Have you heard about the new Grilled Essentials from Hillshire Farm? They come two to a package, individually vacuum-sealed. For one of those nights when you need a dinner idea in a hurry and you are roaming through the grocery store without an idea, these pre-cooked and seasoned chicken breasts may be your perfect solution. The night I prepared them, I sure was hoping they would be mine!
I needed some groceries and I was definitely looking for the new Grilled Essentials on this shopping trip. I was curious to try both the Italian and Original flavors. I made the five minute drive to our local Wal-Mart to re-stock our depleted pantry and fridge, only to discover that they didn’t have the new Grilled Essentials. Hmmm…roadtrip! Normally, I opt for just shopping at home and paying the little bit higher cost that goes along with small-town living. Yup, even at Wal-Mart. When I shop Wal-Mart in Lincoln, (a 30 mile drive), I save at least a few cents per item over the prices at our local Wal-Mart store. However, I definitely save money on gas by shopping at home, so I always feel like it balances out. The only other difference that can send me on an unplanned trip to our state capitol, to shop, is greater product availability in the larger store. So, I parked my cart and headed for the city.
Our local Wal-Mart is the nation’s smallest super center. No joke. That really is it’s claim to fame, so it’s a huge difference, shopping in Lincoln. Not only is there a much larger variety of products available, but the services are more plentiful. For my husband, the favorite feature of shopping in the city is the Tire and Lube Center. For only a few dollars more than doing it himself, he can have the oil changed in our car or new tires put on, while he “window shops”, inside the store. The Lincoln store also has a hair salon, bank, photography studio and video arcade inside. The only thing our small-town store has, that the big one doesn’t, is a fabric and crafts department, which for me, is a pretty big deal.
It’s a thirty to forty minute drive, depending on traffic, so it wasn’t long before my favorite, southside Wal-Mart was in view. (Lincoln has three Wal-Mart’s available.) I found a handy parking place, next to the cart return and headed inside to make quick work of my grocery list.
The produce department is the first thing you see when you enter on the grocery side of the store and I usually like to spend lots of time here, browsing the options I don’t normally have, but I needed to get through my list quickly and back home to make dinner, so I went straight for the tomatoes.
Next up is the meat department. I found a good deal on family packs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (only $1.88/lb) and picked up two packages. Then I moved on up the aisle to the sandwich meat section, where the Hillshire Farm Grilled Essentials should be displayed. It wasn’t long before I had that sinking feeling that I had made a trip to Lincoln, for nothing. I back-tracked and checked one more time, to make sure I hadn’t missed them, but no, they simply were not there. I checked a couple other places in the meat department where I thought they might have been displayed, instead.
I checked a couple more spots before I experienced the overwhelming urge to pull out my “Veggie Tale angry eyes”, but I shook off that impulse and decided to check with someone. Fortunately, there was someone working to stock the meat department, so I was able to just go straight to him and ask for help. The moment I told him I was looking for Hillshire Farm Grilled Essentials, his eyes registered recognition of what I was talking about, which gave me a newfound hope. He said,”Oh yeah! We don’t have a display spot for them, yet, so they’re still in the back. Let me get you some.” Score! Why didn’t I ask before? The one thing I will say about Wal-Mart, is that I have always had good luck in getting genuinely friendly help from their employees. He came back with both the Original and Italian varieties for me. And to top it all off, each package had a 55 cent coupon attached. Things were definitely starting to look up. 🙂
I had to grab a few more items to complete my list, so I headed for the dairy department where I picked up sour cream, eggs, butter, cream cheese and milk.
A quick buzz through the pasta aisle to grab the fettuccine and then down the bread aisle for our favorite sandwich loaves and I’m ready to check-out and head back home.
On the drive home, I had the opportunity to plan out our supper menu and how I would incorporate the Hillshire Farms Italian Style Grilled Essentials. I decided to put together my own version of “chicken alfredo” and serve it over fettucine with some broiled asparagus on the side.
- 4 Hillshire Farms Italian Grilled Essentials chicken breasts or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pre-cooked with Italian seasoning
- 1 (24 oz) carton sour cream
- 1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese
- 2 (10.5 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
- 1¼ cups milk
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan or Italian blend cheese
- 1 lb. fettuccine noodles
- Boil and drain the fettuccine noodles.
- While the noodles cook, heat the sour cream, cream cheese, cream of chicken soup and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Slice the chicken into thin strips.
- Add the chicken and shredded cheese into the sauce. Stir and continue heating until cheese is melted and incorporated into the sauce.
- Serve the sauce over the drained fettuccine noodles.
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. As always, at Busy-at-Home, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.