The Kroft – Country Fried Chicken Poutine
Anaheim Packing House
440 S. Anaheim Blvd. #109 · Anaheim, CA 92805
Originating from our neighboring country up north, poutine is a fast food specialty of French fries topped with a gravy-like sauce and cheese curds. Just from the description of this Canadian dish, it is it easy to understand why it is popular – deep-fried matchstick sized potatoes with springy bites of cheese and a flavorful sauce concocted using meat juices.
The Kroft at the Anaheim Packing House features a number of poutine dishes, including their Country Fried Poutine that consists of fried chicken, bacon and country gravy, in addition to fries and curds. Green onions decorate the surface for garnish.
A generous amount of fresh, golden russet spears lays the foundation for the dish. Twice fried, the fries achieve excellent crispness while remaining relatively light, thus avoiding being overly greasy.
Freshly fried chicken breast nuggets are crispy on the outside, plump and juicy in the middle. A few pieces are charred to a degree, leaving behind some blackened spots, but overall the well-seasoned poultry tastes great. Meanwhile, the small bacon pieces deliver intense pork flavor that works with the poultry. Cheese curds are little bites of heaven that give the poutine its character.
Then the whole thing gets doused in some thick country gravy, adding so much richness. A standard poutine has the light brown sauce to bind everything together. But the white gravy here is just too excessive and heavy compared to its darker counterpart. Country gravy works a lot better on biscuits and mashed potatoes than it does on fries.
With their Country Fried Poutine, the Kroft attempts to recreate that homey meal of fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy, substituting chicken breast chunks for whole pieces and crisp fries for the mashed spuds. The original dish is supposed to be comforting, but that feeling isn’t exactly recreated here. Instead, with each bite, you get an unremitting onslaught of fried foods that just keeps attacking your taste buds and your internal organs. Tack on the burden of the Béchamel based sauce and you have a poutine that is unnervingly over-the-top.
Another aspect to look at in the Country Fried Poutine is the dearth of contrasting textures. The crispiness of the deep-fried potatoes replicates the quality of the fried chicken as well as the bacon crunch. Fried for fried. Crunch for crunch. That’s where mashed potatoes would handily come into play here to provide a counterpointing consistency, one that offers a heightened level of unparalleled creaminess. Sure, the white sauce already delivers some dairy velvetiness. For the amount of potatoes and chicken, though, there just isn’t enough.
All in all, the Country Fried Poutine is a super savory dish that can occasionally drift towards the salty side of things – hard to argue with all those sinful bits of pork, springy chunks of cheese, golden batons of fries, and crispy globules of deep-fried poultry. Freshly sliced scallion greens offer a tiny bit of respite. However, the dish simply suffers too much under the cloud of rich, heavy flavors. There is really nothing to offset all the indulgent, fatty goodness found in the sodium-laced dish. It’s the epitome of fast food all combined together in a cardboard box. Be sure to do double duty on your exercises after this one!
At $8.00, the poutine is worth the price as it is definitely filling and more than enough for a complete meal. The Kroft’s Country Fried Poutine lives up to the restaurant’s slogan – comfort food reinvented. Reinvented for sure, but in the end nothing beats fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Nothing!