As an Allrecipes All Star Brand Ambassador we are asked to try new recipes and new products from sponsors we both know and don’t know. The views expressed in this blog are purely my own and do not reflect the opinions, views or thoughts of the staff at Allrecipes.com
Now that we have that out of the way, one of our assignments for the month of October was to try the stuffed chicken breasts from Barber Foods. I will admit, I had never heard of Barber Foods and I certainly hadn’t seen their products in the frozen food aisle of our local grocery store. To be honest, the only time I walk down that aisle is to grab a bag of Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries because let’s face it, anyone who has ever read any of my blogs (and there might be one or two of you out there that have), know that I can’t make decent sweet potato fries to save my life, so the thought of looking for frozen stuffed chicken breasts was well….new.
After checking the company website to see what they had to offer, I armed myself with a fistful of coupons and headed off to my local grocery story to see if I could find them and lo & behold, I did. They were in the auxiliary frozen food section all the way in the back of the store near the Steak-ums, Veggie Burgers and other frozen entrees I might buy once a year at best. I actually spotted the boxes from a distance as I was walking by, which is a good thing because I had not even remembered that there was a third frozen food aisle in the store. I have to admit that I was surprised by the choices & varieties that were available. I had expected maybe two different kinds to be available but I actually had my choice of almost their entire menu of selections. I finally decided on the Fit & Flavorful Chicken Cordon Bleu (a nod to my DIE-t), the Broccoli & Cheese and the Crème Brie & Apple stuffed chicken breasts and I headed home to “make” dinner.
When I got home I pulled the boxes out to show the family what our eating assignment was this month and my teenage daughter excitedly screamed,
“DADDY ! YOU GOT EXPLODING CHICKEN !!!”
“What ?”, I said. I wasn’t sure I had heard her right since she does have a tendency to runherwordstogetherwhenshegetsexcited.
“You got Exploding Chicken ! We have it at camp.”
Now the fact that she had had the chicken breasts at camp usually was not a good sign since my daughter pretty much dismissed camp food as being bland & tasteless so I had to ask,
“Is that a good thing or a bad thing ?”
“Oh it’s good. We liked it. We always had the Broccoli & Cheese. Thank you Daddy.”
That night at dinner I threw all three boxes on the same tray and 40 minutes later we were sitting down to an “Exploding Chicken” dinner with a bunch of leftovers for sides. My teenage daughter took great delight in showing us with her first cut how the chicken “exploded” onto her plate. Her younger siblings also enjoyed making their stuffed chicken breasts “explode” too. All three of them thought they were good and they all said that the Broccoli & Cheese was the best of the three flavors that we bought. My wife thought they were decent and she said that they could indeed be used as an emergency dinner when she didn’t have time to cook. Her only lament was that they couldn’t be thrown in the microwave but then again, I bought the raw versions only because the fully cooked versions were not available.
As for me, well they reminded me of the stuffed chicken breasts that I get when I get upgraded to first class on some of my flights for work. They were okay but then again, I am a food snob or have found out that I am a food snob through this whole All Star program because I don’t love everything that we have been asked to do. (Could it be that I actually can’t cook very well ? That thought never crossed my mind until now) While I liked the flavor combinations and the low calories associated with each flavor, I found them to be bland. I would have preferred a bit more spice or maybe a little deeper concentration of flavor. I also thought that the chicken was a little “spongy”. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea but I am just not wild about the execution. Overall I will say that for a relatively institutional fast food dish it was a winner. My kids are having them for lunch right now and my wife reports that they are happy.
So come back next time when I discuss what went wrong or right with the Pillsbury Crescent assignment.