Quick protein solutions to reduce labor demands.

According to the CDC, 1 million people fall ill each year from contaminated poultry. In today’s fast-paced foodservice environment, operators face significant challenges including labor shortages, safety concerns, and the constant pressure of time management. These issues can compromise not only service quality but in worse-case scenarios lead to patrons falling ill from contaminated poultry. Working with raw can be dangerous if cooks do not have the proper safety and sanitation training. To make matters worse chicken is notoriously difficult to make right consistently and often will come out dry, undercooked, or bland. 

Preparing poultry from its raw state is highly labor-intensive and presents significant concerns regarding food safety and cross-contamination in the back of house. Operators must thaw frozen chicken, trim it, and apply special preparations before cooking. Additionally, they need to monitor the temperature throughout the process to ensure the poultry remains within safe temperature ranges.

Foodservice operators rely on frozen precooked chicken to help curb these problems. However, some precooked chicken brand products can be dry, rubbery, and tough to eat.

Consistency and Quality Reign True

HORMEL® FIRE BRAISED™ Chicken addresses the immediate operational challenges of labor, safety, and time management while enhancing the overall efficiency and quality of food at foodservice operations, making it a valuable asset for any operation looking to thrive in a competitive market.

“Operators can count on this product,” says Barry Greenberg, corporate chef at Hormel Foodservice. “They know exactly what they’re going to get, how it’s going to perform, and how it’s going to taste. Consistency is the first thing we focus on, followed by really strong quality.” 

Fully cooked chicken also allows for full adaptability on all sorts of menus. “Our chicken can be added to soups, stews, sandwiches, and any stand-alone entree,” Greenberg says. Additionally, the unique flame-searing and slow-cooking process results in a unique grilled caramelization that rivals chicken cooked from raw.

Achieve the Same Fresh Flavor

The quality of frozen, precooked chicken breasts can differ significantly, and not all products are of the same caliber. Operators who use these precooked options sometimes feel they must compromise on quality. 

Many fully cooked chicken breasts can be hard, rubbery, and dry lacking moisture and flavor. However, HORMEL® FIRE BRAISED™ Chicken provides a superior alternative. This fully cooked option delivers the genuine char-marked look, succulent texture, and rich flavor reminiscent of a freshly cooked chicken breast cooked from raw.

Cut Labor Costs with Fully Cooked Chicken

This fully cooked product significantly reduces kitchen labor and training requirements. Chefs and kitchen staff can bypass the lengthy processes of prepping, cooking, and monitoring chicken, allowing them to focus on other intricate aspects of meal preparation and service. 

“The culinary training it takes to ensure that cooks understand what they’re doing to not under or overcook chicken is arduous,” says Greenberg. On top of this, cooks also undergo training in sanitation to maintain proper food guidelines and reduce cross contamination. With training being time intensive and costly for both restaurants and chefs, kitchens can avoid the time-drain of training and dealing with raw poultry in favor of a consistent product boosting operator’s bottom line in the long term.

Reduce Safety and Sanitation Issues

The foodservice industry frequently struggles with safety concerns, both for its employees and its patrons. Among these, handling raw poultry poses notable risks due to potential foodborne pathogens. “Quick-service restaurant customers are the most concerned about the way chicken is cooked,” Greenberg says. “People are really freaked out by an undercooked piece of chicken.” 

These concerns are compounded by the challenge of maintaining proper cooking temperatures and procedures with the rush of a commercial kitchen environment. The preparation of HORMEL® FIRE BRAISED™ Chicken diminishes these safety concerns in the kitchen. Since the chicken is already cooked to the necessary internal temperatures prior to arrival at the restaurant, the risk of undercooking is eliminated. This is a crucial advantage, ensuring customers are always served safe, thoroughly cooked poultry.

Streamline Service with Flame-Seared Chicken

Moreover, HORMEL® FIRE BRAISED™ Chicken is an excellent tool for improving time management within a busy kitchen environment. Meals can be prepared more quickly, reducing wait times for customers and turning tables faster, which is essential for maximizing revenue during peak hours. 

“I’ve begun teaching my chefs and myself that using a fully cooked product that’s great quality frees us up to do and offer more,” Greenberg says. The convenience of precooked, scratch-quality chicken means that operators can effortlessly expand their menu offerings without additional labor or training costs.

Visit the Hormel Foodservice website to explore the rest of the HORMEL® FIRE BRAISED™ Chicken product line.

By Abby Winterburn 

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