Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Prepare to Microwave Your Chicken

The greatest thing I miss about not being kosher is the convenience of many heat-and-eat products (after all, I once upon a time wrote food treyf-style reviews for HeatEatReview.com). I also was able to lose a hefty amount of weight by subsisting on Lean Cuisines, which are, from my memory, absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, being kosher means very few healthy, heat-and-eat options. Among the available options is probably the only healthy one, which is Garden Lites, but it's all veggies, all the time. You have to be a real lover of things like zucchini to take those on. But there's nothing like those giant family-size frozen options that I've found that are both gluten-free and won't clog my arteries on first-bite.

What if, say, you want a full-size chicken. And you want it in 20 minutes. You want it delicious. You want it moist. And? You want to make it in your microwave.

Tuvia got really excited. And he wanted to do the "Susanne Face."
I know, it's crazy. I thought it was crazy. When a rep with Empire Kosher called me about this new product -- the Ready to Roast Garlic and Herb Seasoned Chicken, I seriously thought he was insane. You can't buy un-kosher chicken that you can cook in 20 minutes in your microwave, so why on earth would the kosher market produce something?

There were some juices leaking from the bag, but otherwise? Ready to cook.
In my mind, all I can think is that the folks at Empire realize that we're busy -- all of us, not just Jews -- and having a fresh, delicious, kosher, seasoned chicken ready in 20 minutes is the best thing since sliced bread. The directions couldn't be more simple [this is my take on them, actually]:
Open the big bag. Inside is another bag. On one side it says "This side up" or something to that effect. Put the bag of chicken on a plate with the right side up. Cut two holes. Put in microwave. Cook for 20-22 minutes. Eat delicious, moist, seasoned chicken. Be happy. Use the time you could have used waiting for your chicken to be done to eat some delicious dessert or go for a walk or snuggle with your sweetie.  
He's got a knife! Steam.
My dear husband Tuvia described the chicken as "moist and flavorful." To which I responded, that's it? And he responded, "sure thing." Okay, so he's not one for words. The great thing about this chicken is that the seasoning really permeates throughout the bird. Oftentimes, as I've noticed in my own imperfect cooking, the seasoning I put on the skin sits there, and a lot of people don't eat the skin, so the flavor is lost. Empire did a great job making sure the flavor was throughout, and that the bird stayed super moist, even in the microwave.

I will say that the perfect cooking takes a bit of tweaking, and you have to check the packaging with the wattage of your microwave. We cooked ours initially for 20 minutes, then for another 2, and there were still a few spots we weren't sure about, but the thermometer (our's) showed us otherwise. We devoured the chicken, leaving just enough for me to take on a Chicken Taco Salad tomorrow. Leftovers are wonderful (and that shows you how plentiful the chicken is).

Yes, Empire gave me this bird to try. Yes, I'm happy that it was free. But seriously? It was at Glatt Express here in Teaneck for about $15, which is nothing for a meal that with some potatoes and veggies could easily feed four people. But those of you who've read me for a while know that I'm honest in my reviews. If you don't believe me, check out some of my honesty over on my Yelp page. So go out, buy a delicious Empire Kosher Chicken, and be prepared to kick back and have dinner in no time at all.

Happy eating! (PS: I'm pretty sure this is NASA technology ... what else could it be!?)

The delicious, well-seasoned, moist as a summer night in Washington D.C. chicken. B'tayavon! (Bon appetit!)