Bumble Bee ‘Prime Fillet’ packaged chicken breast

Im a carnivore and although a bowl of instant potatos, seasoned rice, or buttered spaghetti with cheese is a very warming, comforting thing I still need meat to make a meal feel like a meal. Unfortunately, meat doesnt have the stable-at-room-temperature life of, say, dried beans. Sure,you can buy canned meats and there are folks who swear Spam is actually tasty and yummy. I find all canned meats, except tuna, just a bit creepy. When you open the cans Im always reminded of cat food.

So…whats a carnivore to do for that quick fix of striated muscle tissue that makes any meal more pleasin’? Well, MRE’s usually have a meat component but lets be real – MRE’s are adequate for their task, they arent exactly so good youd eat ’em if you didnt have to. (Although some are pretty good.)

However, I found this new product in Super Wallyworld a couple months back and after staring at it in the cabinet for several weeks I finally decided to try it.


Instructions say to use a frying pan or a microwave. However, I dont normally carry a frying pan or microwave in my gear bag. I do, however, carry a canteen and canteen cup which fits nicely on a backpack stove. So….deposit pouch into canteen cup of boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes.

Pouch is of the heavy, metalized kind we’ve come to expect from MRE entrees. Heavy duty stuff. To be safe though, you probably donbt want to reuse the water youre heating it in since some inks or other nasties may migrate off the exterior of the pouch into the water. Six minutes was plenty of time to heat up. Removed chicken and put it on a plate. Looks good and smells pretty good. Texture is a bit soft…a little firmer than a chunk of chicken you;d get out of some soup. The cut of meat was trimmed pretty well and looked quite appetizing. Taste was better than anything Ive had out of an MRE pouch. The flavorings (in this case ‘garlic and herb’) were a bit strong but I t hink that would be greatly mitigated by serving it with the usual bland accompaniments like rice, potatoes, pasta, etc. Would make an excellent candidate for sandwichs or, since it shreds fairly easily, tacos/burritos.

Shelf life is approx. two years but I would be quite confident its as long as the average MRE entree….Can probably, although I havent tried it, heat it on any hot surface just like an MRE (exhaust manifold, engine block, hot conduit, pavement at noon, etc, etc.)

Not cheap, but really really convenient. A package of Idahoan just-add-water potatoes, this stuff, maybe a can of corn or other vegetable and you can have a decent meal using just water and a backpacking stove. Im going to have to see if I can find a price on these things in bulk to beat WallyWorlds pricing. Wouldnt mind having a dozen or so on hand. They’d also be convenient for quick meals at home.

More importantly, I dont have to become a vegetarian.

12 thoughts on “Bumble Bee ‘Prime Fillet’ packaged chicken breast

  1. Back when Mountain House was having a sale on their freeze dried Marine Cuisine, I picked up a couple of mixed cases. One item was chicken breast with mashed potatoes. It wasn’t bad at all, although the chicken breast wasn’t very large. I also got beef patties with cheesy mashed potatoes and broccoli, which I haven’t tried yet. I’d expect that either one would be great in a sandwich, assuming I had bread of some kind.

    Some time back, I picked up some freeze dried ground beef (not in patties, just crumbled) in an MRE-colored package, which works well at camp for making spagetti sauce or anything you’d use cooked ground beef in. Since those are freeze dried and packed in a foil package, I’d expect a bit longer life than whole breasts.

  2. I spent a week in Guatemala this past fall, and one is generally not encouraged to drink the water there, which also tends to cascade to just about any food you can scrape up locally. So I took some supplies, figured I’d test out some of the stuff I’ve been stocking in a less accommodating environment.

    One thing you’d recommended in the past was the new Starkist tuna pouches. I just about wound up living off those things, they were very handy and quite tasty too. Ate them almost every day for lunch.

    I preferred the unflavored ones as I could add mayo and some crackers, or whatever flavorings I happened to have available and keep things new and different, and it didn’t clash with whatever Starkist put in there for that purpose. Usually my last-minute additions tasted better than their attempts at flavoring.

    I didn’t even come close to getting tired of them, which is more than I can say about most of the other stuff I took.

    Anyway, your post reminded me of that and I thought I’d give you a “field report” on those things. Thumbs up.

  3. I find a mixture of garlic powder, celery seed, and curry powder season up a pouch of tuna just fine, without mayo.

    What seasonings have you tried?

  4. I didn’t have a whole lot with me; I had one of those 6-compartment spice containers with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, an “italian” herb mix that was mainly thyme, oregano, marjoram, etc., and another blend that was just my last-minute attempt at a vaguely asian thing- ginger powder, garlic powder, ground sesame, and the tiniest bit of five spice. I’d just kind of rotate around, and dash some paprika into it if it got boring.

    Celery seed sounds like it would be just the thing, and while I’m having trouble imagining the curry/tuna combo, I bet it’s good too. It’s hard to go wrong with curry. Will have to try that sometime.

    For the mayo, I had some kind of strange single-serving flavored mayo packets we picked up on the way down, like a fast food condiment thing but with spices in. Might have been dill? I don’t really remember, but it was a really nice accidental find.

    I didn’t have any with me on that trip but lemon pepper also adds a nice complimentary zing.

  5. Thanks. I’ve always kinda identified with Friday since I first read Heinlein’s novel (I’ve read it many times since) way-back-when. I was fortunate enough to meet Michael Whelan (the artist of this version of Friday) and got a signed poster, which I immediately had professionally framed (g).

  6. Hey thought you’d be interested to know that there’s going to be 2 coupons (worth a dollar each) for the bumblebee packaged chicken breast in this Sunday’s paper, make it a little bit cheaper…

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