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“Instant Kosher Chicken,” The Jewish Week (New York), February 1, 2011.

Instant Kosher Chicken
The Jewish Week
February 1, 2011

OK, so it’s not exactly Oreos going kosher or the advent of kosher “shrimp.” But for the kosher household scrambling to get Shabbos dinner together, Empire Kosher’s new microwaveable whole chicken might be just the ticket.

“The Ready to Roast Garlic and Herb Seasoned Chicken,” which hit stores in recent weeks, is a full-size chicken that can be cooked in the microwave in 20 minutes.

Preparation is hassle free, said Elie Rosenfeld, spokesman for Empire Kosher. “Pop the chicken — bag and all — into the microwave for 20 minutes, and it’s fully cooked. It’s ideal for kosher travelers who want to avoid frozen airline meals or parents who are tired of feeding their kids mac ‘n cheese,” he said.

Despite its un-recession-like price tag of about $15, Empire’s new bird will likely come to the rescue of countless hosts who discover at the last minute that throngs of guests have invited themselves over for Shabbat dinner.

Andrew Linder, a self-described carnivore from New Jersey, recently tasted the dish and gave it a thumbs-up. He said he was pleasantly surprised by the “juicy, tender and well-seasoned chicken.”

“It’s very convenient to make, but it’s not processed like chicken nuggets,” Linder said.

This is the first in Empire’s “Ready to Roast Line,” said Rosenfeld. Empire is now developing other chicken and turkey varieties, including smaller varieties and additional flavors.

The product has elicited raves from the blogosphere. Chaviva Galatz, who writes the “Just Call Me Chaviva” blog, opined that when she first heard about the microwaveable chicken, she was apprehensive. “I thought it was crazy,” she wrote. “You can’t buy un-kosher chicken you can cook in 20 minutes in your microwave, so why on earth would the kosher market produce something?” she mused.

A recent convert to Judaism, Galatz said what she misses most about the non-kosher market is the convenience of heat-and-eat foods, such as Lean Cuisine.

But Empire, with this latest endeavor, came pretty close to hitting a bull’s eye, she wrote.

“All I can think is that the folks at Empire realize that we’re busy — all of us, not just Jews — and having a fresh, delicious, kosher, seasoned chicken ready in 20 minutes is the best thing since sliced bread,” she wrote.

Early indications are that Empire’s innovation is selling well.

At Nassau Kosher Meats in East Meadow, L.I., cashier Helen Markman said the new product is ringing up sales. “Customers are picking it up. They seem to like it,” she said.

When they first spy the microwaveable chicken in their cases, she said, “they do seem surprised by the concept.” But as a longtime food connoisseur, Markman wasn’t content to let her customers cook it up without taking a taste. “I tried it also. It was good.”

7 responses to "“Instant Kosher Chicken,” The Jewish Week (New York), February 1, 2011."

  • May 20th, 2011 at 8:30 am nan

    Where do you sell the microwaveable chicken in Baltimore? Do you have coupons for it you can send me? I would love to try it.

    Thanks.

  • May 24th, 2011 at 5:07 pm Empire Kosher

    Hi Nan, thanks for your comment. In the Baltimore, MD area, Empire Kosher Ready To Roast can be purchased at Giant, Seven Mile Market, and other local super markets. If you do not find it on the shelf where you purchase other Empire Kosher products, please ask the store manager for it by name. At this time we do not have coupons available, but please sign up to receive email from Empire Kosher for coupons in the future: http://www.empirekosher.com/email-sign-up/

  • June 3rd, 2011 at 11:43 am Rachel

    What if I don’t want to use a microwave, can you use the oven?

  • June 29th, 2011 at 5:32 pm Empire Kosher

    Yes, you can. While the microwave is totally safe and the product is unique in its ability to be fully roasted there, conventional cooking instructions are also on the back of the bag. “Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place Ready to Roast Chicken in an oven safe roaster and cook for 16-20 minutes per pound.” Either way, enjoy.

  • September 14th, 2011 at 7:29 am Gerri Kobren

    I found this product in a freezer case at the market. I have kept it in the freezer. Is it supposed to be defrosted before cooking?

  • September 15th, 2011 at 1:08 pm Empire Kosher

    Gerri, thanks for your question! For best results, the Ready to Roast should be defrosted. If it’s not, then it’s hard to be sure the product gets fully cooked to the correct temperature. We do not have a recommended cook time from frozen. So – defrost!

  • November 22nd, 2011 at 9:44 pm phil

    Where can I purchase the ready to roast chicken in the metro west area of Boston? We had it a while back and found it at stop and shop. T

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