Americans love heat-from-frozen entrees, as they’re usually quick and easy. Microwaveable foods are always popular, but ones that are bakeable are also a draw. The downside is that 1) they might not taste as good as made-from-scratch foods and 2) they usually contain more processed ingredients, to say nothing of sodium and fat. Even so, for a busy family in a hurry, the convenience is worth the trade-offs for many people.
Aldi carries a number of heat-from-frozen foods across all three meals of the day, including a wide selection in its everyday Regular Buy section. Among the lot are several varieties of chicken. We recently took one of them out for a spin.
Kirkwood Honey Battered Breast Chicken Tenders, which can be found in the Regular Buy frozen section, come in a resealable plastic bag. At the time of this post, they cost us $4.45.
The instructions allow for both oven and microwave heating, with the microwave being the faster of the two options.
To bake, you first preheat the oven to 425 degrees. You place the tenders on a single layer on a baking sheet, then cook for 4 minutes, turn, and cook for 4-6 minutes longer until heated through. You then let them sit 1-2 minutes before serving.
A note on the baking: when we cooked them that way, we found the tenders would stick to our baking sheet, with some of the breading peeling off. You might consider cooking them on a layer of aluminum foil, possibly even with a dash of cooking spray, to reduce this problem.
To microwave, you cook the tenders in a single-layer circle on a microwave-safe plate. The cook time depends on the number of tenders:
- 3 tenders cook 40-50 seconds
- 6 tenders cook 1 minute to 1 minute 10 seconds
- 9 tenders cook 1 minute 30 seconds to 1 minute 40 seconds
- 12 tenders cook 1 minute 40 seconds to 1 minute 50 seconds
In all cases, you should turn the tenders halfway through cook time, and let them sit 1-2 minutes after cooking time is over. The tenders did not stick in the microwave the way they did in the oven.
We tried them out both ways. For the most part, our family liked them regardless of how they were cooked. Our kids especially liked them and found they paired well with honey mustard. I found them to be a little more plain without sauce, so I think these do benefit from dipping them in something.
Nutritionally, they’re processed, so expect a number of ingredients as well as moderately high amounts of fat and sodium.
If you like honey-flavored chicken, the Kirkwood version of honey chicken is a solid entry. It’s easy to heat and tastes pretty good, especially paired with honey mustard. Be advised that these can stick on a baking dish, so if you use an oven you might want to use foil and a little cooking spray. Otherwise, these are a breeze to make.