Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trader Joe's Southwestern Style Chicken Poppers

As mentioned in my previous post, the Pittsburgh branch of WGaTJ's is now a family of four with the arrival of Baby B. Toddler/Big Girl M is so pretty enamored with her little sister, which is awesome, and makes being back home and trying to get settled in so much easier. We've been home a bit now, with me taking off work for a while for all the late night snuggles and constant butt wiping. And naturally, I'm the main chef right now for the three of us capable of solid food, and fortunately we've planned well. Between a meat stockpile from a great local farm and a bunch of homemade freezer meals we've prepped well in advance thanks to my wife's cousin and her work, and along with a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies to help round out our meals, a couple Trader Joe's easy dinner options have taken real good care of us thus far.

That's how we got involved with Trader Joe's Southwestern Style Chicken Poppers. Let's see here....chicken, tortilla crumbles, cheese, peppers....hrmm, this sounds vaguely familiar...aha! There were those southwestern stuffed chicken breasts we had a few months back. These pollo poppers are kinda similar to those in concept, just in a much more snackable form with corn and black beans added in for a heartier bite. I suppose these cowboy croquets are meant more as an appetizer, but in our maverick ways, Sandy and I made them for lunch the other day, which we'll tip or cap to as a worthy enough meal.

Looking back now that a few days have passed, there's nothing overly memorable about them, which doesn't mean they were bad. The crumbled tortilla chip shell actually held up surprisingly well - no spouts or leakages during baking. And each bite consisted of an adequate enough distribution of white chicken chunks, corn, and beans, with a little jack cheese and seasoning (mostly, yeah, seasoned salt) mixed in, with some little traces of spinach in both the crust and filling. "Spicy" is not a word I'd associate with them, although if you're super spice sensitive, like the dragons in M's favorite new book (thanks, Uncle Dan and Maymay!), you *might* have a small issue with 'em.

In all, I'd pick these up again without much hesitation, which is a lot more than I can say for our previous clucky appetizer find. I'm sure with a little hot sauce or guacamole, I can make those flavors pop a little more. As is, though, not bad, not bad.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Southwestern Style Chicken Poppers: 7.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

3 comments:

  1. I'm not quite sure why I bought these as I was so ambivalent about them I let them take up valuable freezer space for a couple of months. finally tired of them falling out every time I opened the door, I ate them a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. I'd give them about a 7. Likely won't repurchase, unless the same odd impulse strikes again, but did enjoy them.

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  2. Oh - I just found your review of this product! In my kitchen they came out horrible. (I might have gotten a bad batch??).
    In my opinion, there was nothing good about these. Texture, flavour, appearance, you name it.
    Liquid was oozing out of these when they were baking and they never ever set. They remained soft with an uncooked feel and a bland taste. Where is all the promised Southwestern flavour?
    I will never buy this again.

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  3. I'm so mad at the Trader Joe's "Southwestern style" chicken popper I'm holding in my hand right now, I had to Google it to make sure I'm not crazy. This isn't an appetizer at all. This is dog food. This is basically dog food rolled in stale tortilla chips and baked in an oven.

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