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  • Writer's pictureLeigh

What to Do With Tenders? Make Orange Chicken

If you have a package of chicken tenders on hand, you can make a quick, elegant dinner in minutes. The tenders take only a few minutes to saute, and a simple orange sauce studded with onions and raisins complements the tenders for a savory-sweet dish that's light, rather than heavy-tasting. The Orange Chicken does get a buttery-boost from a small amount of butter stirred in at the last minute of cooking, but otherwise the dish is low in fat. Oh, and if you have them, some roasted cashews or almonds scattered atop the chicken before serving it adds great crunch to the dish as well as additional protein and flavor. To save time, while the sauce cooks, you can make a pot of rice or boil some pasta. Either would be great to soak up the orange sauce. All you'll need to complete dinner is a crisp green salad or perhaps some steamed broccoli.

Orange Chicken -- Serves 4

1 - 1 1/4 pounds of chicken tenders

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of lemon pepper

1/4 - 1/3 cup of flour

1 tablespoon of canola oil

1/4 cup of chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

3/4 cup of orange juice

Grated zest of an orange

3/4 cup of chicken stock

1/2 cup of golden raisins

2 tablespoons of chopped green onions

1-2 tablespoons of butter

2-3 tablespoons of chopped toasted cashews of almonds

Combine the chicken tenders, salt, lemon pepper, and flour in a large bag. Seal the bag and shake it to coat the chicken well with the flour. Heat the oil in a large chef's pan. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken to the pan and brown it for 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken tenders and brown the other side for a few minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate (the chicken may not be cooked completely. You'll finish cooking it later). Add the chopped onion to the pan (add a little more oil, if necessary) and saute it for a few minutes until it starts to turn translucent. Sprinkle on the cinnamon and garlic powder and stir them into the onions for a minute or so. Stir in the orange juice, zest, stock, and raisins and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and let the mixture cook for 5-10 minutes until reduced by about 1/3 to 1/2. Add the chicken back to the pan, cover the pan, and cook the chicken in the sauce for about 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the green onions and the butter and turn off the heat. Spoon the sauce over the chicken tenders and sprinkle on the cashews (or almonds). Serve the chicken and sauce over rice or pasta.

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