I should suppose that it may be surprising to my friends and family, that I, with my superlatively developed fast food palatte, should attempt a review of such an exotic dish as Stouffer's Chicken Grilled Chicken and Asiago Tortellini. Preferring such simple things as Big Mac, this name is nearly too long for me to type. However, I, as we all do, must succumb to the veritable reality that capitalism, in its purest form, means that the players of might should evade competition at all costs. Thus, one does not merely name their product, Chicken with White Sauce and Spice Stuff in Noodles, like every other player, but instead, must invent a more exacting monicker lest the buyer might feel their $7 investment in a frozen meal for two is not somehow special, or unique.
I must admit, that, with the likes of Bertolli and PF Change dominating the freezer case for exotic meals in a plastic bag, that, I snickered perhaps at Stouffer's. Clearly, I thought, erroneously, that the famed maker of the 1980's french bread pizza hit that persists to this day, or the lasagna which is filling, but somehow eludes the taste of anything italian, should dare venture out into the realm of "good" frozen food. How wrong this pour soul could be!
Now, I should be so straightforward and spiritually open to declare and affirm, that, prior to the consumption of this fine mass produced product, that I did not quite so much follow the serving suggestion with a glass of wine for myself and presumably an exotically well proportioned date. Instead, I explored perhaps too richly my favorite Kentucky Bourbon of all, for largely its price and taste, the most excellent Evan Williams, over ice, straight. My date you see, my love, is some distance away. For purposes of this review, I must admit in all candor that this turned out to be a Christian enough arrangement, as you must understand, I ate the whole bag.
It was delicious, although, in retrospect, still not quite as good as their french bread pizza. To that end, I must deduct one star from my instinctual desire to award four.
Like many frozen foods, Stouffer's is actually not entirely horrible when it comes to nutrition. For body builders, while yes, the fat content is high, the protein is also high. However, in this dish, vitamins that may be accrued from the addition of asiago and perhaps a smattering of spinach appear to be missing. Imagine this product, as you will, as one of a primarily protein benefit, with penaltiest from other avenues, a beneficial dish, a tasty one, with some drawbacks. The protein level, due to the chicken, and cheeses, is nice. 60 grams plus of protein per bag that can be consumed in a sitting. This will help you gain muscle mass, if you lift sufficient to match the diet.
Chief among the dietary offenses in this product is salt. One can, given the nature of the sauce, and the pasta, rationally expect a high dose of fat and carbohydrate. Needless to say, Stouffer's does not disappoint at all in satisfying those dreary expectations. However, the amount of salt, 40% of ones recommended dietary intake, casts a black mark on this product. Worse, one gets the sense from eating it, that it does not taste that salty at all. Why add so much then?
Although not given to brag, I must say that I have lead a life that some would say is one of adventure, one that has taught me many lessons. Whether it was during an ill fated expedition to the frozen Himalays, where I felt obliged to apologize for the lack of batteries for the GPS to help allay those troubled by recommendation that the dead among our party should make excellent nourishment, or during my failed breathholding attempt to avenge the unfortunate death of the infamous white whale at the tentacles of the more infamous squid, I cannot say. Whether it was shaving pieces of frozen calf, or waving a spear in the inky black of the vast ocean abyss, perhaps, it does not matter. What does matter is that in some time of great physical exertion and moral crisis, when one is infirm and perhaps a bit constipated, that one learns, the vast majority of all frozen foods must be cooked on medium heat on an electric range.
Stouffer's Chicken Grilled Chicken and Asiago Tortellini is no exception. Cook on medium heat. Aye Captain, the Engineer in my Mind says. Medium heat it is. Just don't eat me, or pretend that I am a squid.
This is a frozen meal, and everything is pre-cooked. A key to the success of this endeavor is to follow the directions somewhat carefully. The bag of alfredo sauce must actually be thawed per the directions or else the noodles and other items will be burned. Thaw the sauce, then, turn on the heat. That is the only path to success.
The appearance, while cooking, does not lend itself to hope, at first. One might form, as I did, the notion that the cooking product resembles the output of a cruel milk prank upon a vegan. However, tastes of the sauce itself stirred my Christianity anew. I believe in Christ, and I now believe in Stouffer's frozen Chicken Grilled Asiago Tortellini.
I found at first that I was disappointed heartily by the lack of chicken. This proved to be entirely a false impression as I found that upon stirring, there was a great quantity of chicken strips. It appeared to be all breast meat, and the striations upon the individual pieces were either characteristic of an extremely advanced chicken reformation technology, or actual slicing. While there was an untrue ring, it did taste normal, not terrifically bad, or, memoriably impressive. This was good. It was chicken, and in a way, the way chicken should taste. This scribe cannot recall the sensation that the chicken's flavor was somehow artificially enhanced.
The real strength in this meal, however, is in the sauce, and the tortellini. Whatever Asiago is, I should like to learn eventually, because this product was simply a delight to eat. Again, a knock for not being as good as Stouffer's French Bread Pizzas, unremarkable chicken, and too much salt, but otherwise, this product was good. Three Stars, and Three Cheers, for Stouffer's. The Capitalistic Pioneering Gods of Frozen Foods have served up a winner!