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Monday, March 13, 2017

Trader Joe's Ancho Chile Chicken Sausage with Roasted Coffee

Trader Joe's Ancho Chile Chicken Sausage with Roasted Coffee.

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.

I haven't mentioned the coffee part yet...because I'm not really sure what it adds. The little brown specks are certainly visible, and there's a slight coffee-ish aromatic. I'll wager that the coffee seems to mute the rest of the flavors a little bit, but in a more or less unobtrusive way, if that makes any sense. Everything seems mixed about right and evenly, with the good textural bite held together by the casing that crisped up nicely while broiling.

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


  1. I'm not sure I would have bought them if you said they were the best thing you ever ate. That is high for a 4 pack of sausage. The other thing is that the flavor combo just does not appeal to me.

    We deer hunt therefore have a lot of sausage made. Our processor sure knows how to make Smoked, Pepper Jack and Jalapeno Cheese sausage. And we have a lot of that in our freezer.

  2. I crisped these up in a skillet with a tiny bit of olive oil and I actually really loved them. Like I loved them so much I went back a few days later to buy another pack and freaked out when the store told me they were sold out!

    1. I agree--browned them up in a skillet also. And they do have a noticeable spicy bite to them IMO, not bland or shy at all. Coffee may be adding an earthy flavor but they don't "taste like coffee." I've been using ground coffee in meat rubs and notice the same thing when they cook--nice earthy flavor but not like you're eating coffee.

  3. Any idea what the casing is made of? A lot of their chicken sausages tend to have pork casings.


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