Really…. Jacques Pepin….. canned chicken??

Just caught an episode of Jacques Pepin At Home in which he made a lentil dish to which he added a CAN OF CHICKEN MEAT. I’ve always thought of that stuff as the worst of the worst, but must admit I don’t think I’ve ever used it. Am I missing something good?

1 Like

In case of hurricanes when you run out of tuna, corned beef and Spam…

1 Like
1 Like

I have always liked his approach . Cooking fast food my way . Teaching the most incompetent cook with no skills . How you can cook at home . With simple available ingredients. Without having to go out to eat .


That was it.

1 Like

There are elaborate meals, and there are cooking with simple and lowly ingredients. Why not?


Actually I’m interested in knowing if people find canned chicken to be at least as good as major brand canned tuna. I’m so used to watching chefs only do chicken from scratch that I was taken aback when he used canned. I tend to use leftover chicken as he used the canned.

1 Like

I taught myself to make a canned chicken soup during the pandemic - Costco brand (they will ship). This is a modified version of a NYT recipe for fresh chicken soup:

2-2 1/2 c. stock
1 can chicken
1-2 handfuls chopped celery
3 T. uncooked arborio or jasmine rice
Kosher salt
Lemon juice

Dump everything (ETA) but the lemon juice into a pot, bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat. Simmer until rice starts to fall apart – about 30 minutes. Season and add lemon juice to taste.

It’s basically done at this point, although you can make a garnish by crushing together some salt and garlic, then mixing in lemon zest and finely chopped celery leaves. Top the bowl of soup with this super-tasty mixture.

The modified dish tastes similar to a canned chicken soup, although the lemon, veg and garnish adds a bit of freshness. It is what it is, and I still make this on occasion for an easy lunch.


I must be living under a rock. I don’t even recall ever seeing canned chicken. Is it just chopped or shredded chicken breast, like what you might find in a chicken salad used in sandwiches?

The only canned chicken I’ve seen is online and that horrid picture of the whole chicken coming out of a can (many of you may have seen that too).


Yes, but I think they use older birds, because the ones I remember my mom buying tasted like fowl.

When I think about it my mind relates the idea of canned chicken to the way chicken tastes when pieces if it are in canned chicken soups. To me it has virtually no flavor at that point, hence my question.

The Kirkland stuff has flavor, but it is the flavor of canned chicken - lol.

When I make this soup with fresh chicken, it tastes like fresh chicken soup. When I used the canned, you can taste the chicken, but it absolutely the flavor of canned chicken.

The Costco stuff is like a mix of shredded and diced chicken breast.

The absolute worst processed food product I’ve ever purchased - chicken or no - was some canned chicken from Wild Planet. That surprised me, as their canned sockeye salmon is very good.

This product is finely minced, pressed like a hockey puck and canned. I think you are supposed to cut it into chunks to eat it, but I found it to have the flavor and texture of sawdust. I tried soups and salads, to no avail. The only way I found to make it even palatable was to dredge and batter it, and deep fry it. Very similar to commercial chicken nuggets, if that gives you any indication. Ultimately my cats were the beneficiaries, as we ended up using some pretty pricy cans as cat food. They loved it.

1 Like

I enjoy and recommend Costco canned chicken. I prefer it over inexpensive canned tuna. Similar texture, but different flavor.

I use it in sandwiches or for a protein snack.

A neighbor lady used to can her husband’s hunted pheasant. Qt jar of parted pheasant. She served me the pheasant in soup. Gloppy parts coming from a jar…the glop was gelatin.


Pheasant under glass literally!

1 Like


Jacques says

  • a few clove of garlic

Pop-up written instructions say

  • 2-3 cloves garlic

Jacques does

  • 6 cloves garlic

Jacques says

  • can never use too much garlic.

There are some prepared ingredients that are as good, if not better, than fresh/scratch. Garlic powder and canned pumpkin come to mind.

One of my favorite restaurants, N7 in New Orleans, has a section of their menu entitled “From Can to Table”, and they pull it off with good humor and without compromise.


I read through his latest cookbook for quick meals, too many short cuts. I was shocked. I’d only use canned chicken in a desperate situation.

Frankly, I don’t believe this was Jacques Pepin’s finest hour in the cooking department and I’ll just leave it at that.

1 Like

Good God, he’s now 86 years old. He’s an international treasure.