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Jul 18, 2006 02:36 AM

World's Worst Products - Canned whole chicken

In a topic on Home Cooking about how to use canned Costco chicken. I was about to post my homage to canned chicken and its versatility when someone asked what to do with canned whole chicken.

I never heard of such a thing and this kind of food insanity appeals to me so I Googled and yes indeed there is such a product ... Sweet Sue Whole Chicken in a Can for use in soups, stews and for quick dinners.

In this link where you can purchase the chicken on-line, there is a picture on the can of a lovely browned bird ... with stuffing ... that your gut feeling tells you isn't what you'll see when you open the can.

This next link on other bad food ideas in addition to whole canned chicken says of the Sweet Sue bird "it's stewed in a quivering mass of aspic goop"

There are some pretty appalling other food products mentioned ... what were they thinking?

Love the Armour Pork Brains in Milk Gravy with over a thousand percent of the daily cholesterol intake.

There are other delights like clam jerky, Rudolph pate and musk life savers.

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  1. I keep waiting for Chef Boy-R-D to put out canned chitlins.

    1 Reply
    1. re: yayadave

      No self-respecting southerner would eat canned chitlins.

    2. I am also very put off by the idea of a whole canned chicken. Especially in light of the fact that they're usually on sale and, at worst, you could just roast one up in an hour. Or, boil one up in even less time.

      But, who knows, maybe there is a particular character to this version. Has anyone tried it?

      11 Replies
      1. re: Bob Brooks

        Yes, I have. It is not wonderful and does not have a great deal of flavor, but .......
        I used to keep one aboard our sailboat for emergencies. When sailing away from land for ten days or more, fresh food stocks get pretty low. Having a chicken on hand can make a difference at mealtime. Because it is packed with so much goo, I found the best use to be a kind of soupy stew, with strong flavorings (ginger or chile). It is especially welcoming on a rainy winter afternoon when you're chilled to the bone.

        With the availability of a real kitchen, I cannot imagine a use for this product other than as emergency rations.

        1. re: Sherri

          I tried one once on an extended camping trip. While I don't have memories of it being horrible, I had no inclination to try it again. Instead I bought whole frozen chickens, let them thaw in the cooler and then cooked them in the pressure cooker.

          I suspect this whole canned chicken came on the market before the deboned, chunk chicken did (60's or earlier), and retains a limited regional following.


          1. re: Sherri

            we used to live aboard, so we kept one of these on hand all the time. (Sweet Sue's Chicken and Dumplings was another standard item in our pantry -- also good on a nasty day)

            I used to keep them in my hurricane rations box.

            They're fine when used in soups, stews, casseroles, or in chicken salad.

            (good lord, just saw how ancient this thread is)

              1. re: hill food

                nah - those cans were used up before we even returned to a shore-based existence.

                (I'm pretty brave, but even I'm not going to eat anything that's 3 decades old....)

          2. re: Bob Brooks

            It's so true. Just take a chicken toss it in a pan, stick it in the oven at some random temperature and in an hour you've got chicken meat. What's the problem?

            1. re: niki rothman

              I've lived in parts of the world where the availabilty of any kind of fresh meat is iffy on any given day, or even any given week. Shredded, canned chicken can be gussied up in many casseroles, and/or ethnic dishes. If you're truly desperate, being a food snob falls by the wayside.

              1. re: pikawicca

                I know this topic is old, but my husband (a former sous chef and definite food snob) loves the canned shredded chicken from Trader Joe's. He makes it into chicken salad with a little mayo, dijon, salt and pepper and then totes the sandwiches to work. I was skeptical, and I don't like it as much as fresh chicken, but it's not horrible. My favorite way to make chickn salad by the way, is from fried chicken (used to do this with KFC when i was a kid). Mix it up, crust and all, with mayo, seasoned salt and some sweet pickle relish. oh my heaven!

            2. re: Bob Brooks

              This seriously made me want to vomit on my keyboard-just had a nice d inner also.

              The canned chicken still has feathers on some part? wtf...yuuuck!

              Canned brains? isn't there some disease you can get from eating pork brains or is that mad cow diease?

