Sponsored by Hormel Foodservice
Volume feeding, on-demand dining and the ability to satisfy a variety of food preferences routinely test the resources of onsite foodservice operators — especially those in college and healthcare settings. Producing high-quality meals under less-than-ideal conditions is indeed a challenge. But solutions are available to help meet that challenge.
Take chicken, for example. One of the most-menued ingredients, it can be a complicated product with which to work. But stocking a fully cooked version of proteins like this can streamline production, eliminate potential pain points and improve patron satisfaction. How?
• Eliminating guesswork. Cooking raw chicken demands time and attention, two factors in short supply in many foodservice kitchens. From start to finish it can take hours, and ensuring the product is fully cooked means the dining staff must carefully monitor its temperature. Because they are already cooked, Hormel® Fire Braised™ Chicken Breast allows a less-skilled team to produce consistently high-quality chicken dishes with more confidence.
• Peace of mind. Depending on a fully cooked chicken product eliminates operators’ concerns about safety issues associated with handling and preparing raw chicken. The potential for cross-contamination can be a concern with raw chicken because of the multiple steps and touchpoints involved in preparing and cooking the product — from proper thawing to rinsing, trimming, seasoning, parcooking and holding. Each of these steps opens up the possibility of improper handling or cross-contamination. But a fully cooked product like Hormel® Fire Braised™ Chicken Breast cuts out those steps. It also reduces the possibility of serving undercooked product, which can trigger foodborne illnesses and a subpar dining experience.
• Superior quality. These are not just any chicken breasts. Hormel Foods starts by flame-searing them to bring out the natural chicken flavor, with nuances of caramelization and char. Next, the chicken is slow cooked, allowing it to retain its natural flavor and texture. The natural shape and a caramelized exterior mimic the results of scratch cooking. For foodservice kitchens, worries about undercooking disappear with Hormel® Fire Braised™ Chicken Breast.
• Convenience. Healthcare nutrition departments, faced with myriad dietary concerns, pay particular attention to portion control. Hormel® Fire Braised™ Chicken Breast is available in 3-ounce, 4-ounce and 5-ounce portions, eliminating guesswork in tray preparation. Having fully cooked chicken breasts also eases on-demand dining pressures — items can be quickly prepared and delivered to patient rooms. In college dining, already-cooked chicken provides a terrific building block for a variety of speed-scratch recipes and food stations. Having a fully cooked, portioned protein also eases planning for catered events. And because Hormel® Fire Braised™ Chicken Breast can be served warm or cold, it is an optimal choice for hospital or campus grab-and-go salads, wraps and sandwiches.
• Versatility. Nearly every corner of the world can claim a signature chicken recipe, a testament to its adaptability and compatibility across a wide swath of flavor profiles, preparation methods, seasonings and ingredients. That versatility allows operators the latitude to remain on top of evolving consumer trends and to energize menus with innovative dishes. Whether Mediterranean, Asian, American, Middle Eastern or other global preparations, Hormel® Fire Braised™ Chicken Breast works well in any application that calls for chicken breasts. It can play a starring role in dishes from entrées to sandwiches, wraps, salads, kebabs, burrito fillings, soups and chilis, bowls, stir-fries and much more. Chicken is a welcome addition to breakfast and brunch menus as well, with applications ranging from omelets to chicken and waffles.
• Popularity. Chicken’s relatively low calorie count, strong protein profile and overall health halo hold strong appeal for diners. From fried chicken fans to keto diet followers and health-focused consumers, chicken satisfies a wide variety of eating preferences. According to the Datassential “The New Healthy” report, “high protein” is one of the descriptors that most appeals to consumers. Providing the option to add on expertly prepared, already-cooked and portioned chicken to stir-fries, flatbreads, salads and bowls is an easy way to satisfy patients and students seeking to boost their protein intake.
• Menu creativity. By eliminating time- and labor-consuming steps involved in preparing chicken, dining services have more freedom and flexibility to focus on menu development and customization to accommodate guest preferences and keep menus fresh. Minimally processed without artificial ingredients, Hormel® Fire Braised™ Chicken Breast is tailor-made for onsite foodservice operators looking to provide options for their clean-eating patrons as well.
Fully cooked proteins present a boon for operators seeking ways to produce high-quality, delicious meals more efficiently. By streamlining production and reducing potential issues with cross-contamination and less-than-optimal cooking, products like Hormel® Fire Braised™ Chicken Breast provide a valuable tool.