“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Type: Meat „
COST: £1 for 180g (buy 4 for £3 currently on offer : 1.12.08)
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per pack, single serving):
- of which sugars: 0.7g
- of which starch: 2.3g
- of which saturates: 0.3g
- of which mono unsaturates: 0.3g
- of which polyunsaturates: 0.2g
Cooked chicken breast, water, wheat flour, chicken extract, cornflour, salt, sugar, malt extract (from barley), sage, pepper, yeast extract, carrot, onion, red pepper, lemon juice from concentrate, white wine vinegar, rosemary, bay, spices
Contains wheat gluten and barley
It's a bit of a pain cooking fresh roast meat when you live alone, and I rely on boil-in-the-bag meat whenever I fancy and can be bothered to cook a roast dinner.
Sainsbury's Chicken Breast In Gravy is to be found in the frozen food section of most, if not all branches of the supermarket. The front of the pack shows a plate containing just a chicken breast, smothered in pale-ish gravy, with two green circles giving the basic nutritional information, and a notice that the product contains no hydrogenated fats, artificial flavours or colours. There is a dark blue rectangle slightly overlapping the image of the plate, bearing the words (in white) "Sainsbury's Whole chicken breast in gravy...succulent whole chicken breast in a rich gravy".
The rear of the box is identical to the front, as is one of the sides, and spread around over the other three sides are more detailed nutritional information, dietary information, ingredients, cooking instructions and a notice to say that the outer cardboard box is recyclable, but the inner packaging isn't.
I didn't read the pack when I first bought Sainsbury's Chicken Breast In Gravy, and was a little surprised (pleasantly) to discover that the plastic bag inside the outer box contained one whole chicken breast, rather than a few slices of chicken.
The product can be microwaved, but I prefer to cook mine boil-in-the-bag style (I find microwaving boil-in-the-bag meats to be fiddly, and potentially messy). I try to save on washing up, because I am very lazy and hate doing it, so I usually put the unopened plastic bag containing the meat and gravy in the bottom layer of a 2-tiered steamer, simultaneously cooking my vegetables in the top tier. It saves a little on fuel, too.
The product as frozen, when removing the outer packaging, looks like a smallish chicken ice lolly, surrounded by a rather pale coloured block of gravy flavoured ice. Once cooked, and on snipping the plastic bag open when ready to serve, I don't notice any distinctive meaty smell, and the gravy looks rather insipid, plus is slightly thinner than I personally like it - but, there is plenty of it for my tastes. People who like a lot of gravy may find there isn't quite enough for them.
I like this best served as a full roast dinner, with peas, sprouts, carrots, roast potatoes and stuffing - and if I'm feeling adventurous, I'll vary the vegetables and have some roast parsnips too.
The chicken is fairly moist and beautifully tender, with a very good flavour; in fact it's just as if you'd cooked it yourself. It certainly isn't enough to be cut in half for two people, but is ample for a single serving. The gravy I find rather strange tasting; not unpleasant, but bearing in mind the flavourings it contains (as detailed in the ingredients list above), it is a little on the bland side. There is a slightly peppery taste about the whole thing, which is OK in that it tastes good, but it up to a point detracts from the authenticity of a traditional British roast dinner. To help counteract the peppery taste, I slosh some mint jelly over my vegetables.
Sainsbury's Chicken Breast In Gravy is very, very good value for money, and ideal if you are cooking just for one. If you are cooking say for two, £2 to spend on the meat is a bargain, although there won't be any leftovers.
I do buy this fairly regularly, and shall continue to do so all the time Sainsbury's keep on manufacturing it.
In summary, the meat is great, but the gravy needs a little tweaking to make it slightly thicker, and to taste more authentic. That's the only thing stopping me giving the full quota of five stars.
Thanks for reading!