So on my most recent trip, I found this bag of newly marinated meat. And I have to be honest, I really like the Chicken Shawarma. It has such a nice blend of flavor it seems to be pretty consistent in terms of quality. So my hope is that these would be just as just albeit spicy chicken thighs as well.
Now, if you've ever looked around the hot sauces at Trader Joe's, there is a pretty innocuous-looking glass jar of Harissa Paste. But, it is for spice junkies only. If you've ever had the privilege of going go to the Halal Guys, it is pretty similar to the red sauce they carefully portion out. When they ask how many lines you'd like, you better have a strong stomach because that red sauce is pure fire.
The jar of Harissa paste is pretty darn similar.
However, this harissa flavor has been toned down for mere mortals.
It's mild to medium depending on how much of the marinade you decide to leave on.
Now as a rule of thumb, I always cut up any chicken thighs I buy further to ensure more even cooking. I find that some of the thighs in this package are very different in size. And again, I like to avoid undercooked chicken at all costs.
I opted to use high heat in a frying pan for this.
The end result here for me was mixed.
Was the chicken moist and tender? Oh yes. Very much so.
How was the flavor? Not great.
Harissa has a fabulous flavor all on its own. But when you have something that is super flavorful and add more flavor to it, you sometimes end up subtracting.
For me, the fatal flaw here is Trader Joe's over usage of rosemary. It may be the last ingredient listed, but it came through in the worst possible way.
It was like listening to a choir of soprano voices but the only instrument playing was a tuba. It just didn't work, which in this case is a real shame.
It was a clash that I couldn't find a way to embrace or enjoy. So after half of a chicken thigh, I bid this adieu straight to my garbage can.
For $7.54 or $4.99 per pound I won't be repurchasing these anytime soon. But if you are looking for pre-marinated meats that are of good flavor then look for the Pollo Asado or Chicken Shawarma.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The package of Trader Joe's Harissa Flavored Chicken Thighs:
The nutritional information, the ingredients, how to prepare:
And here is what it looked like cooked with a side serving of shells and cheese:
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The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Harissa Flavored Chicken Thighs
Product Name: Trader Joe's Harissa Flavored Chicken Thighs
Product Description: Trader Joe's Harissa Flavored Chicken Thighs is a spicy pre-marinated chicken however, it comes with some unexpected flavor.
Trader Joe's Harissa Flavored Chicken Thighs is a new addition to the pre-marinated meats.
- The chicken came out very moist
- The combination of spices was very weird with the addition of rosemary.
- Spice junkies might be disappointed as it isn't firey hot.