09 June, 2012

Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken

I've had Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken on my Grail List since I first learned of its existence several years ago. The sheer bizarreness of a canned whole chicken drew me to it like a moth to a flame. Alas, however, Sweet Sue products have severely limited availability in my area - I might occasionally find their Chicken and Dumplings or tins of chicken breast, but that's it.

However, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous reader who lives in Sweet Sue Land, I recently received the elusive Sweet Sue Canned Whole Chicken.  It immediately went into the fridge, can and all, because the instructions on the label advise that it should be chilled before removing (makes sense - cooked meat is always easier to handle chilled.)

This photo, taken by Tracy O'Connor and first published on her awesome blog, I Hate My Message Board, is what I was expecting to find when I opened the can: a whole (albeit small) cooked chicken, goopy with the broth created during processing. Kind of looks like it just came out of one of the egg pods in Alien, doesn't it?

But when I opened the can, what slid out was even more horrifying.


This is what actually came out.

I poked through the shredded, gooey poultry meat and discovered that there was indeed most of the components of a whole chicken in there. There was skin, lots of bones, and plenty of chunks and fibers that I'm pretty sure once comprised a chicken. The only readily identifiable bits were the legs and the breast; all the rest of the bird had been pulverized.

Needless to say, I didn't bother to follow the rest of the cooking instructions (which told me to put the chicken in a pan in a hot oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, basting frequently with the delicious broth.)  I spent some time picking out as many of the bones as I could find, then heated up the whole mess in a Dutch oven and made chicken and dumplings with it.

The flavor was okay. It had the kind of tinny flavor and strange mouthfeel of cheap canned chicken soup, and it was somewhat on the salty side, but the taste was recognizable as chicken when all was said and done.

So, I'm ticking this one off the Grail List, with no regrets - and no desire for a repeat.

22 comments:

DrunkethWizerd said...

This is truly horrifying.

Janet Throneberry said...

The bones in this thing are dangerous, and their customer service reps are pathetic. Still waiting for my refund. And by the pic you posted, you seem to have gotten a good one.

W. 'wild' West said...

Appearances aside, it seems to be a quite handy product to have available for chicken salad...

Sunny said...

Ew.

Miss Krys said...

I can't believe you actually ate it. EWWWWWWW sick!

Mlvlatina said...

Whenever I am hungry I will look at this. Best diet ever. Yuck!

Paul Tweekrem said...

It is a real timesaver when I or my wife want to make chicken tacos. The meat falls off the bone, and once heated and seasoned up a bit makes a good filling. It can be really handy for camping. After a day of cold weather hiking, this chicken works when making a quick and easy Arroz con Apollo that will stick to your ribs. While I'm certain it was never intended for fine dining, every can I've ever opened looked like the one depicted in the first picture. The juices make it so much better than chunked or shredded canned chicken.

Edward Winfrey S. said...

Seriously Man!!!!!! Seriously!!! Seriously!! Seriously!! you must work for sweet sue or you ate it because you don't turn down free food. Who come up with this stuff. I thought it was a joke because its on most of the Comedy pages of social media.

Dylan King said...

That is so disgusting!

antiquateddeity said...

Well, I see where David Lynch got the inspiration for the chicken scene in Eraserhead from. Somehow, this is even more uncomfortable and horrifying to view.

moose4201980 said...

When the zombie apocalypse comes you all will be pumped for a whole chicken albeit canned!

674355cc-2ebb-11e3-af38-000bcdcb8a73 said...

I disagree with most of you. The bones that you can't get out are soft enough to chew safely, not as tough as fresh chopped celery, fresh ground pepper or okra. It is a convenience food, and I ate it in my husbands grandmothers chicken and dressing (after she went through and removed all of the skin and bones she could find). The broth in the can is extra rich and I used it in the Chicken Pot Pie I just finished serving, with biscuit topping via using self rising flour and milk(not cutting out the biscuit), just pouring it over the top of the stew mixture. I thought it tasted great, no tinny taste to it, and my husband loves it. Of course I added canned cut up green beans, canned carrots that I chopped, canned green peas, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup and another can of just canned chicken breast. Cooked it all in a crock pot 3 hours and served with hot yeast rolls. Tasted wonderful. If you want to eat the chicken right out of the can, have at it, but I use it in my recipes, I like it!

Gary Holtorf said...

My mom canned chicken, and quail. They can be made tasty, but never attractive... in my experience.

Dave said...

Not even close to being in the league of canned possum.

aphasialady said...

I agree with Mlvlatina. That stuff is completely jacked up. Looks like it has already been eaten.

Joanna Duran said...

Absolutely repulsive

Gloria Martin said...

This can of chicken makes the best homemade chicken noodle soup.
Forget what it looks like. The older folk I'm sure remember canning chicken and a lot of other meats.

MicYaro said...

Why the heck would you eat that trash?

Dave said...

So you don't have to.

TomW said...

Thought of you today, Dave, when I came across this:

-- Among the foods "you wouldn't even eat if trapped on a desert island" in a May London Daily Mirror feature: canned cheeseburger (Germany), canned whole chicken (Sweet Sue brand of USA), canned peanut butter and jelly sandwich (Mark One Foods of USA), canned bacon (Hungary), Squeez Bacon (in a plastic jar like ketchup, from Vilhelm Lilleflask of Sweden), whole peeled lamb tongues (New Zealand) and Elephant Dung Beer (from excreted coffee beans by Japan's Sankt Gallen). Also mentioned: Casu Marzu (cheese containing live maggots that the food's few fans swear make its taste irresistible -- and which News of the Weird reported in 2000). [Daily Mirror, 5-29-2014]

honey said...

I was married just before Christmas 1960 in Australia. This was before we had frozen chickens so I bought a chicken in a can for Christmas lunch. It was truly dreadful, my husband still talks about it. It was the worst Christmas ever.

Mundster Mundy said...

I found a slo cooker from 1976 with recipe book intact, most of the chicken meals call for canned whole chicken.