My Meal of the Week feature examines an airline meal from my travels over the years. This may be a meal from earlier in the week or it may be a meal served over a decade ago.
Domestic meal service on United Airlines these days has been reduced to only three premium transcontinental routes (LAX/SFO-EWR plus SFO-BOS) as well as longhaul Hawaiian routes (DEN/EWR/IAD/IAH/ORD – Hawaii). The meal itself has been scaled back. Yet even in the midst of the pandemic I had a surprisingly delicious, never-before-seen chicken dinner during a recent United flight.
Chicken Dinner On United Airlines
I was traveling from Newark to San Francisco and dinner orders were taken after takeoff. Choices were either mushroom ravioli or “spicy” chicken. Now “spicy” comes in many varieties…what kind of spices were we talking about? Having consumed very little protein that day (I’ll sheepishly admit I had lunch in Manhattan…at Taco Bell), I ordered the chicken.
The tray is certainly a reminder of the era we are in. Instead of warmed mixed nuts, salad, and fresh bread, there’s a packaged roll, pretzels, packaged fruit, and nuts in a plastic container. Hopefully we will see a return to “regular” meal service sooner rather than later.
But the chicken entree, served hot, was surprisingly tasty. In fact, delicious.
This is a case where a dish tastes so much better than it looks. The sauce was like a red tomatillo salsa with sliced veggies and a side of mashed polenta. It had a strong kick to it.
It was the best chicken dish I’ve had on United since the tamale-filled chicken breast (which I sadly haven’t seen in the menu rotation for years).
By the way, here is what the mushroom ravioli looked like:
Domestic airline meals may not be something to generally get excited about, but this chicken dish was very tasty…it is something I would make at home. I hope to see it on more flights going forward.
Have you tried United’s new spicy chicken dish?