“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Meat „
We had these for tea last night - yum! Part of the Tesco meal deal which I can't recommend highly enough - we also got chunky oven chips, toffee and pecan puds and a decent bottle of wine (usually £9.99) all for £9. These are the only shop-bought chicken kievs I have ever had which come anywhere near the freshly made ones I fondly remember from a little Italian restaurant in my student days ... The main thing to note is that these are proper decent-sized chicken breasts, not the oversized chicken nuggets you usually get masquerading as chicken kiev. If you're used to the latter, these will look and feel a bit strange - i.e. you need to lift them carefully out of the packaging to avoid losing any of the fresh ciabatta breadcrumbs. The garlic butter helps keep the chicken moist contrasting well with the crunchy coating. The only reasons this is not a full 5 stars is that the garlic butter could be a bit more garlicky for me and it does leak out a bit during cooking. However, we just pour this back over the kievs when serving. This is fine as long as you cook them on a baking tray by themselves - i.e. don't try to add oven chips etc on the same tray or they will just get soggy! Overall, really tasty, worth the full £5 or so (price does change around a bit) but really best to get when it's on the meal deal!
The RRP for a 475g pack containing two Tesco Finest chicken kievs is a whopping £5.50, for which you could practically buy your own whole free-range chicken - but purchased as part of the currently-running Tesco £9 meal deal (this also includes a vegetable / side dish, bottle of wine and dessert) these become not a bad buy at all. These are 67% chicken Kievs, which is a fairly good ratio of meat to other stuff - the other constituents being Ciabatta breadcrumbs, batter and then 9% garlic butter. I'm not convinced about the need for breadcrumbs made from a Ciabatta loaf per se, because I thought they were indistinguishable from regular breadcrumbs, but I suppose this 'poshes' up the whole aura of the dish, which is on the whole, a good one. The especially good thing about these particular Kievs being (I thought) that they are made out of a 'genuine' (skinless) chicken breast - not reformed chicken breast meat - which you can tell because the first part of the wing bone is still attached. They've been cleverly de-boned in other respects however so that eg. the little fragment of broken clavicle / wishbone that you sometimes find in the chunkier end of the breast in pre-packaged chicken products of this type has already been removed. Apart from the sticking-out wing bone (that in reality, comes without the white paper frill shown in the product illustration for this review), once the Kiev cooked it's all ready to eat. Being made of real chicken, the Kievs do seem worryingly floppy - compared with your standard ready-to-cook chicken Kiev - when you first take them out of the packet. I suppose with the reconstituted meat used for the 'regular' ones, it's easier to make chicken kievs into hard little bread-crumbed parcels, but on retrospect 'floppy' Kievs like these - since they're less processed - seem a much better bet. Unfortunately the garlic butter tends to leak out of the Kiev during cooking (they take about 30 minutes on a baking tray in the oven), leaving - at best - a slight green and white residue in the cavity carved into the chicken where the garlic butter once had been. They have very little garlic flavour as a result, but this leakage / lack of garlic effect is pretty standard for all the supermarket chicken Kievs I've ever had myself. The chicken meat, having presumably been 'marinated from the inside' (by the garlic butter) has a good, firm texture (even if doesn't taste of a very great deal) which contrasts nicely with the crispy breadcrumb coating. These Kievs are very nice to eat. As is usually the case for 'Tesco Finest' products, these came in a really sturdy black plastic inner tray - I was in two minds about keeping it for sowing seeds in or something, it was so substantial. This type of plastic isn't accepted by our local recyclers, so I do feel bad about buying such a heavily-packaged product.