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.
Chicken Tenders with Fresh Orange Pan Sauce
- 1-1/4 lbs chicken tenderloins, about 8 to 10 pieces
- 1/4 cup flour
- Salt and 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, 1 teaspoon 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 desired.