Thoughts on mechanically reclaimed chicken pressed into neat shapes

I’m inspired. A local-to-me blogger has a running bit where he points out the absurdities of food found at grocery stores simply by, uh, stating that they exist. There are two appropriate ways to react upon seeing these products in the light of day:

  1. What the hell?
  2. How lazy can people be?

This is a watershed moment for Thinga-readers, like the time I produced a holiday gift guide littered with plastic toys instead of a non-plastic gift guide. You thought you knew me!

So, now, I will reveal my fleshy underbelly once again by sharing with you my lazy, disgusting make-dinner-quick solution: mechanically reclaimed meat. I mean, chicken nuggets.

Oh, but not just any nuggets.

Image of the Dino Buddies product box.

We eat a variety of processed chicken products, but big on the kids’ list are Dino Buddies by Yummy, or as we call them, Dino Bites. They are “dinosaur-shaped chicken breast patty fritters with rib meat.” It’s a product of Canada, so it’s like classy, you know. Canadians talk in accents and stuff, but they’re like still speaking our language. Spooky.

Dino Bites come in four classic extinct animal shapes – T-rex, stegosaurus, pterodactyl, and not-called-brontosaurus-anymore.

We’ve been buying Dinos at Costco, but as Costco always does, it eventually replaced our favored product with something even more inappropriate: Mickey Mouse nuggets. My mind wondered to thoughts of how Disney could raise baby chicks in molds so that the chicks grow to resemble Mickey Mouse’s head.

I just couldn’t get my mind around eating mouse meat, but apparently is appeals to people who visit Disneyland and want the joy of dining at overpriced theme park concession stands at home. Yep, they sell mouse nuggets at Disney theme parks, as well as mouse pizza.

Anyhow, with Costco making the dinosaurs extinct a second time, and Disney banned from our home, we moved onto Costco’s latest offering…

Image of the Chicken Breast Rings product box.

Chicken Breast Rings by Yummy. I swear. Canadians are like culinary gods.

The box describes the rings in the same terms as it did the Dino Bites: “chicken breast patty fritters with rib meat.” The whole circle-of-life imagery goes without saying, I guess. On the plus side, they taste exactly like Burger King’s innovative chicken fries, minus the overcooked burned taste.

Not that I make a habit of eating chicken fries, but my mother always nagged me as a child about not trying new foods, so whenever I see a new fast food product being advertised, I’ve got to try it at least once, ya know?

But in the end, Costco is a cruel temptress. As of this writing, both of our favored chicken delicacies have been withdrawn from the warehouse, while the mouse meat remains. So today we grab the good stuff at WinCo Foods.

I leave you now in the capable hands of the UK’s popular chef Jamie Oliver as he grosses out schoolkids by showing them how chicken nuggets are made…


My inspiration, from the Eureka Standard blog:

  1. Ham cracker chocolate bar lunch
  2. Philly steak & cheese, pizza rolls, bagel bites
  3. Pre-grated cheese
  4. Frozen White Castle burgers
  5. Jumbo bag of apple slices
  6. Breakfast bowls, Any’tizers, mini corn dogs, tater puffs
  7. Fully cooked bacon
  8. Frozen omelets, French toast sticks, pancake-sausage minis, de-crusted PB&J
  9. Pre-assembled hot dogs


21 Responses to “Thoughts on mechanically reclaimed chicken pressed into neat shapes”

  1. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    Those breast rings look good — my son loves Burger King onion rings. But not chicken nuggets. Hrm.

    We do a lot of hot dogs, baloney sandwiches, mac and cheese w/hot dogs or tuna and peas, noodle-a-roni with chicken added, rice casserole, oatmeal, spaghetti (using noodles other than spaghetti noodles), and quesadillas

    August 4th, 2009 at 7:01 am

  2. Dani says:

    We buy our dinosaur chicken at BJ’s and woe if they stop carrying them. It’s either these or PB&J these days. Between the newish baby (now at 4 months) that’s still not sleeping, trying to actually function at work, and the brilliant decision to sell our house and move; we have been serving these delicacies quite a bit lately.

    August 4th, 2009 at 7:16 am

  3. anjii says:

    I’m jealous and perplexed… My CANADIAN Costco has never carried these CANADIAN Dinos or rings… in fact, in the many grocery stores I frequent, I’ve NEVER seen this Yummy brand, but it does appeal to me, as I try to find food that looks like the “junk” my four-year old wants, but still has the relative health appeal that the packages shown claim.

    August 4th, 2009 at 8:39 am

  4. AJ says:

    Anjii, on Yummy’s website the product listing is broken down by country. In Canada the only thing they’ll sell you is Chik’n Teasers.

    The whole thing smacks of a secret Cold War food poisoning plot to subdue the American people without ever firing a shot.

    August 4th, 2009 at 8:54 am

  5. F. says:

    Thank you for calling Costco a cruel temptress. It make me laugh out loud HARD. The idea of kids clamoring for mouse meat Mickey nuggets and parents trying to recreate the joy of concession stands at Disney world was memorable.

