*This is not sponsored. I was given product samples for free, but there was no stipulation to write anything about them. I’m writing about my experience because it was unique in every awesome way.*
When I learned about Hip Chick Farms, I wanted to love them. Jen and Serafina’s farm is walking distance from my cousins’ houses in Sebastopol, a place that I loved well before Sunset magazine found it. I took them up on their offer of free samples delivered to my door because not only did I want to love them, but their packaging was perfect, too, and they are, well, hip chicks.
My son is a vegetarian who eats chicken fingers (don’t ask, we’ve given up). Despite being an adventurous eater at home, he is the kid who orders chicken fingers in any restaurant that puts it on the menu. He orders it at the Mexican food place, the Italian place, and even the Japanese place. He does not discriminate. His allegiance may be because we rarely have them at home. I don’t like the long ingredient lists on frozen chicken fingers, I have huge amounts of guilt over the lives of chickens contributing to the mass produced nuggets, and my homemade, baked, free range version is just not the same.
Of course we were going to try them. I wanted to love them.
There was a delay on the morning that they were supposed to be delivered, but the email apologizing explained that Chef Jen cooked for the president the night before and the event had gone late. Yes, Jen is the executive chef for Gordon and Ann Getty, which includes cooking for the very lucky Montessori children at their home school, and for President Obama on his recent trip to the Bay Area.
Once arrived, I did something weird that I have never done to frozen food: I opened the lid and inhaled. This is the part where I lost myself: it smelled like my grandmother’s cooking. (My madeleine moment happened over chicken fingers, how very American.) While I don’t remember my nonnie serving chicken fingers, she was a Sicilian women who never met something that couldn’t be breaded and fried. The same flour-egg wash-light herb smell of her kitchen was in the containers. Now, the bar was raised up higher.
I wanted to love them, but my expectations were crazy high. We sampled each of the three Hip Chick Farms offerings: Chicken Fingers, Chicken Meatballs, and Chicken Wings – and things got aggressive quickly. My husband, who was just going to “try one,” was eating wings as fast as he could while the vegetarian and his sister were arguing over how many the other had eaten and how many they were entitled to. I don’t eat wings, so no one could be too mad when I took the larger chicken fingers. Everything was quickly inhaled. They were amazing. It was frozen food that tasted homemade. My kids could eat them every day of the week, and for once, we’ve found frozen chicken entrees that I could feel good about serving. I LOVE them.
This was the whole package: great company, cool packaging, feel-good food, and they taste great. Beginning in June, all California Whole Foods stores will carry the Hip Chick Farms products. The list of available stores currently carrying their products is on their website, and includes Molly Stones, Draeger’s, Berkeley Bowl, and much more. Follow their Facebook page and Twitter feed to find out when they are at a store nearby handing out samples. All it takes is one taste to fall in love with their deliciousness.