Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tuesday's Tasting - Marinated Chipotle Chicken Skewers

It's true, I love food. And it's true that I'll try almost anything at least once. So last week when I posted another positive review for a Trader Joe's product, I thought to myself, my readers must think that I either a) like everything that passes my lips, or b) I'm on Trader Joe's payroll and I want you to go out and try everything in his freezer case. I promise that I am not on Trader Joe's payroll and this week I'm going to review a product that I suggest you avoid. It's just not that good.

This week's Tuesday's Tasting is a Trader Joe's product that I first tried about a month and a half ago. I didn't like it too much and thought it may have had something to do with the fact that I cooked it in my toaster oven. Trader Joe's Marinated Chipotle Chicken Skewers came out of my toaster oven chewy and stringy, I thought I overcooked them.

That brings us to this week. Since I had three skewers left in the box, I decided to try Trader Joe's Marinated Chipotle Chicken Skewers again, this time using my conventional oven. I decided not to post a cooked version of the cooked chicken skewers, they weren't pretty when they came out of the oven. I cooked them on an oiled baking sheet placed on the middle rack of my 400°F oven for 18 minutes, turning once about halfway through. The chicken was cooked through when I cut in to investigate, but it was just as chewy as the first time I cooked last month. Not to mention the chicken didn't have much flavor. Considering the box states that up to 8% of the flavored marinade is contained within, these chipotle chicken skewers were relatively flavorless. I ate the chicken with some Trader Joe's Organic Jasmine Rice and decided, after a few bites, to douse the whole dish with some Sriracha hot sauce. Without the Sriracha, I probably would have thrown the whole meal out. The chicken was just not good.

Seeing as how Trader Joe usually does a good job finding food that his customers like, this one surprised me. The back of the box suggest grilling the skewers as a cooking option. I almost want to buy these again and try them on the grill. Just don't hold your breath for that review because I probably won't. I suggest you pass these by for something else.

I've reviewed many of the appetizer offerings from Trader Joe's freezer case, stay tuned for more main course ideas.

I'm just one food guy, thanks for reading.


  1. Hey Food Guy-

    I agree that the chicken out of the box doesn't overwhelm with flavor, but I've had these about a dozen times now and I haven't had the same "stringy and chewy" issues. (Maybe your oven is running a little hot and the chicken is getting overdone?)

    My wife and I solve the low flavor issue by adding salsa (TJ's regular or pineapple) as a dipping sauce and I add some pepper sauce to satisfy my need for spicy.

    Since my wife and I are both working and have been doing low-carb diets since the first of the year, this has been a great, easy-to-prepare addition to our food lexicon.

    Just my $0.02

  2. Hi Anon,

    I thought the temperature was the issue the first time I made them in my toaster oven, but I made them a second time in my conventional oven and they came out the same. I have a thermometer in my oven, the temp is spot on to the dial.

    I'm so glad that you enjoy them though, great idea with the pineapple salsa - I'm a big fan of TJ's Smokey Peach Salsa!

  3. I have tried these on the barbeque every time they are delicious and perfect.. They never seem to come out as good when you use the oven