Saturday, January 23, 2021

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - An Essenhaus Chicken taste test and other pantry ponderings

It has been very cold here and with continuing spikes in COVID, we are sticking close to home and continuing our "divide and stay safe" method of grocery shopping.  

By this time each month, I'm going to the store for fresh vegetables and fruit. However, I always try to purchase at least one thing for the pantry so I bought a couple more cans of peaches and pears.  I don't have many cans in the pantry because they get used quickly and I should make an effort to stock more. 

I can't eat tropical fruit due to the high natural sugar levels so I bought canned mixed citrus recently, thinking it would be good to have on hand for vitamin C.  But it was mostly grapefruit and didn't taste very good.  I'm not a fan of grapefruit unless it is broiled with brown sugar like my mother made it.  Everything tastes better with brown sugar. 

My husband cannot eat grapefruit since it conflicts with a medication he is taking.  That is why I have learned to only purchase one or two cans, packages, etc. of a new item before stocking up.  Although, this was just a personal preference and not a product that I would not recommend to grapefruit lovers.

I used Amazon credit (thank you for entering your Amazon shopping through a link or the widget) to purchase a second package of Judee's Whole Eggs Dried.  I have seen a video where a prepper reviewed the product and said it was so-so for scrambled eggs but worked great for baking.  I have it as a backup for baking. The only dried eggs for scrambling I liked was in the Mountain House Breakfast Skillet and they were mixed with other freeze dried ingredients.

I have one package of Judee's Heavy Cream powder in the emergency pantry, too.  It had very good reviews and I thought it might be good for making scones and biscuits should I not be able to purchase fresh heavy cream.  My scone recipe calls for real heavy cream.  Some reviewers said it was good in their coffee, which is... let's be honest... really why I bought it for an emergency.  ;)

Nonfat dry milk is suppose to last indefinitely if kept out of the heat and high humidity but the higher the fat content of dried milk, the quicker it can go bad.  This has a very high fat content obviously. However, this package will get used even if there is no other shutdown or emergency situation.

I was asked what the Essenhaus canned chicken tastes like?  I found it very flavorful, which is probably because it was cold processed raw with only salt added and cooked in the can for processing. (I had read that both Essenhaus and Keystone are processed this way.)

Because of that, the meat shrinks in the can as it cooks so the ratio of chicken to liquid is less than that which is packed already cooked like Swanson.  However, it tastes good and can be used in soup, chicken and noodles, chicken salad, etc.  I thought it had more flavor than other brands I have tasted (I have not tried the Keystone chicken).

The stock is salty as one would expect but if I wanted the chicken warmed, I would definitely warm it up in a small saucepan and in the stock that is full of flavor. Unless you are on a low salt diet. I haven't tried it but I would think the stock would be good as part of the liquid making a gravy with no additional salt added until the final tasting to see if it was needed.  

For a pantry meal, I could see mixing this with a can of Cream of Chicken soup or a jar of gravy (store bought or homemade, of course) and served over rice... or noodles... or biscuits maybe?  Perhaps a bag of frozen mixed veggies added with a pie crust on top for chicken pot pie?  The Essenhaus Chicken Base is also amazing when you want to add some extra flavor.

I watched a taste test that had the Aldi Brookdale canned chicken come out on top, even though their Brookdale canned luncheon meat was called "worse than dog food" on another taste test.  Swanson was a close second, first if you didn't mind the higher price.  Essenhaus was not included, probably because it is not available throughout the country except online at their website.   

I found it very interesting that Keystone canned chicken was at the bottom when in the taste tests for their beef, it was always at or near the top.  Apparently, it was the texture of the Keystone chicken that this reviewer had a real issue with.  I only have one can of Keystone chicken so I didn't open it up to see if I agreed.  I would probably use it in cooking so texture would not be a problem.

There is one canned chicken product that seems to bring about debates almost as lively as politics.  That is the Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken.  I spent an amusing five or ten minutes reading the comments on a review of this chicken.  I think it may be something like SPAM and if you ate it growing up, you love it.  If you didn't, you don't!

Has anyone here tried the Sweet Sue Whole Chicken before?  I admit that photos of it coming out of the can was akin to a creepy scifi movie.  However, if it tastes good, then that is another thing.  ;)

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Judees Whole Eggs Freeze Dried... here.

Judees Heavy Cream... here.

Mountain House Breakfast Skillet... here.

I would not purchase most canned meats at Amazon, at least not right now.  Those I have checked are so much higher than in the stores.  If you are interested in Essenhaus products, they are available at their website... here.  I am not affiliated with them except as a fan of their products.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate Links.


Anonymous said...

We don't get most of those brands in Canada but the Costco brand canned chicken makes a good chicken salad mixed with some mayonnaise, minced onion and celery, salt and pepper.
Thankfully the shortages in the stores aren't as bad as they were.

Vee said...

Lots of new to me products mentioned here. The only thing I recognize is Swanson. 🙂 This does remind me to get some canned chicken and tuna. What I am really craving is some deli chicken. My hometown grocery store deli was closed all week for lack of workers.

Sherry said...

well... now i'm saving some Judee's products for my wish list.
i'm thankful you shared about these items .. less so about the
canned whole chicken. gag. sorry... ;)

Claudia said...

Have you ever tried salt on grapefruit? I love it that way. Used to eat it with sugar but I like salt better.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the info here! The Keystone chicken tastes just fabulous...the turkey is ok too...and the beef was also quite good we felt. Just saying...I have ordered it from Lehman, and they like to never got it to me...but I found it first at Walmart...if you can find it there, either online or at store it likely will be cheaper. ALso, Lehman is not careful with how they pack things so the cans can be very damaged. Which for long term storage worries me. If you could go to their store, no doubt it would be better. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Prices for canned meat makes me thankful I started canning chicken and beef myself a couple years ago. Now the challenge is finding lids to can with, apparently this past year has everyone wanting to garden and can.