Monday, April 1, 2013

Crazy Horse Jerky - Cajun Chicken

crazy horse chicken jerky
Next up in the series on Crazy Horse Chicken Jerky is this Cajun flavor. See my review of their Original flavor.

Chicken jerky is quickly becoming a popular phenomenon, and seemingly one day may replace turkey as the favorite among poultry jerky. Chicken jerky had long been a popular form of dog treats, but recently it's been found that it has greater flavor satisfaction than turkey jerky, and is now in the realm of people treats.

Crazy Horse currently offers two varieties of chicken jerky, this Cajun flavor, and the Original I reviewed earlier.


Ingredients

None provided.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a seasoning blend, somewhat spicy, with a light bit of heat. I can pick up a light smokiness as well.

The chewing flavor starts with some natural chicken meat flavors along with a slightly increased saltiness. The seasonings seem to gain a little more flavor as well.

For being marketed as a Cajun chicken jerky, this seems to hold up well. I do taste a seasoning blend that could definitely be associated with the cajun-style cuisine, having a cayenne pepper flavor and a light to moderate level of heat. But it also offers up the natural flavor of chicken and seems to provide a chicken meat chewing texture.

Otherwise, the flavors that define this jerky starts with the cajun seasonings primarily the cayenne pepper, with the real wood smokiness coming in next, then followed by the natural chicken meat flavors.

As for the saltiness, it feels to be moderate in intensity.

Overall, this jerky has the natural chicken meat flavor highlighted with cajun seasonings, and a real wood smokiness.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of four to six inches in length, and sliced thick. It appears to be sliced chicken tenderloin and breast meat.

This is a dry jerky, with a slightly moist, slightly oily surface feel. There's very little flexibility, in fact it's somewhat brittle, breaking off easily with some bending. It's easy to bite off chunks and chewing is quite easy as well.

The chewing texture starts off feeling stiff, but easily breaks apart and breaks down with some light chewing. It has a dry, almost crumbly texture, and quickly renders into a soft mass. At that point, it feels quite meaty, very much resembling chicken meat, but a little more dry.

I don't see any bits of fat on these strips, nor any gristle or tendon. There's no stringiness. It's all very meaty and lean.

As for clean eating, it's clean. My fingers pick up just a fine film of oil, still dry enough to type on my keyboard.

crazy horse chicken jerky
crazy horse chicken jerky

Snack Value

Crazy Horse Jerky sells this Cajun Chicken Jerky from its website at a price of $31.99 for a one pound bag. Shipping is $2.00 flat rate (or free if you buy $40 or more). That works out to a price of $2.12 per ounce ($33.99 / 16 oz).

For general chicken jerky snacking, at the $2.12 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a great overall flavor, with great meat consistency and good chewing texture. Compared to other chicken jerky brands, it's priced about the same or slightly lower, yet offers a great flavor and meat consistency.

As a Cajun variety of chicken jerky, at the same $2.12 per ounce price, it's also a good value. I'm getting a good cajun seasoning flavor, perhaps comparable or slightly better than the major brands of cajun flavored jerky.

Rating

I'm giving this a best rating.

This Cajun Chicken variety from Crazy Horse Jerky is very much like their Original variety, but dusted with cajun seasonings, giving off primarily a cayenne pepper flavor. Otherwise, it has the same real wood smoked flavor of the Original, and the same great natural chicken meat flavors.

But also like the Original, the impressive part of this jerky is the meat consistency, giving you large strips of whole chicken meat, seemingly of breast meat or tenderloin. It's pure meat, no fat, tendon, or other chewy parts. Of all the chicken jerky brands I've eaten or looked at, this appears to be the most meaty.

I'm still, however, a big fan of Crazy Horse's real wood smoked jerky, having that rich smoky flavor that seems to define the old American tradition of meat snacks. Between this Cajun and their Original variety, I still I like the Original better, just because it puts that smoky meat flavor front and center.

My recommended beer pairing, go with a malty brown ale, try the Rogue Hazelnut Brown or the Abita Pecan Brown.

Rating: Best

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