Stouffer’s Pub Classics Ranch Fried Chicken Review

Stouffer's Pub Classics Ranch Fried Chicken

A nice, classic American-style dinner seems to be the white whale of the frozen food industry. That’s the exact meal everybody is trying to make, yet very few companies really have it figured out. It seems like it should be easy: Take a piece of fried chicken or fried pork or roasted turkey, add a side of mashed potatoes and some gravy, give it a little portion of veggies to round it out, then call it a day. But due to the freezing-and-reheating process, something always feels like it gets lost in translation.

So we’re going into the Stouffer’s Pub Classics Ranch Fried Chicken with some hesitation. If anyone can pull off a meal like this, it’s the food geniuses at Stouffer’s, but we’ve really not seen it done properly before. We’d like to think this will be the one that does it for us, but we’re also afraid to get our hopes up too high. Any of the hope we did have before this melted away when we saw that this has an average of just over two stars on the customer reviews on the official website. That’s not a display of confidence, is it?

But we’re going to dive into this anyway. We owe it to ourselves and our readers to have an objective opinion, and to not dismiss a chicken dinner without actually tasting it ourselves. So we’re going to do just that.

Cooking this is as simple as you’d expect. Pop it into the microwave for three and a half minutes, give it a bit of a stir, then pop it back in for three more minutes. It takes a bit longer than your average frozen meal, but if you frequently eat Stouffer’s food, you’ve probably come to expect this from the brand. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the back of the box, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Stouffer's Pub Classics Ranch Fried Chicken

As you can see in the image above, the chicken portion comes out pocked with crater marks, like the surface of an alien world. This isn’t a dealbreaker for us — some of our favorite frozen foods also suffer from this malady — but we wish someone would solve this problem. It’s the 21st Century; why has no one solved the pockmarks of frozen food?

That said, the ranch sauce is actually quite good. It honestly has more of a sour cream flavor than a true ranch dressing flavor, but we can totally deal with that. In fact, it’s probably a better choice than just dunking some fried chicken into a ranch sauce.

The chicken, however, is so-so. It’s too gristly in places, and the texture of the breading is spongy in an unappealing way. The flavor is fine, for the most part, and the ranch sauce kicks it up a notch in that department, but the consistency is a bit weird and unappealing. Such is the case for so many frozen chicken meals…

Stouffer’s tries to seal this deal with a really generous portion of mashed potatoes. And this really is important, because an incredible batch of mashed potatoes could really turn this thing around. Unfortunately, these are just so-so. They’re better than your average frozen mashed potatoes, but they’re also too gravelly and taste too much like garlic. The real shame is that if Stouffer’s would have put the ranch sauce on top of these potatoes, we think we’d have gone absolutely bonkers for this combo. As is, you’ve got a pretty okay chicken with a good sauce and a side of pretty okay mashed potatoes.

This is no diet food, but the 480 calories probably won’t turn away anyone who’s craving a home-cooked chicken dinner. The sodium is a bit rough, though, at 1,300 mg. That’s almost double what we’d expect in the average frozen meal. If you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake, you might want to keep your frozen meals in the freezer for the time being.

The Stouffer’s Pub Classics Ranch Fried Chicken is just okay. It’s certainly not offensively bad, and we’d probably lean closer to a 3.5 than a 2.3 if we were to rate this out of 5 (2.3 is the current user review score on the GoodNes website). We do think that with some alterations — a better chicken and enough sauce to cover the mashed potatoes — would have actually made this a pretty high-quality meal. As is, it’s no homerun, but it’s a decent enough attempt at a frozen chicken dinner.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this chicken dinner, check out our package scans below.

Stouffer's Pub Classics Ranch Fried Chicken
Stouffer's Pub Classics Ranch Fried Chicken
Stouffer's Pub Classics Ranch Fried Chicken
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