Trader Joe’s BUTTERMILK BRINED HALF CHICKEN


Trader Joe’s BUTTERMILK BRINED HALF CHICKEN

Gave this new product addition a try as it sounded a bit interesting. I grilled the chicken in a cast iron pan. Was it really “exceptionally moist and juicy” as advertised? Frankly it was OK however I found the taste and texture really nothing special. My main question was given the premium price ($5/lb) is it worth it – Versus – my just buying bone in chicken at Trader Joe’s (which is around 1/2 the price) then fixing that up myself. Marinating it in buttermilk or yogurt takes minutes to make, though it does need time to marinate). Now TJ’s sells a whole chicken for $1.99 a lb. or about $10-11 for a 5 lb bird which will feed 4 (or you can buy parts for $2-4/lb.)

The 1/2 chicken I got was 1.5 lbs. Clearly from a very small chicken (around 3 lbs) The leg here only had about 3 bites worth of meat on it, though the breast was fairly meaty. It came with the neck too, something that most people might just throw away (me, I gave it to the cats!) So cooked, there was not a ton of meat on this 1/2 chicken. I doubt this 1/2 chicken will “serve two people?” as they suggest. In sum, I didn’t find this a very good value. It would be cost way less to just buy chicken and just marinate it myself. Personally I would more likely marinate it in Greek YOGURT (yogurt makes for very tender chicken). For a better flavor than this bland marinade I would use a lot of spices, for an Indian or Middle Eastern flavor. Tumeric, Cumin, Garlic, Ajika. Now that would be make a way more interesting grilled chicken dish than how this pretty meh chicken turned out. Also, it may not be a fair comparison yet still I could not help thinking for I paid for this 1/2 chicken ($7.50) I could have picked up a whole rotisserie chicken for less (BJs or Costco) and they are very tasty. So personally I probably will not buy this buttermilk brined chicken again. If I wanted “easy and ready to cook” I would rather pick up something right next to this that I know is actually worth it : TJ’s SHAWARMA CHICKEN which sells for a dollar more a pound than this, and as its boneless, has zero waste so more bang for the buck.

Now since writing this review, I have learned a TikTok video recipe about this Trader Joe’s brined half chicken went viral and sparked a lot of interest in this chicken. I watched the video. The cooking techniques she does look sound to me (salting to bring moisture to the surface, wiping off moisture, grilling the skin, and then roasting) however this should produce as good results with any marinated or brined chicken.

TJ says: https://www.traderjoes.com/home/products/pdp/buttermilk-brined-half-chicken-073854

“Are you a seeking the secret to sensationally moist and juicy Chicken? Search no further, your quest is complete—it’s Buttermilk! This cultured dairy product makes a magnificent marinade, as the acidity in the Buttermilk will tenderize the chicken, allowing it to retain more of its juices when cooking…”

Great copy-writing however the product didn’t live up to this description in my opinion. Of course try it for yourself if you are interested. However I would suggest if you do, season it up quite a bit. It’s pretty bland as-is.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Trader Joe’s DILL PICKLE SEASONING BLEND | Trader Joe’s Rants & Raves (mostly raves, a few rants)

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