Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Janes Pub Style Chicken Breast Strips

Janes Pub Style Chicken Breast Strips I recently came into a couple of awesome coupons (as in, get-it-for-free) for Janes Family Foods, courtesy of Food Bloggers of Canada. Coupons like these are really great for conservative shoppers like my mom. She pretty much NEVER buys anything "new" -- that is, once she figures out a brand or product she likes, she'll buy it forever. A coupon with substantial savings is just the sort of thing that encourages her to try something new.

I could have sworn that Superstore used to carry more Janes products, but to my mom's dismay, they only had chicken. Chicken Burgers, Chicken Nuggets, and Chicken Breast Strips. She had me double-check, and yes indeed, there was just one narrow freezer section with chicken products.
She saved one coupon for later in the year, in the hopes that more Janes products would show up. In the meantime, we tried the Breast Strips.

Normally my mom would never have picked it up from Superstore, because of the price. For her, things like the Janes environmental commitment means nothing. And the price is at a level where the taste really has to be superlative for her to consider it. Right now, she's pretty pleased by under-$5 frozen pizza, so you can see how she's set her benchmarks for value. Bottom line, she's a tough customer.

Janes Pub Style Chicken Breast Strips are not neatly cut into perfectly shaped strips, so there's the illusion of real chicken breast. Happily, the meat isn't wooden-tasting like some other manufactured chicken products although I suspect it's not 100% breast meat either. The colour is good and the taste and firmness (if you isolate it from the seasoned breading on the outside) is chicken-like.

The instructions are to oven-bake for a total of 15-20 minutes, but we cheated and used a small toaster oven, preheated and set on Toast, and baked it just 10 minutes on a rack since no flipping was required. The output was really decent. Not exactly super-crispy on the outside, but the inside was moist and tender. If you had used a slab of regular chicken breast, it could come out dry, so depending on your personal skill at handling chicken breast, this may be a superior product.
The seasoning wasn't on the salty side so you could get away with no condiments, especially if you are watching your sodium.

My mom doesn't like to follow instructions too closely and with breaded products she often ends up pan-frying. In this case, it produced dryer chicken strips but darker, crispier crust that is maybe a bit more flavourful, at the cost of being oilier (depending on how much you grease your frying pan).

Overall, it's a quick, convenient, and idiot-proof product. Taste is decent, although most of the flavour comes from the mild but pleasing breaded mixture. But that's the same with just about any chicken recipe -- the meat itself is relatively tasteless. It's just there for protein.

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