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Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings Sections

Trader Joe’s has some of the tastiest frozen food, which is why I wanted to try their Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings Sections. These are essentially Buffalo style wings traditionally made with vinegar, hot sauce, and melted butter, among other ingredients. Although I didn’t eat much spicy food as a child, I couldn’t resist Buffalo chicken wings. I ate the ones from Tyson brand and remember how enjoyable they were as an afternoon snack. Read on to see how Trader Joe’s Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings Sections compare.

The details

Price: $5.99

Size: 16 oz. bag

Serving size: 3 wing sections (92 g)

Servings per container: about 3 

Calories per serving: 200

Cooking instructions:

Conventional Oven: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray, add wings and bake on center rack of oven: FROZEN wings 28 to 33 minutes – THAWED wings 21 to 24 minutes or until heated through.

Microwave Oven (1200 watt): Place 8 wings in a circle (leave space in the center) on a microwave safe plate. Microwave uncovered on high: FROZEN wings 7 to 9 minutes – THAWED wings 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 1 minute before serving.

What are the ingredients in Trader Joe’s Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings Sections?

Chicken wing sections, chicken broth, aged cayenne peppers, food starch, contains 2% of less of distilled vinegar, wheat flour, salt, canola oil, rice flour, spices (red petter), chile pepper extract, seasoning (sunflower oil, natural flavoring), xanthan gum. Parfried in vegetable oil. 

How should you cook Trader Joe’s Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings Sections?

The package had 9 pieces in total. There were 8 drumettes, 1 tiny drumette, and 1 wingette. 

The chicken comes fully cooked. It just needs to be heated up.

I heated the pieces in the toaster oven. I placed aluminum foil on the tray for easier clean up. If I were to cook this again, I would add a bit of non-stick spray or something to try and keep the chicken from sticking to the foil.

The instructions say to eat at 375 degrees F, but my toaster oven has preset temperature options. I had to pick 390 or 355 degrees.

I preheated the toaster oven, cooked the chicken at 390 degrees for a few minutes, and then dropped the temperature to 355 for the remaining time. It heated nicely in 32 minutes.

I don’t recommend heating the chicken in the microwave. The microwave is more likely to heat the chicken unevenly and really dry out the sauce, possibly even the meat too. The meat may also taste different.

How do Trader Joe’s Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings Sections taste?

The chicken is very fragrant! I could smell the peppery scent around the house. I was afraid I would sneeze just walking into the kitchen, but it smelled so good!

As for the chicken itself, the meat was soft, not overly cooked and dry. The chicken was light in taste as there wasn’t much sauce left on it after cooking. 

Some of the sauce came off in the toaster oven. Most of the sauce dried up due to cooking at high heat. And there was little sauce on the chicken to begin with.

Despite the lack of sauce, the chicken was decently spicy. It was lightly spicy for the first pieces but grew to a mild/moderate spiciness with continued eating.

The chicken would be much better with a good amount of Buffalo sauce or really any compatible sauce. I wish it had come with an extra side of Buffalo sauce.

If I cook this again, I will add a tablespoon or two of water to the toaster oven tray to keep the outer part of the chicken more wet as it heats up. 

What I disliked most about the chicken though was that it tastes like reheated chicken. The chicken is fully cooked, so you are reheating it to eat.

I don’t like the taste of reheated chicken or microwaved chicken, and definitely not microwave reheated chicken. After eating a few pieces, I stopped because I didn’t like it enough to continue. 

You may not have the same aversion I did. My husband didn’t mind the taste and ate the rest of the chicken.

What do you eat with Trader Joe’s Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings Sections?

Buffalo style chicken wings are often eaten with foods such as celery and carrot sticks, blue cheese dressing, or ranch dressing. This is both to complement the flavor and manage the heat. 

If you eat the chicken wings as an entree (versus an appetizer or snack), you can serve it with many common meal items such as coleslaw, corn bread, French fries, baked potatoes or potato skins, or macaroni and cheese. 

I ate the chicken with the Trader Joe’s Mediterranean style salad that comes in a pre-packaged kit. The salad was light, didn’t cover the hot spicy taste of the chicken, and added a healthy component to the meal. 

Final thoughts

Trader Joe’s Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings Sections are a convenient option for those craving the classic Buffalo-style flavor. They’re not restaurant quality, and they would taste better if the sauce stayed moist through cooking or if it came with an additional side of hot sauce.

You could make up for what it’s lacking by adding your own dressing or serving the chicken with some delicious sides. As for me, I will try some other brands of hot and spicy wings to see how they match up before purchasing the Trader Joe’s one again. 

Rating: 3/5

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