“ Brand: Birds Eye / Type: Chicken „
Bought these as they were on offer at Tesco and thought they would make a nice change.Was slightly concerned at the size of them but as the sauce was frozen over the top hoped they would be substantial enough after cooking.Cooked for the recommended time and they smelt lovely!Unfortunately, I was right about the size, the pack of two would have been just right for one grown man. Once dished up I could see that more than 50% of the contents had been the sauce! The chicken was quite dry so I was glad of the sauce but the copeous amount included was too much. Also there was a lack of cheese too.For myself, it filled a hole served with wedges and sweetcorn, not sure how impressed the other half will be with his light bite portion though!
We bought this meal from the frozen food aisle in Tesco during a recent shopping trip, mainly because it was on offer costing £2, and also because we both love Hunters Chicken as a pub meal so we thought this would probably be similar.
This product is made by Birds Eye and is part of their Restaurant Meals range. With it being by such a reliable brand, we were hopeful the chicken and sauce would be of high quality. We were not disappointed as there is nothing cheap tasting about this meal, it is made with 100% chicken breast fillet and is free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Birds Eye are a responsible company and we are told that the chickens are barn reared by a selected group of trusted farmers who only use responsibly sourced feed. I know it's still meat, but I do try and go for free-range and responsibly sourced where possible.
Hunters Chicken is a classic pub meal, which consists of chicken breasts marinated in a smoky tomato sauce, topped with cheddar cheese and bacon. We made these with wedges and peas and created a much cheaper version of this pub favourite. When I first opened the box I was a bit concerned that there wasn't going to be enough meat, because the sauce had frozen solid over the chicken breasts and I wasn't convinced there were actually two breasts lurking under there! Once it was cooked, however, it was a reasonably sized portion.
The dish is easy to cook, it can be cooked in the oven from frozen so there's no hassle having to remember to take it out to defrost. It took about 40 minutes before the chicken was cooked all the way through but this is because we don't have a fan assisted oven. There is quite a lot of sauce which was good for me because it gave a lot of flavour, but my other half prefers drier foods and scooped his chicken out and left some sauce in the tray as it was a bit much for him.
Now for the important part...the taste. I was very surprised at the quality of this for a ready meal. The chicken just fell apart as soon as you tried to cut it, it wasn't tough or chewy and there were no nasty stringy bits that went to waste. The sauce was very sweet, although this is the nature of hunters chicken sauce and if you like sweet things like sweet and sour chicken, this is a similar level of sweetness. If you prefer more savoury dishes, I'd probably advise giving this a miss. It tasted a little bit like tomato sauce with a hint of BBQ thrown in, which was nice as it didn't overwhelm the chicken. The overall taste of the chicken, the sauce, and then the bacon and cheese is such a good combination, the flavours all complement each other rather than confusing or overwhelming your tastebuds. The only criticism I could make is that they could have been more generous with the cheese on top, but I didn't bother adding more as it was fine as it was.
Nutritional information for each serving is as follows:
Calories - 215
Sugars - 14g
Fat - 5.8g
Saturates - 2.8g
Salt - 2.4g
The sugar is the only worrying statistic in my eyes, but as part of a balanced diet I see no problem with this. I was expecting the sugar content to be quite high as the sauce is very sweet.
I'll definitely be buying these again. They're usually £2.69 in Tesco for a pack of two, but they're still on offer at £2 per pack. Other meals available in the Birds Eye Restaurant Favourites range are Chicken in sweet korma sauce, and Flamin' Hot BBQ chicken.