Friday, May 13, 2011

Critique: Banquet’s Chicken Finger Meal

First off and for clarity, this meal is apparently offered in two dollar-a-box versions. You have your choice of either French fries or Mac n Cheese. I elected to try the Mac and cheese side on the theory that in no way would I be happy eating that micro serving of fries. That would be too much like being asked to eat just one Lays potato chip! Can’t be done.

Like many others who have written internet reviews, I was struck by the offering of the brownie. A true rarity in the world of TV dinners, especially the cheap ones like the ones I tend to eat. In the picture it looks really, really big too. I could hardly wait to get my mouth around that puppy. My only concern was whether I could eat it all at one sitting.

Then, there is the little pile of macaroons sitting in the other side compartment looking like decapitated slugs. I used to eat these a lot when I was in college and couldn’t afford better food. Now, decades later, I’m still in the same predicament due to ‘Obama-ecometrics’. I’ve got money, mind you… it just isn’t worth very much anymore. I gazed at them for a second more, sighed, and then moved on to main entree.

The ‘chicken fingers’ are the main focus of this meal. There are three of them big boys just lying there waiting for their chance to shine. Now, if you bothered to read the directions on the back of the box, you would know that you are supposed to ‘rearrange’ these guys half way through the cooking process. In my mind, this could open the door to all sorts of creative (read as perverted) arrangements. I settled for just moving them around a bit with my fork. To my credit, I did opt for a bottle of BBQ sauce in which to dip them.

So, a few minutes after doing the microwave thing, I had my steaming repast neatly arranged between my fork and my bottle of sauce. I removed that pesky film that covered the meal and chowed on down. A process that took no time at all. For what it’s worth, the Mac and cheese side was pretty decent. Not enough there to really matter, but good none the less.  The fingers tasted just OK, (that BBQ sauce I added really helped), but the brownie… Uh, how can I put this? The brownie sucked! It was deflated in the tray and just didn’t want to be eaten! I had to dig it out of its compartment with my fork in a manner reminiscent of removing barnacles from the side of a ship. And, the harder I worked at it, the more it disintegrated until I finally gave up.

The brownie not withstanding, I gave this meal a six on a scale of ten. Once again, like so many of the other meals by Banquet, it’s good for those times that you don’t want to cook. Then, after you eat it, you remember why you want to take up cooking in the future.

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