To be honest, gluten free and chicken are not words I think of when I think of chili. Now, spicy on the other hand- that’s a word I can familiarize myself with. So when we stumbled upon a bargain bin at our local Smith’s grocery store with Shelton’s Spicy Chicken with the bold ‘GLUTEN FREE’ on the label, we weren’t too impressed. That is, until we saw that these cans were on sale for 50 cents (original price? $4.29! No kidding. ). We bought every can they had, then went back to the store later to see if Smith’s had restocked. At that price, how could we say no?
Turns out, the chicken chili actually quite delicious. It passed the kid test, too- for lunch that day we had chili dogs, not mentioning that the chili was actually chicken. The kiddos gobbled it up, and not once mentioned any odd flavor or that the chili ‘looked funny’, like they do with my vegetarian chili. Score! The kids loved it!
I was surprised as well at how this chicken chili tastes just like any other chili, including looking like any other chili. I don’t know if the whole gluten free aspect makes the chili any healthier, but for those with celiac disease who can’t handle gluten, this chili is a great way to go. It is indeed spicy, but not so much that it can’t be tolerated. Some of the kids don’t like spicy foods and they didn’t speak up over this chili.
Now, keep in mind that this chili doesn’t come cheap- it’s over $4 a can (15 oz) normally. We would definitely not buy it if it were retail price. I also don’t enjoy the 220 calories per serving, and each serving containing 41% of your daily salt intake. Since most gluten free foods have to be flavored up to make them taste good, I’m not surprised by this finding. However, 21 grams of protein is impressive, as is 20% of your daily iron needs.
For chili, I think this spicy chicken chili tastes just like regular chili, which is great. Not so great? The exhorbitant price, which can be expected of gluten free products. If you must have a gluten free diet and like chili, then this chili is a great option. Otherwise, stick to regular chili, because you aren’t saving yourself any calories in choosing this expensive option.