    August 4th, 2009 at 9:42 am

  6. KGS says:

    For whatever reason, most kids really do like this kind of stuff. I can hardly wait for my daughter to grow out of it, but meanwhile we keep Trader Joe’s hot dogs, meatballs, and mixed veggies in the freezer for all the nights when we’ve reconfirmed (yet again) that she’d rather starve than eat the grilled blue cheese and carmelized onion sandwiches she just helped make. It’s good to know that even people principled enough to forbid television altogether will serve a frozen prepared meat product sometimes!

    August 4th, 2009 at 10:21 am

  7. anjii says:

    “The whole thing smacks of a secret Cold War food poisoning plot to subdue the American people without ever firing a shot.”

    lol! Maybe I should consider myself lucky after all that they won’t sell their stuff to my home and native land ;)

    August 4th, 2009 at 10:29 am

  8. grouchy mama says:

    Hooray! Another parent who succombs to the easy, quick meal. We love dinosaur chicken at our house. Along with hot dogs, fish sticks, and tater tots.

    Steam some broccoli with it (The Girl’s favorite vegetable), and you have a healthy meal.

    Thanks for the honest post.

    August 4th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

  9. MIdge says:

    I was one who lamented your plastic Christmas shopping guide, but I do have to admit, we have eaten these dinosaur shaped chickens at our house too.

    I was hoping Costco would bring them back, because I just couldn’t handle Mickey Mouse either.

    You say Winco has them? I’ll have to check it out.

    August 4th, 2009 at 1:04 pm

  10. Anon says:

    You’ve got to try the Mouse nuggets. I’m not sure what was done differently, but they taste way better than the Dino ones. That probably means I want to know less about how they are made but what the hell.

    August 4th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

  11. Amber says:

    OMG, i’m eating a dinosaur shaped chicken nugget as we speak!

    We get them at SuperTarget, and they’re Target brand, and cheap and tasty.

    August 4th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

  12. Amber says:

    “we’ve reconfirmed (yet again) that she’d rather starve than eat the grilled blue cheese and carmelized onion sandwiches”

    ….no offense, but I think I would too! But then, I am both eating AND enjoying a chickeny tyrannosaur, and I don’t think I would ever be accused of having a very diverse palate. ;)

    August 4th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

  13. wwbd says:

    Too funny!

    When I saw the dinosaur chicken box pictured (one I recognize quite well!) I was getting ready to get defensive since that is just about all my daughter will eat. I know deep down that I should get her something a little healthier, but we just aren’t people who cook elaborate meals. Sometimes I do feel sorry for her when we see the amazing dinners her friends get to eat. Not sorry enough to start cooking, though!

    August 4th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

  14. Summer says:

    Its funny I just interviewed Dr. Joanna Dolgoff on my blog and she talks about “The chicken nugget diet” and how bad it is for our kids. I have to say chicken nuggs are one of the few things my daughter eats….but I know they are horrible.

    August 5th, 2009 at 9:47 am

  15. Carson Park Ranger says:

    Dino Buddies are still abundantly available at WinCo (a northwestern chain based in Idaho). Don’t even think about finding them at Trader Joe’s.

    August 5th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

  16. Mary A. says:

    Fast Fixin’ brand makes Dino Bites as well- that’s what we get- but I’m in the Northeast.

    Don’t get me started on my love of pre-cooked bacon, Schwan’s brand is the best (delivered right to your door!)…why did they have to make it soooo easy!

    Anywho, I agree with the poster that said give them broccoli and call it good. Or manderin oranges, my other go to “healthy side item”.

    August 6th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

  17. Miss X says:

    Loved the video. Totally grossed me out but I loved it. Right now, I’m thinking “my kids will never eat that!” but seeing as how I don’t have any kids, I should probably keep my mouth shut. ;)

    August 8th, 2009 at 5:20 pm

  18. Lori says:

    Our daughter got her first exposure to dino bites on our vacation last week (in Canada, no less). Her horrified expression and the exclamation — “Chicken! Dino! Baby!” made my head explode.

    August 11th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

  19. Theryn says:

    My husband has a very long list of food insensiivites so we pretty much avoid all convienence foods and fast food. Not because we don’t approve but because it makes him ill. I do have a stash of regular boring chicken nuggets for daughter in case of lunch emergencies.

    August 12th, 2009 at 9:54 am

  20. Jennie D says:

    If I don’t have a meal prepared & ask my toddler what he wants for dinner, he answers either mac n’ cheese or Dino Nuggets!!
    I even bought metal dinosaur cookie cutters with the intention of making baked nuggets, but it just too easy to buy these ones frozen.

    August 17th, 2009 at 7:55 am

  21. Peter D says:

    I totally agree with these comments regarding COSTCO and Dino Buddies. My kids absolutely loved Dino Buddies and I was happily buying them from COSTCO for many years. Then one fine day, Costco did what they always do…………..discontinued the Dino Buddies and replaced them with YUCK Mickey Mouse Nuggets! Now I have to search elsewhere for my Dino Buddies! Is there a ‘I HATE COSTCO’ website somewhere? I would love to vent my frustration on there for sure!

    January 2nd, 2010 at 10:54 am

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