              Weirdest food I've tried is hering jerky- it was actually ok exept for very salty and dry...and fishy.

              I keep on seeing tripe? at the grocery store. that stuff that is white,slimy looking and all spongy.
              does anyone every buy that?

              1. re: MiriamOttawa

                Tripe is an excellent vehicle to carry sauces. Sliced and diced in soups it provides a pleasant texture provided you are not grossed out by eating it. Depending on the sheleteredness of your upbringing you may have similar disquietudes with liver, kidney, heart, chicken gizzard, cows hoof, brains, testicles, lung, sweetbreads, tongue and so on. This can to a great extent depend on your ethnicity and culture. And to give an example of this, many North Americans are very happy to eat a sausage made from mechanically scavenged meat stuffed into the membrane from a sheep's or pigs gut. Those same people will not eat haggis (since it is stuffed into a sheep's stomach) or tripe.

                Tripe is fairly tasteless (as is most white fish and squid). But provided you can get your head round it it is a great ingredient in things like curries as the sauces fills and sticks to the cavities.

              2. re: Bob Brooks

                I just discovered this video of Chicken in a Can. You've gotta see ti...


              3. oh my god that is shocking...i think i have to get my hands on one so i can have a live viewing.

                1. I remember this from camping in the '60's. Atrocious! We also got canned bacon and canned chow mein. What was my mother thinking?

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Zydeco_Mama

                    Okay, canned bacon is something that may truly be worthy of "Ewwww!!!" ;-)

                    1. re: Katie Nell

                      No, no, no! Canned bacon (the Danish kind, anyway) is perfectly fine. My aunt used to send me care pacakges of the stuff when I was living in Saudi Arabia years ago. Three years without a BLT would have been dreadful.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        I guess I just can't picture it? I'm picturing ready-to-eat bacon, but that can't be what you're talking about, right?

                    2. re: Zydeco_Mama

                      Your Mom was right on with the canned bacon. I wish I could find it today...

                      1. re: Fog City Kid

                        Fog City and Zydeco, I think you are looking for a product from Denmark, the name was Dak Canned Bacon prevalent in the 60s-70s, and one of my favorites. It was wound around waxed paper and the taste was superb. We would buy that over the bacon in supermarkets because of the rich smoky flavor. Denmark is famous for their bacon and ham products with good reason.

                        Last year I remembered that bacon and went on a quest to find it. I tracked down the original company in Denmark via e-mail (fun trying to communicate in our broken language signals - no arm waving to help us) to learn that Danish Crown had been sold to Plumrose, well known company in this country, and they don't make this product anymore, just the Dak ham in 1# cans you see advertised in the Sunday ads.

                        I spent hours searching this out and was really disappointed to find it no longer is produced. I doubt the camping products, also in cans, have anywhere the flavor but please let me know if you find a good one.

                        1. re: eartha

                          I loved that bacon. I just googled Dak canned bacon and found out thanks to your research that it is no longer available. Darn! What a great survival food.

                        2. re: Fog City Kid

                          google "Internet grocer" they have canned bacon the brand is Yoders canned bacon... and yes katie it is ready to eat strips rolled up in wax paper

                        3. re: Zydeco_Mama

                          Canned bacon!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
                          What the......!!!!!!!!!!!


                          1. re: Zydeco_Mama

                            I agree, the canned bacon was truly nasty!

                            1. re: al b. darned

                              There was a time when the highly touted Consumer's Report rated canned bacon from Poland very high.

                          2. When I worked at a nationally recognized food-service supply company, I was surprised at the varying degrees of quality offered on each type of item while proofreading the catalog. I kept wondering if my favorite local restaurant ordered the "prestige" or the "economy" type of a certain product.

                            Then I found something that stopped me in my tracks:
                            Chicken breast-shaped filets

                            Breast-SHAPED?? As in, what are they really, that you're making them LOOK like chicken breasts?!?

                            Freaked me out, man. . .

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Covert Ops

                              We used to call items like these, a chewed & glued product.

                              1. re: Linnster

                                The first listed ingredient in a Slim Jim is "mechanically separated chicken parts"...

                                1. re: diropstim

                                  "Mechanically separated?" Maybe with a claw-hammer.