Sunday, March 6, 2016
Trader Joe's Chicken Breast Medallions With Coconut Red Curry Sauce
It's time for another Coconut Week! Seven days of reviews of Trader Joe's products made from or with coconut. This is Day One.
I didn't have high hopes for this. Frankly, I had gone into Trader Joe's primarily to buy my regular keep-in-stock items, but with an eye to purchase just about anything I spied that said it had coconut in it (and didn't instantly disgust me), because I needed one more coconut item to fill out Coconut Week. This was the first such product I found, so into the basket it went.
Surprise! It's wonderful! Even just heating it in the microwave, a lovely blend of coconut and curry aromas filled the air in my apartment. I had it over some brown rice, and loved every bite of it. It's pitched at just the right degree of spiciness for my taste, which I'm sure many (most?) people would think is too mild. The coconut is prominent without being overpowering. The chicken chunks were tender and delicious. The sauce was thick enough to scoop up with some rice even without a piece of chicken--i.e., not runny at all. And it was heat-and-serve easy!
I think it's a little short of being so outstanding that it goes on my Top Ten list. But just the fact that I had to stop to ponder that question for a while is a high recommendation.
Note: The sauce apparently contains a small amount of anchovies and shrimp. I couldn't taste either one, but if you avoid these things for whatever reason, take note.
Will I buy it again?
Yes. But once again I'm held back by my desire to continue a gradual reduction in my consumption of all meats, including poultry (though I consider this less urgent than it is for beef and pork). That is going to be the limiting factor in how often I choose to take this home.
As I have said with the Southwestern Chicken Poppers and other chicken products, I really wish that TJ's would either replace the chicken with its quite good fake chicken, or make two versions: A chicken one and a vegan one (as they do for the tikka masala). Even better, the ideal solution would be to sell the coconut-curry sauce as a stand-alone item in a jar, and let people add their own preferred protein source. If they did that, I would keep one on my shelves at all times, and I think it would then crack my Top Ten list.
Are you listening, Trader Joe's?