Panelists pick Sara Lee as favorite packaged chicken breast
Move over turkey and ham. Prepackaged chicken breast is starting to join the party of sandwich meats available in local grocery store refrigerators. We sampled seven brands labeled as "oven-roasted" or "rotisserie-seasoned." Judges were looking for solid chicken flavor and consistency that would hold up in lunch-box sandwiches.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent
© 2013 Tampa Bay Times
(out of 100)
|Sara Lee 86||Hillshire Farm 60||Publix 58|
|Sara Lee's chicken breast was thicker than some of the other options, making it the top pick of our panelists. "It looks and tastes like slow-roasted, rotisserie chicken," said one. "It would be great with some creamy mustard." Another described the slices as "real looking." She said, "I think it was actually a roasted breast that was sliced. It's got a very strong smoke flavor and a good amount of salt, but not too much." She added, "This one is balanced and moist."||Judges were split over their preference for the chicken from Hillshire Farm. A couple said they liked the slices for their nice balance of "chickeny" flavor, salt and firm texture. "There's no weird aftertaste," said one. "This tastes like it came straight from the deli." Another judge said the chicken had "decent" flavor, but seemed like a "generic" lunch meat. One completely objected, saying the lunch meat tasted more like bologna than chicken.||These slices were a hit because of their thickness. Panelists said the store brand of chicken breast would hold up well in a sandwich, but all four said it was a bit salty. "It tastes very fresh," said one. Another said these slices were the best looking of all of those sampled. "It looks the most 'real,' " she said. "But what kills this one is how salty it is."|
|All four judges said yes.||Two of the four judges said yes.||Two of the four judges said yes.|
|Shopping information||$4.99 for an 8-ounce package from Sweetbay.||$3.99 for a 9-ounce package from Publix.||$3.34 for a 9-ounce package from Publix.|
Hormel Natural Choice ($2.99 for an 8-ounce package from Target, 51 points); Market Pantry Southern-Style ($2.39 for a 9-ounce package from Target, 32 points); Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh ($4.99 for a 9-ounce package from Winn-Dixie, 20 points); and Winn-Dixie ($4.79 for a 16-ounce package, 27 points).
Panelists: Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four; Wayne Conery, manager of the R-Bar on Treasure Island; Laura Reiley, Times food critic; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.
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|Serving size||Two ounces||Two ounces||Two ounces|
|Fat/Fiber||1g / 0g||.5g / 0g||1g / 0g|
|Sugars/Sodium||0g / 460mg||1g / 700mg||0g / 550mg|
|Carbs/Protein||1g / 11g||2g / 9g||1g / 10g|