Crazy Cuizine Mandarin Orange Chicken
(3 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
Nothing Crazy About This Entree -- Great value, great aroma
Sep 20, 2010 (Updated Sep 22, 2010)
Review by frank_vaughan
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Quality and price
Cons:Sodium and not enough sauce
The Bottom Line: This entrée is the basis for a great meal. High quality, low price, fantastic aroma when cooking. Freezer to tabletop in half an hour.
Recommend this product?
This is a basic entrée around which one can easily build an entire meal - without having to spend a lot of time or money
Very often, Asian-style cooking at home is difficult because it is oh-so-very-hard to get the spices just right. Certainly there are complete frozen meals available, but that assumes that the consumer really likes and wants the offered side dishes that are part of the meal. Crazy Cuisine's Orange Chicken is a stand-along main entree that allows almost anyone to produce a picture-perfect dish, and with a little creativity, and the right side dishes, an entire meal.
The four pound, two ounce package contains two frozen pouches of chicken and two pouches of sauce. We purchase ours at Costco, so the particular packaging discussed here may not be available at your local store. One package of chicken and one package of sauce is just about perfect for two adults, or possibly three with smaller appetites. A family of four or five would likely want to use both packets of chicken and both packets of sauce.
The chicken is fully cooked and lightly breaded white meat. The largest pieces are the size of a golf ball; most are about half that size. The sauce packets are basis of the only real criticism with this entrée: there needs to be more sauce. While there is just barely enough to flavor the chicken, with less that a tablespoon left over, there is not enough to use to flavor or accent any side dishes, such as white rice.
Preparation is simplicity personified. We take a cookie sheet, cover it with foil and a touch of no-stick spray, and cook them in a 400-degree oven for about 18 minutes. The sauce packet is thawed in the sink by running warm water over it, then opened and the contents poured into a sauce pan at medium heat. This is when the magic begins. As the sauce heats it completely fills the kitchen with a strong but not quite bitter, scent of oranges that absolutely assails your sense of smell. Stick your nose directly over the pan, and it is pungent enough to make your eyes water. None of this is bad. In fact, it is very, very good.
While all of this is going on, we usually bring out the rice cooker and cook two cups of CalRose white rice. We often also steam some broccoli or other type of greens such as Bok Choy as a side dish.
Once the sauce and chicken are both nice and hot, we take the chicken out of the oven and place it in a large bowl, then pour the sauce over the top. We then toss the chicken in the bowl so that it gets coated with the sauce. We lay down a bed of white rice on a dinner plate serve the chicken on top (spooning any leftover sauce onto the rice) and add our side dish for a hot, tasty meal. Add some soy sauce and a fresh lemon wedge to squeeze over the greens and you may be in heaven.
We have prepared this dish many times, as it is quick and easy to make, requires little in terms of preparation, and goes from freezer to the dinner table in less than an hour, making it perfect for weeknights when we both get home from work and do not want to go back out and hit a restaurant.
We have always been more than satisfied with the quality of the chicken, and never feel as though they are using poor quality ingredients. We feel that the use of nothing but white meat is important, and probably would not have purchased this item if it were dark meat or a combination of white and dark meat. It is one of those items we make a point of always keeping in the freezer in case we need an impromptu meal.
The manufacturer says that no MSG is added, it contains no preservatives and no trans fat. Yet, a puny five ounce serving contains 500 mg of sodium and 30mg of cholesterol. So there is some downside.
All in all, this is a great entrée at a reasonable price (<$14.00 at Costco).
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