Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Mexican-Style Chicken Fiesta Bites

We’ve all had chicken nuggets before, or at least presumably I’m going on that notion, but I’d wager cash (if I had any) that none of us equate processed chunks of chicken with the word “fiesta”—that is… until today.  I was walking around a local dilapidated grocery store the other week; you know the type… aisles in array, upon closer inspection a heavy amount of generic brands at arm’s length, and most notably, the defeat of not being able to compete with national and more popular stores and veritable “super” groceries ever apparent.  I stumbled upon this bag rather by chance, but knew at once that it was fate.  I was destined to eat “taco shell breaded bite size chicken patties”.

 There are a couple gimmicks involved here, actually; the first, the aforementioned taco shell breading that substitutes for the boring nugget variety we’re all accustomed to, and secondly, each nugget contains hints of real cheddar cheese and mild jalapeno peppers.  I figured if Redi-Serve had gone through this much effort, I’d do them proud by having a fiesta of nuggets complete with a margarita, sombrero, and a willingness to succumb to cheap labor.

Here are our pals in their frozen form, preparing to meet the inside of my oven in a one-night stand of pure unadulterated passion.  I apologize to my vegetarian readers out there; chicken nuggets conceptually are insulting enough, but to see said pieces of chicken meat crudely designed in what appears to be the shape of a nondescript hot pepper must be revolting.  Let’s eat!

The bag was supposed to be able to be reused utilizing this crazy new technology but failed miserably.  I ended up destroying it completely by accident during my frustrating attempts at freeing my precious chicken treats inside.

Here we see our mascot from the back of the bag—I’ve dubbed him “Cowboy Chicken” and he likes to party.  He likes long walks on the beach, Jell-O, amateur porn, and trying to beat others’ high score on Frogger.

Here’s the finished product!  Baked to a golden brown, these tasty morsels were now prepared to teach my palate a thing or two about partying.  I must admit though, before gushing, that my initial feelings were much more skeptical.  The odor of the frozen chicken nuggets wasn’t pleasant, a musty smell almost, like your next-door neighbor buried under a big pile of wet wood.  That and a series of other unfortunate events and I was almost prepared to scrap the fiesta entirely.  Let’s see what happened…

The first bite wasn’t impressive.  The meat seemed dryer than most frozen chicken I’ve encountered, and I wasn’t so sure these were such a hot idea in the end.  But, after only a couple more bites I changed my mind completely!  I used ketchup as a dip, although not the most appropriate choice, it’s about the only condiment in my fridge at the moment.  These things were a little spicy, but not overtly so, and the cheddar cheese complimented the other flavors perfectly.  In the end, I was pleased with my purchase—the bag contains enough for several servings, and it’s almost too unique a concept to not experience firsthand if given the opportunity.  Amigos, I suggest seeking a bag of these out; if you have any luck, drop a comment and I’ll report any findings in the future.  Adios!

Overall Grade: B 

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