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Monday, November 03, 2014

Product Review: Campbell's Skillet Sauce Creamy Parmesan Chicken

Monday, November 03, 2014 By

AUGUSTA, GA - I got home last week and there was a huge box of stuff from #Campbells and #Crowdtap. Yesterday, during my usual Sunday cook-fest, during which I make a couple of dishes in advance for the week, I gave the Campbell's Skillet Sauce in Creamy Parmesan Chicken flavor a try.

I already had half a roasted chicken languishing unused in the fridge, so I just pulled it apart and heated it in the skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Then I poured in the sauce and brought it to a boil. It's supposed to be just that easy.

Then I took a bite...

Y'all. No. Do not do this to yourself, or to your family.

It was way too salty, and I could actually taste the preservatives. I don't know what their market research panelists told them, but it was entirely inedible.

I know it's difficult to offer tasty, high-quality, shelf-stable food, and I applaud Campbell's for their effort. The ingredients within the package include Dehydrated Whey, Disodium Phosphate, Yeast Extract, Sodium Phosphate, Anhydrous Milkfat, and two ingredients just nebulously titled "flavoring" and "enzymes." I don't usually worry about those kinds of things, but when these ingredients are the primary terroir, I cringe.

I set about trying to save it. Luckily, I had just gone to the grocery store. I simmered some garlic in heavy cream, with a dash of chicken consomme, and whisked it in with the Campell's Skillet Sauce and chicken. Much better. Actually, pretty good. Over pasta, it should work.

The thing is that these sauce pouches are supposed to be edible as they are. They are not supposed to need repair.

I can't review the other five sauces in their product line. But if the Creamy Parmesan Chicken is any gauge of their quality, steer clear. Unless you are the kind of person who likes to eat that nuclear orange fake cheese powder straight out of the can, it's not worth to pay $2 for a sauce you will just have to "fix" in your skillet - with another $2 worth of products you could have used to create your own delicious sauce, from scratch.

This being 'gourmet' cheese powder, maybe I underestimate its quality.


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