Ancho. Chile. Thank God. I have never been so relieved to read those words on a shelf label before.
You see, for the past week or so, Sandy has been talking about this new chicken sausage product from TJ's that one of her friends told her about. But she kept telling me it was anchovy sausage with coffee, not ancho chile. Even if it were anchovy sausage, out of ob-blog-ation to you all, i'd still try it....but so, so begrudgingly. My excitement level for the potential purchase bottomed out near turkey meatloaf muffin level, with even less expectation, and so as to ensure an honest, unadulterated review of my opinion, I refused to Google anything about a TJ's anchovy coffee chicken sausage, lest it would prejudice my opinion any more about them before trying. You gotta admit, that sounds like a garbage disposal nightmare cuisine.
Ancho chiles are supposed to be pretty mild, with like a southwestern-y feel to them. There's more flavor to them than heat. That's more or less the feel to these sausages - really, in some ways, think of a slightly spicier sundried tomato chicken sausage, and theat's a decent approximation to the flavor. More of the spice seems to derive from the pepper and garlic than anything else. Pretty decent flavor.
For whatever reason, when eating these for dinner the other night, I kept on having an incomplete vision of Guy Fieri pimping these for a Chili's commercial. It seems the kinda product/kinda thing he'd do...sounds "edgy" and "cool" and like a one way trip to Flavortown, but really, it's neither great nor bad. These sausages kinda are what they are, without much more to say about them. Just thank God that assuming TJ's QA is at least somewhat up to snuff they are anchovy-free. The four pack was $4.49, so not an awful deal, not as weird as they sound, and would be a welcome re-purchase for our household.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Ancho Chile Chicken Sausage with Roasted Coffee: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons