Once revered by customers, Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken has fallen out of favor after customers began noticing an alleged decline in meat quality. One Redditor even went so far as to call it, “deep fried reheated meat glob[s].” Some former fans also criticized the portion size and the fact that several morsels contained nothing more than breading.
Some hopeful commenters suggested that perhaps former orange chicken fans’ cooking method was what left them with a bad taste (or texture) in their mouths. “Have you tried it in the air fryer?” one user asked. Several people agreed that giving the orange chicken the air fryer treatment resolved most of the texture issues, though many were still unconvinced. “Air frying it does not get rid of the bad quality chicken,” one user retorted.
Because the chicken’s quality was under fire, several Reddit users suggested trying Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels instead. “The chickenless version is sooooo much better,” one comment wrote, though another said, “It tastes like someone marinated it with orange air freshener.” Despite conflicting reviews, perhaps 2024 is the year Trader Joe’s Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels will win the top spot at the Customer Choice Awards.