REVIEW: Banquet Southern Fried Fried Chicken Classics

I don’t know a lot about the South, but if the Food Network has taught me anything it’s that the food is good because it has a lot of soul in it. Sort of like Shang Tsung from Mortal Kombat, I guess. Other than that, my knowledge of the region is limited to popular culture. It would be far too irresponsible to fill this review with southern stereotypes. I could talk about how Michael Vick and Miss South Carolina have set any progress back about 150 years, but all of that would be too easy, ignorant, and fun.

It’s a lot better to focus on the positive, like this tasty meal from our friends from Banquet, which I have a sordid and confusing past with. It’s filled with twists and turns and maybe even a few liaisons with other brands. Banquet started selling their fried chicken meals with one big thigh instead of a drumstick and a wing. That crushed my saturated fat and cholesterol-filled soul. For the past several years, I have felt betrayed. Even though I received fewer grease burns from eagerly picking up chicken pieces, eating was never quite as fun or interesting.

However, Banquet has now unveiled two new chicken meals that have found a way into my heart. They have this southern fried chicken meal, which is something I’ve been waiting for my whole life, and one featuring two drumsticks. I can only imagine that they’ve been keeping all of the spare drumsticks in some warehouse for the past 5 years. Since I didn’t feel like eating chicken that has been around since I was in high school, I opted for the southern variety.

If you’ve ever looked at a supermarket ad, you will notice that Banquet is perpetually on sale at 10 for $10. While this is awesome for the person on a budget, it also causes a great deal of shame at the checkout line when your cart is a sea of red boxes and everyone else has real groceries. I usually throw in a bell pepper so I don’t feel as bad, but the cashier sees right through me.

I will never understand why the company calls itself Banquet. Obviously, you’re not meant to serve it at an actual banquet. Are you supposed to sit on your beanbag chair and pretend to be at a fancy affair as you shovel corn into your mouth? I have come to the conclusion that Banquet exists to humiliate me.

After a few hours of stewing and self-loathing, I get over my paranoia and start to enjoy the meal. The chicken actually tastes pretty good out of the microwave. Obviously, it isn’t crispy, but it’s also nice and peppery. This is a welcome change of pace from the ultra-salty fried chicken in the regular meals. Instead of corn, you get a decent amount of green beans. I’m not sure if green beans are more southern than corn, but at least it’s edible, which is far more than I can say about the corn in these meals. A cup of fake mashed potatoes rounds out the meal quite nicely.

If there’s anything bad I can say about the meal, it’s that it costs 25 cents more than a regular Banquet meal. However, not even my cheap ass can reasonably complain about the price hike. In fact, even the biggest college lowlife can afford the extra quarter for a frozen dinner.

Unless you’re from the South.

Just kidding.

Item: Banquet Southern Fried Fried Chicken Classics
Price: $1.25
Purchased at: Stater Bros.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tasty, flavorful chicken that will actually remind you of good fried chicken. Side dishes that are actually edible. Great value for the price.
Cons: Not even close to banquet-quality food. Southern stereotypes. The humiliation of a diet consisting of 95% frozen dinners. An extra 25 cents per meal.

19 thoughts to “REVIEW: Banquet Southern Fried Fried Chicken Classics”

  1. I feel you pain except for me it was about 2 years ago and I wasn’t working and Unemployment insurance doesn’t really pay a whole lot. Along with The Banquet brand, there was Michalina’s brand that were about 30 seconds from the date of experation and were .50 a box.20 bucks got me a grocery cart full of blue and red boxes.

  2. Exactly, Karen! I’m also quite curious as to whatever happened to that bell pepper? Do you just put it directly into the garbage disposal like I would (do)?

  3. Nice video game reference, Marvo! A+!

    However, you’ve now got me craving fried chicken, which requires a 15 minute drive. B

    Overall, I give you an A-.

  4. Domokun, surely there’s something he could do with a bell pepper besides throwing it away, or *shudder* eating it. Maybe he could dry them and make some clothes out of the pepper leather…

  5. I love the Banquet fried chicken. The key to make it crispy (for me anyway) is to cook it for the maximum time in the microwave (when they give you a range of time to cook it for, I usually cook it for the time in the middle). Mine is crispy everytime. It might not work for you, but it may be worth a try.

  6. eating budget frozen food is nothing to be ashamed of. I spent a few lean years at school with a cart full of red boxes too!
    It is better than eating Cup O Noodles all the time, and even if not all that healthy at least the veggies are not freeze dried.
    I still buy the family size salsbury steak boxes when I get lazy and don’t want to cook for the family.
    Stand proud in the checkout line Marvo!

  7. Banquet’s not bad. Ya know, I think my local restaurants serve it- they don’t get many orders in the way of fried chicken.

    Ack- now I really want chicken, and it’s 8:19 in the morning… Thanks, Ace! 🙂

  8. You know, you don’t need to buy all ten of the items in order to get the deal. You can just buy one for a dollar. And then walk back in the store 9 more times.

  9. Chuck – That describes 99% of my diet.

    luckinflux – I have noticed that Michelina’s likes to have a fire sale for the products they can’t move, it’s never seemed safe to stock up on them.

    Karen – I record myself eating it like the chairman during the opening of the original Iron Chef. It’s something I do.

    Domokun – Bell peppers aren’t actually that bad if you can ignore the terrible taste.

    Henry Evil – I feel like a slob before I’m eating it too, so it’s not a huge difference.

    Rhawb – For the 156th time, I’m not Marvo. But I’ll glady take the A-.

    Clevegal42 – I like to throw it into the toaster oven after a few minutes. Makes it feel more special, I suppose.

    Marvo – Detox is fine, but I think the colonics you have scheduled are a bit excessive.

    bikerbabeee – For the 157th time, I’m not Marvo. However, I will take your advice and keep my chin up when I’m checking out.

    Peachy – I don’t know if green bean casserole is southern, but I just made some and it is awesome. Either way, green beans >>> corn in frozen meals.

    demondoll – Nothing beats some cold, leftover KFC for breakfast. One of life’s greatest pleasures.

    Annie – I figured this out a while ago, but thanks for the heads up. I usually buy 15-20 at a time anyways so it has never been an issue.

  10. Oh Ace Im sorry.. maybey this will make it up to to you.. Thank you sir may I have another???

  11. I feel that I’m the only one that noticed Ace wrote this and not Marvo. also; I’m from Georgia. and I’d have to say that we eat alot of corn and green beans.

  12. Rhawb – For the 156th time, I’m not Marvo. But I’ll glady take the A-.

    D’OH!!! Sorry Ace, I’ll upgrade you to a sold A for my mistake, but not one point more!

  13. they make it look SO good on the box. i used to eat a Banquet dinner for lunch every day for a year or two and haven’t had one again since. Thank god we’re not that poor anymore….LOL

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