The crispy chicken and mandarin-orange sauce made for an easy, cohesive dish.
Trader Joe’s website suggests baking the chicken at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then transferring it to the stovetop with the glaze.
I followed the first half of those directions until the batter was crispy. The interior wasn’t quite juicy, but the texture of the meat — a mix of white and dark pieces — was agreeable.
I heated the glaze in a small, nonstick saucepan until it caramelized slightly. I highly recommend using a high-quality pan since the topping was very sticky, and got more so as it dried. I poured a little of it into a glass container for dipping.
I didn’t get a strong mandarin-orange taste from the sauce, but its balance of salty, sweet, and sour flavors was compelling and a bit addictive.
I liked it so much I coated the chicken pieces in it before rolling them in rice paper with butter lettuce, carrots, cilantro, and quick-pickled cucumber matchsticks. The meal was messy but satisfyingly good.