Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Frozen Lunch Review #1: Fiesta Chicken

Often in the 50 hour week I find myself trying all sorts of quickie frozen lunches, from the succulent to the suck. This new feature, appearing whenever I feel like complaining, will review the latest frozen meal that I've slapped in the microwave and gobbled down in between word documents.

Today's meal of choice is the Healthy Choice "Fiesta Chicken" lunch, available at most grocery stores for an average price of $1.50 to $2.50. The packaging advertises a "low calorie" meal that features all the flavor of the stuff fatty-fats eat. Hell, I was sold at the word fiesta. Let's boogie.

The instructions tell you to pull the plastic of the desert (an apple goo with non-goo sprinkles) and to cut a slit over the chicken and the corn bunkers.

Microwave time is around three and half minutes -- pretty average for the frozen variety. A bit longer than a hot pocket, way shorter than a Trader Joes' defrostathon. The risk of a coworker getting impatient and prematurely removing your dinner while you're flirting with the secretary is pretty low on this one.

Upon microwave beepage, the tray handles well -- hot for the meal, but not to the point you can't pick it up without the familar "ow ow ow, too hot" moment we know and love. Pulling back the plastic film, however, shows all is not fun in fiesta country.

The corn and chicken divits contain excess moisture from the thaw out, and it pools around the food. This just about ruins the corn, turning it into a mushy paste suitable for health concious octogenarians. The chicken survives, but barely.

As for the "fiesta" flavor, it reminds one of watered-down ketchup. Not exactly the bold kick of southwest my tastebuds hankered for during the purchase.

The saving grace, as almost is always the case with frozen meals, is the gooey dessert. It vaguely looks like apples, smells like apples and tastes like apples slimed by a cinnamon ghost. Not entirely unpleasant, and the closest thing to a fiesta this meal has produced.

In summation, "Fiesta Chicken" is far from a fiesta and more foul than chicken. The apples are a decent last minute save, but in the end, you're better off staying above the border.


Blogger Chris said...

Haha. Good stuff. When my parents went away for a while, my mom stocked up on healthy choice dinner things. They all suck. Every last one of them.

I enjoy a good pizza bagel now and then.

1:32 PM  

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