Now, I only go to the Maple Leaf Garden Loblaws like once a year, on Easter Sunday, cuz it’s the only grocery store that’s open. And they’ve always got some funky finds I never see anywhere else. Last year, I scored some wild boar, and even tried frozen microwavable Chili’s. (It probably wasn’t any worse than regular Chili’s.) But this year, I spotted something so honky-tonk redonkadonk it made all those other dishes go redneck crazy, bro! It’s Quebec meets Indian in a box—PC frozen butter chicken poutine!
So basically, there are three elements to this dish. You’ve got your fries and your sauce, which you heat up at 425 for 25-30 minutes, and then your curds, which you’re supposed to let thaw, conveniently, for 25-30 minutes. They say to combine everything in a bowl, but I ain’t got a bowl that’s big enough, so I had to put it all in this big ol’ dish, which is like a culinary hubcap in Flavourtown:
Now, this dish actually came together better than I thought. The fries were nice and crispy, the curds were warm enough to melt, although they didn’t really squeak, and the butter sauce was pretty much on point. The chunks of chicken were, well, edible at least, although they didn’t really add that much in terms of texture or flavour. But hey, while I won’t be opening a frozen wing of the Poutine Hall of Fame anytime soon, I will say that this was just as good as I expected, if not better. It’s definitely not the worst thing I ever ate out of a box—that would have to be Swanson Hungry-Man Cheeseburger, bro!
Sometimes, frozen food can give you bad directions. Like, I bought this box of chicken wings that says to cook ‘em for 60 minutes. Dude, who’s gonna wait that long for wings!? Another case in point: President’s Choice Chicken Souvlaki Thin Crust Pizza.
Now, it says on the back of the box to cook on the lower oven rack (they even bolded this) at 450 for 11-13 minutes. That’s pretty hot, bro! And while I set the timer for 12, I could smell the burn as I got closer. This pizza came out extra crispy:
But even still, this is elevated frozen food. The chicken is nicely seasoned, really tastes like souvlaki, and the peppers added a nice kick. Little light on onions and tomatoes, but those olives were on point—great burst of flavour in my mouth. I would probably eat this again, only next time, I might put ‘er on the middle rack instead…
In the hilarious movie Due Date, Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifinwhatshisface get into trouble making a money transfer because Kenny Fucking Powers has a reservation at Chili’s. But y’see, me, I can’t get a reservation at Chili’s cuz the closest one (on this side of the border) is in Regina. Luckily, Maple Leaf Loblaws is serving up Chili’s to go, straight from the frozen-food section, son!
I could probably just go to Chipotle, get the same thing, and stick it in the freezer for a few hours, but I wouldn’t wanna get all High and Dry with Hysteriosis (or even worse, Pyromania)! It also wouldn’t be served up in this bright red bowl:
OK, it might not look like much in its frozen state, but once you thaw it out…actually, it kinda looks worse.
As far as frozen entrees go, though, this mows down Michelina’s and kicks the shit outta Swanson’s. You’ve got some tender, fall-aparty chicken, a nice spice from the beans and peppers, and enough rice to feed a small person. I can’t say I was still a hungry man after this…but then again, I did have an extra-large cheese pizza for lunch. (I’m on the Dan Janssen diet, bro!)