Tag Archives: Chicken

Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts: Product Review

A few years ago, I bought a large chest freezer with my Costco and American Express cash back checks, and since then I’ve been able to take better advantage of all the deals that are offered at Costco. My family is not vegan, and we buy a lot of meat, but we try to buy smart, always getting what’s on special, ideally something easy to freeze so we can buy in bulk. For some reason I’d always resisted buying the Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts; maybe I was afraid to buy something that came in a box, or was such a good deal. I’m happy to report that my fears were unfounded, and that this chicken may just be the best deal at Costco!

Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts

First off, let’s talk price; the Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts (also skinless and boneless) costs $24.99 for a 3-kilogram box. That’s about $8.3 per kilogram, compared to about $14 when fresh, also at Costco. This translates into a saving of about 40-45%, which is huge. The bag contains three kilos, which in the case of the box I bought, meant 15 chicken breasts, or $1.66 each. It also means that on average, each chicken breast weighed 200 grams, which is quite a healthy portion.

It’s also worth noting that these Harvest Creek chicken breasts come with no skin or bones, meaning that you get all meat for the price. If your breast weighs 200 grams, you’ve got 200 grams of meat and proteins, which is nice. No waste.

When it comes to taste, your results will vary depending on the method you use to cook them, and how they are seasoned. Personally I put them in the oven, following the instructions, sprinkled liberally with Herbes de Provence, which give them a nice perfume without overly salting them. I also put a little bit of salt and pepper. When you look at the ingredients, you’ll notice that it’s not just chicken:

  • Chicken
  • Water
  • Salt

This suggests that the chicken breasts are injected with brine prior to freezing; while I would not normally be a fan of such a practice, the price is reasonnable enough that I can live with a bit of water and salt.

Moreover, the result is that the Harvest Creek Seasoned Chicken Breasts are quite moist and tender, not dry as breast meat usually ends up being. I’m very happy with my purchase, and will certainly restock as soon as I’m done with this box. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Costco has these items on special, but the regular price will have to do!

Berthelet Chicken Soup Base at Costco: Product Review

Whatever the level of cooking expertise you assign yourself, you know that having chicken soup base is an absolute requirement for cooking, from the simplest, easiest meal to the fanciest of feasts. This is why it’s important to never run out, or as rarely as possible, and thanks to Costco, this happens very rarely in my household. I buy the Berthelet Chicken Soup Base at Costco, in a 2.25 kilogram container, for $10.99. Needless to say, that’s a lot of chicken soup base, but then again, you can put that stuff in nearly everything.

Berthelet Chicken Soup Base

Berthelet Chicken Soup Base

I use chicken soup base not only for chicken soup, but also to make rice – an absolute must – and for my go-to pasta recipe, the one and only oil and garlic pasta, which interestingly is bland as heck without chicken soup base.

I really love the Berthelet chicken soup base for several reasons. The first, obviously, is the taste. While it is very salty, as it should, it also has a rich, almost sweet aftertaste that I haven’t found it other, lesser brands. Second is the price. At the rate I go through this stuff, it can’t be very expensive.  Fortunately, the size of the Costco bucket means that I’m not buying it every week. Thank god.

In any case, the last container I bought, before the one on my counter right now, I bought for $10.89, and opened it on November 26th, 2014. This means that my container lasted for 273 days, or a mere 3.98 pennies a day, for all the chicken soup base I needed, and I’m never stingy with it.

As far as ingredients go, it’s about what you’d expect. Here are, in order of appearance, the ingredients you’ll find in the Berthelet Chicken Soup base:

  • Salt
  • Dextrose
  • Glucose Solids
  • Corn Starch
  • Chicken Fat
  • Onion Powder
  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Spice Extractives
  • Ground Turmeric (I assume for color)
  • Dehydrated Parsley
  • Disodium Inosinate
  • Disodium Guanylate

I’m happy to say that there isn’t really anything weird here. Of course, there are some chemicals, but nothing you wouldn’t expect, and nothing too far up the ingredients list. Moreover, the Berthelet Chicken Soup Base is made right here in Canada, in Laval (Québec). I’m not sure if it is available in Costcos everywhere in Canada, but if your Costco doesn’t carry it, make sure you ask for it. It it very affordable, delicious, mostly wholesome (for what it is) and it’s an unavoidable element of any self-respecting kitchen. This one is also low in calories, and gluten-free, if that’s something that you look for.

Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets at Costco: Product Review

I’m a big fan of frozen food I can just take from the freezer, pop in the oven and enjoy quickly. With two little ones at home, it’s even better when I can buy these sort of things on special, which is why the Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets, which I buy at Costco, are always a favorite.

For the regular price of $9.99, Canadian dollars, you get 2 bags of 1 kilogram each of delicious, uncooked breaded cutlettes, also known as chicken nuggets. Why you shop smart, and I try to, you wait until they’re on special, and you load up the freezer, which I did. I bought 2 boxes, each with a $2.50 instant rebate. This brings down the cost per box to $7.49, no taxes, which is really a great deal. Even at their regular price, these chicken nuggets, bought at Costco, are about half the price of anything of comparable quality you can find elsewhere.

Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets

Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets

According to the nutritional information, each Harvest Creek chicken nugget is 25 grams; this means than in each box, you get 80 nuggets,  more or less. That comes down to 12.5 pennies per nugget at full price, or a ridiculously low per-nugget price of 9.36 cents when on special. That is hard to beat.

When it comes to nutritional value, these chicken nuggets are a not exactly what the doctor ordered, although they are not that bad. Each 4 nuggets contains 3.5 grams of saturated fat (no trans fat) and 450 mg of sodium (19% of daily value).

On the plus side, you get 16 grams of proteins and 10% of your Iron, so hurrah for that!

The ingredients are not horrible, either. The meat part of the nuggets is made from:

  • Chicken white meat
  • Water
  • Soya protein
  • Toasted wheat crumbs with spices
  • Salt, Glucose, dextrose and spices

The batter, for its part, comes with the following ingredients:

  • Toasted wheat crumbs with spices
  • Whole grain wheat flour
  • Yellow corn flour
  • Corn starch
  • Salt, Wheat flour
  • Dried egg white, modified milk ingredients, dextrose, high oleic sunflower oil, guar gum

I’d written an article about these nuggets about two years ago, but it wasn’t nearly as complete or detailed as this one, so there you have it. If you would like to know more about the history of chicken nuggets, feel free to read this Wikipedia article.

I’m really happy with these Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets, which I guess is why I buy two boxes -or more – at a time. They are tasty, not terrible for you, and quickly made, only 20 minutes in the oven. My son loves eating them, and they make a quick dinner the whole family is happy with. I’m cooking them right now with some home-made sweet potato fries, but I usually I have them with rice and sauteed vegetables. They are made in Ontario, but are available in Quebec as well. If you have them in other parts of the country, let me know in the comments.

Update – August 17th, 2017 – Good news, everybody! The delicious Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets are back on sale at Costco, same price as before. Make sure to stock up!

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini Wontons at Costco: Product Review

Today I would love to share with you what has become, over the last few years, of my favorite products to purchase at Costco, the Chicken and Cilantro Mini Wontons, from CJ Food’s Bibigo brand. These won-tons are absolutely delicious, surprisingly healthy, filling and affordable. In short, the perfect combination.

As the back of the package will happily demonstrate, these won-tons are fully cooked, and basically just need to be defrosted and heated through, usually a quick process. They can be pan-fried in about 5 minutes, from frozen, or boiled in less than 3 minutes. A delicious homemade won-ton soup, with a healthy dollop of Hoisin sauce and Sriracha, is one of my favorite weekday lunch meals. Quick and filling.

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons at Costco

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons at Costco

These won-tons are sold at Costco in 3-pound bags, or 1.36 kilograms. The regular price is $12.99 per bag, in Canadian dollars, but they come on sale regularly, so I stock up then. The bag pictured I purchased at $3 off, so $9.99 for 3 pounds, or $3.33 a pound.

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons Nutrition Facts

CJ Bibigo Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons Nutrition Facts

According to the nutrition fact sheet, each serving is comprised of four (4) won-tons, for a total of 36 grams. We can thus deduce, through the power of intellect and basic math, that each bag contains approximately 150 won-tons.

When I make my soup, just for me, I use about 15-20 won-tons. So each massive bowl of soup costs me less than a dollar in won-tons, and I have not calculated the cost of the chicken broth yet, but I buy it at Costco too, so it’s super cheap per serving.

Besides the fact that these won-tons are really, really good, I love the fact that they are reasonably healthy, for something that you buy frozen in a bag. As you can see by the nutrition fact sheet to the left, each serving contains few calories – only 50 – and very little fat, only 1% per serving. What is highest in this case is the sodium, at 7% per serving, but even when you multiply it by 5, because you *will* eat more than 1 serving, it’s still not that bad.

Of course, when combined with the Hoisin sauce, you’ll probably get sausage fingers and be really thirsty, but that’s on you, not on the won-tons!

On to the ingredients. At first glance, the best news is that there are no incomprehensible ingredients. I can actually tell what all the ingredients in these won-tons are, which is uncommon, again, for frozen stuff that comes in a bag. The first ingredient is chicken -good news! – and sugar, my personal least favorite, comes way down the list.

Seriously, though, I have nothing more to say. Look at the ingredients. These things are wholesome by prepared food standards. Really wholesome. Of course, don’t look for them to contain much in the way of vitamins, but that’s a minor drawback. You can read more about the history of won-tons right through here (opens in a new window)

Bibigo’s Chicken and Cilantro Mini-Wontons, available at Costco are best served pan-fried and tossed with oyster sauce, on rice with sauteed vegetables, or in soup. Just be careful not to overcook them, or they’ll become very mushy and lose their shape and substance, if not their taste. Stock up when they are on special at Costco, and keep a bag or two of these in the freezer; they make for a quick, healthy meal the whole family will love! Sounds corny, I know, but in our case, it’s true!