable get Panda Express, couldn’t we?” and nan angel connected my enarthrosis said, “Saving money is besides really cool, you know.” In this case, nan Mandarin Orange Chicken was nan cleanable compromise, though I deliberation my post-grad rotation connected this stiff point conscionable mightiness beryllium moreover better. 

What’s So Great About Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken?

Much for illustration nan Chinese American takeout classical it emulates, nan Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken has breaded nuggets of acheronian nutrient chickenhearted that crisp up to a golden-brown successful nan oven (or, amended yet, air fryer) for 8 to 10 minutes. When tossed pinch nan accompanying sweet-spicy-sticky orangish sauce, it’s a awesome break-in-case-of-emergency repast to support connected manus erstwhile your DoorDash/Uber Eats/Postmates apps commencement sending you nan siren opus of coupons and alerts. Served pinch fluffy rice, roasted broccoli (which you tin moreover roast alongside your chicken), and a sprinkling of greenish onions and chili crunch for a repast that’ll person you go, “Takeout, who?”

Full disclaimer: Trader Joe’s serving sizes are benignant of a punchline each their own. This container says it serves five, but for maine it solidly serves my hunger levels astatine a coagulated 2.5 servings (two entrées positive a small cheeky vessel for erstwhile midnight snack clip comes around), truthful proceed pinch those portions successful mind if you’re looking to service nan full fam. 

What’s nan Best Way to Use Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken?

On their own, nan nuggets are flavored beautiful neutrally, truthful they are a awesome open-access macromolecule for each kinds of riffing, which I emotion doing erstwhile I want a condiment that’s little connected nan saccharine broadside (and it is beautiful sweet!). I often usage it arsenic a shortcut for fried and breaded chickenhearted dishes, for illustration brushing it pinch a Nashville chicken-style spicy oil for mini sliders and mimicking different takeout favorites by mixing up a Korean-inspired gochujang BBQ sauce to overgarment it and service alongside plentifulness of banchan.

If I really want to put meal connected easy mode, I’ll flip it pinch different condiment for illustration Buffalo, chromatic mustard, aliases a sticky BBQ (like Sweet Baby Ray’s) for throwing into a wrap aliases topping an easy workday-friendly luncheon crockery that my assemblage aforesaid would beryllium very impressed by. 

Find it successful stores: Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken, $4.99 for 22 ounces

Have you tried Trader Joe’s iconic Mandarin Orange Chicken? Tell america astir it successful nan comments below.