Sunday, July 07, 2013

Frozen Dinner: Hungry-Man Buffalo Style Chicken Strips Review

If you're a hungry man on a diet, come right over. It's time for another review of one of my food staples: frozen dinners. In my previous review, I checked out the Swanson Chicken Strips meal and noted how I love these meals. They aren't exactly healthy and they aren't that filling, but they are a great guilty pleasure of mine.

Hungry Man Box
Overview/ Contents
This time, I'm looking at the Swanson Buffalo Style Chicken Strips meal. What makes it a Hungry-Man meal? More food of course! The chicken strips meal I had was 285g according to the box, and as you can see in the photo above, this box should have contained 428g. That's a 50% increase in mass. And unlike the "normal" meal, the third side was actually edible -- brownie versus sauce.

The contents of this meal included four chicken strips, one serving of mashed potatoes and corn, and a brownie. Comparing the portion sizes with the normal sized chicken strips I had last week, everything, including the sides, did appear moderately bigger. So, if the labels were correct, the difference should not have only been from the extra piece of chicken.

Also, I remembered to check this time. The plastic tray was labeled with a "1" and PETE. This is supposed to be the same stuff used for soft drink bottles.

Hungry Man Buffalo Style Chicken Strips Platter
Again, I did my cooking using stoneware as opposed to the provided tray. When taken straight out of the freezer, everything except the sauce or brownie usually pops right out for me. This time was no exception and the brownie even came out in one piece. Only a little bit of melted brownie batter was left in the tray.

With my microwave, it took 4 minutes and 15 seconds for the first run, but that left the mashed potatoes not fully cooked and semi-frozen. I tried to avoid this by adding a bit of hot water to the top of the potatoes before cooking -- no luck. The second run went fine because I used a fork to mix the cooked portion with the uncooked and frozen portion. To avoid overcooking the brownie and keeping the salty from the sweet, I put the brownie in a separate bowl and popped that in the microwave for only 30 seconds.

Nutritional Content
The nutritional content of this meal was bad news: 4g of trans fat according to the box. On the bright side, the 50% increase in mass should have resulted in an increase of 370 calories (490 for normal chicken strips and 860 for Hungry-Man). It seems like I'm comparing this box with the other box like one's just a bigger version of the other, but they're not, so do keep that in mind -- they're "comparable".

Other items worthy of note from the box: 42g of fat (80% of daily value), 1650mg of sodium (69% of daily), 20% of daily value for vitamins A and C, 115mg of cholesterol, and 40g of protein. The joys of deep-fried food. Check out the official website for more info.

Taste & Verdict
Smashing, as usual. I grew up eating this stuff and aside from liking the taste, there's a certain nostalgia to it. This Hungry-Man box was definitely more filling with nearly double the calories than a comparable normal box.

The buffalo chicken strips were a little bit spicy and had more flavor than the regular chicken strips box. They can be had without dipping sauce, but I just threw some ketchup on the plate. Potatoes and corn were buttery and very soft as usual. The brownie was also good, though slightly undercooked. I'm surprised they were 90% cooked after only 30 seconds in the microwave. In comparison, I used to pull the entire plastic wrap sheet off and cook the tray for 4 minutes and 45 seconds -- overcooked, rock hard brownie.

Love it. After being reminded of the 4g of trans fat, I'll probably have this box less often.

Hungry-Man Backyard Barbeque Review
Hungry-Man Beer Battered Chicken Review
Hungry-Man Buffalo Style Chicken Strips Review
Hungry-Man Fried Chicken Review
Hungry-Man Grilled Beef Steakette Review
Hungry-Man Salisbury Steak Review