As a food judge, I sampled ten of Trader Joe’s award-winning items, and I was pleasantly surprised by the majority of them.

A SIMPLE, COHESIVE DISH WAS CREATED BY THE CRISPY CHICKEN AND MANDARIN-ORANGE SAUCE.

The chicken is baked on Trader Joe’s website suggests at 400 degrees before being moved to the burner with the glaze.

In order to get the batter crispy, I followed the first half of those instructions. Although the interior wasn’t quite moist, the meat’s texture, which included both white and black portions, was pleasant.

In a tiny, nonstick skillet, I cooked the glaze until it started to caramelize. The topping was incredibly sticky and became even more so as it dried, so I strongly advise using a good pan. I transferred a small amount of it into a glass bowl for dipping.

The sauce didn’t taste strongly of mandarin orange to me, but its harmony of salty, sweet, and sour flavors was interesting and a little bit addictive.

The chicken pieces were rolled in rice paper with butter lettuce, carrots, cilantro, and matchsticks of quickly pickled cucumber after being covered in the sauce, which I thought was very good. The food was unorganized but satisfyingly tasty.

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