Kirkwood Parmesan Garlic Encrusted Chicken Tenders (Aldi)

Bag of Kirkwood Parmesan Garlic Encrusted Chicken Tenders
An under-the-radar gem.

It had been a while since I tried these things, but even though we didn’t have a whole lot of money, I decided to spend the extra couple of bucks to get these over their (pretty solid) chicken nuggets.  Hey, a guy can only eat the same things for so long before he gets tired of them, you know?  The last time I got these it was easily over a year ago (quite possibly two), but I’ve always remembered the taste…and if you know me at all, you know my memory is absolutely godawful.  But did they live up to my high expectations?

One thing I want to mention before we get too far into the review, is that these are NOT COOKED.  In other words, they are raw.  In yet more words, unlike their chicken nuggets, these are not made to be tossed in the microwave for a “quick meal”; you have to cook them in the oven, lest you want to risk getting seriously sick. So if you're looking for something quick that you can just nuke and eat, you should probably get something else.

The upside to the increased cook time is that you're forced to make them the way they were meant to be made: The breading cooks up nice and crispy, the parmesan and garlic are pretty evident in each bite, and the chicken actually looks like chicken.  I like ripping my strips into smaller, dippable pieces, and these tear perfectly, without any resistance.  The pieces are also pretty generously sized, so you don't need a whole lot to get filled up.

Of course, as can be expected, they are pretty darn salty, so expect to get some sodium burn if you eat too many.  The taste also gets kind of old after a little while, at least to me - even though I was very hungry, I only made three, and that was a perfect amount.  Any more, and I wouldn’t have been unable to finish them, on account of the repetitive flavor (this can be fixed by having a side with it, to give your tastebuds a little break).  But if you’re looking for a change from the usual chicken nuggets – or want to try a different chicken option beyond their semi-famous chicken patties (which are said to be a close knockoff to Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, if prepared the right way) – this should offer you another solid example of Aldi doing chicken right.

Overall: 8/10.  Surprisingly, the parmesan and garlic flavors come through, in a delicious chicken tender that’s restaurant quality (not gourmet restaurant, but easily equal to, or better than, any fast food joint‘s similar offerings).  The breading is tasty, and the chicken also looks and tastes as it should (sad that‘s a plus in frozen foods these days).  The biggest “downside”, if it can be called that, is that these are raw, so they require cooking in the oven; don’t grab a bag thinking you’ll just toss these in the microwave, because they take between 25-30 minutes to fully cook.  The plus side is that the breading is crispy, and the chicken inside is warm and juicy, two qualities you just aren't going to get out of microwaved tenders. These are a nice change of pace from the typical chicken nugget, and while the $5.49 asking price may give you pause for thought, you can easily get three or four servings out of a single bag (even more if these are for kids or people with smaller appetites). Just make sure you serve them with a side, as the garlic is pretty strong, and does get a little repetitive after a while. 


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