Saturday, January 18, 2014

Food Review: Michelina's Fettuccine Alfredo w/ Chicken & Broccoli

I tried this one and since they looked the same I also tried the Lasagna Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli. I’m reviewing them together and didn't include a photo of the lasagna one because it was the same thing with different shaped noodles.(1)

The sauce was anemic. It lacked a strong flavor at all. It was warm, white, and creamy. It wasn't as flavorful as ranch dressing would have been. I think microwaved ranch dressing would have had a better flavor honestly if it’d had a packet of parmesan cheese dumped in it then certainly better.. I added salt and pepper to both of these. (Which is surprising since according to the package 28% of my USRDA for salt was in there already! 680mg of salt in the one meal... and it was flavorless.)

In both cases there were two pieces of broccoli bigger than a nickle in each box. Only two. The rest of the broccoli chaff was smaller, much smaller, flecks of broccoli. The chicken was the size of a normal dice, no. I take it back. They were smaller than a normal die. It also had no flavor. It hadn't been cooked and seasoned and then added to the pasta & sauce. It had probably been steam cooked, diced/cubed, then shot through a meat gun at the pasta boxes. If it hadn't been for the texture I wouldn’t have been able to tell the chicken from the pasta and sauce. The pasta was really the best part of the meal. It wasn't overcooked mush after following the microwave instructions. It wasn’t al dente, but it wasn't mush either. The noodles remained distinct from each other, kept their shape, and didn't turn sticky like over starchy noodles will sometimes. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the noodles. I was unpleasantly disappointed by the sauce. 

Alfredo sauce isn't a hard sauce: Butter, garlic, heavy cream, pepper, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese are the basic ingredients. I know how to make it. I've made it. I've eaten it in restaurants. It's the only thing in this dish that could give it any taste at all and sadly it was lacking. I can't recommend this at all. Here's a recipe for one I DO recommend.
(1) The sauce in the lasagna one appeared to have more pepper in it. There were black flakes of something in it. And the box said there was mozzarella cheese in it. It's possible the sauce in this one was a little thicker and stringier which would have been the cheese when I initially stirred it after microwaving it. After that stir though there was no feeling of difference between the two sauces other than the black specks of probably-pepper.
PS: Rich, you've said you're on a low carb diet! How are you doing that and why reviewing this pasta thing? Well, dear reader, I'm glad you asked. I was asked by someone to find them a good microwave meal, preferably an alfredo one, but italian for sure. They trust my judgement and have had my italian cooking so, I'm reviewing the stuff here that I eat. I don't eat it all and yeah. I know it's wasteful. But these two... they weren't worth going off my diet for sadly. I had high hopes. I really like Michelina's chicken pot pie. Or did the last time I had it. It's been a while. 
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