This quick, tangy pan sauce for chicken tenders is made with orange juice, fresh orange segments and jelly or marmalade. We used a good quality jalapeño jelly to give the dish a little kick, but orange marmalade is a great alternative. We offer a couple of other variations in the recipe notes as well.Print
Chicken Tenders with Fresh Orange Pan Sauce
This tangy pan sauce made with fresh orange segments, orange juice and jalapeño jelly turns simple recipe for chicken tenderloins into a quick meal that’s good enough to serve for company.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1-1/4 lbs chicken tenderloins (about 8 to 10 pieces)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 2/3 cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoons jalapeño jelly or orange marmalade
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 navel orange, peeled, segmented and cut into small pieces
- Trim the white tendons from the ends of the chicken tenderloins as needed and set aside.
- Place the flour, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a food storage bag and shake to combine. Add the tenderloins and shake to coat them with the flour mixture.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until golden, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the onion. Sauté until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté 1 minute longer.
- Add the orange juice and marmalade, and whisk until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Add the red bell pepper and continue cooking until the pepper is crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the orange segments and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.
- Return the chicken to the pan and turn the pieces several times to coat with the sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, about 3 minutes total. Serve over steamed rice or couscous.
If you use orange marmalade instead of jalapeño jelly, you can add a handful of dried cranberries in place of the red bell pepper to make an orange-cranberry pan sauce.
You could also replace the jalapeño jelly with currant jelly, use apple cider instead of orange juice and add diced Granny Smith apple in place of the bell pepper.