“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Meat „
I can't cook at properly at the moment as I have a slipped disc and can only stand for a very limited period. I have tried cooking whilst sitting on a chair in the kitchen but it becomes a bit of a chore, everything takes twice as long and reaching things and moving about is very awkward! Hence, I am continually searching for tasty food which is quick and easy to cook. The Tesco Simply Cook range seemed a safe bet! It is cooking in the most simplest of forms - I think it should really be renamed simply heat up (however as the product arrives totally uncooked, some may become confused!). There are a number of products available in this range. They basically require the would be chef to remove the cardboard sleeve, then remove the plastic film - turn on the oven and set at the appropriate temperature. The foil tray is then placed inside and cooked as per any further instructions. In this case, the tray needs to be removed 20 minutes into the cooking time and the gravy poured over, returning to the oven to finish for a further 15-20mins. There are two chicken breast fillets in each pack. Each covered in a piece of streaky bacon. Also included are two pork chipolata sausages, two pork, sage and onion stuffing balls and gravy - in a separate plastic pouch. I must point out, the roasts do reflect the title - they are mini! Although the packet states 'serves 2', they are not very filling at all. Fortunately my six year old cannot manage a full one when served with vegetables and potatoes, so I am able to have one and a half, just the right amount. I imagine they would be useful for those with a reduced appetite, such as the elderly. What lies in the tray hardly constitutes a taste sensation but when all said, it is only plain chicken and gravy with a couple of extra bits. It is not over salted and the gravy has some taste - it's also not too thin although I do think there could be more of it! Half a pack of contains 280kcal and 11.4g of fat (4.6g per 100g). The packs retail at £3.00 which I think is a little pricey due to their size. For some time now, Tesco have had a two for £5 offer on this range, this improves the situation. If you are looking for the easiest meal in the world and have a very small appetite, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this product! Unfortunately I ideally would require the full pack :-(
Oh dear. Being a big fan of a very similar product to this - namely, Tesco easy-roast-chicken breast (as opposed to 'mini roast chicken breast) with stuffing balls and chipolatas - I gave the mini roasts a try yesterday as this version was, at £3 about £1 cheaper than the one I usually buy, and also it came with its own gravy, which seemed like a good idea to me. Unfortunately the 'own gravy' it came with ruined everything. This is basically a convenience / ready-meal consisting of two smallish, skinless chicken breast fillets (each wrapped in a thin slice of streaky bacon), two chipolatas, and two sausagemeat and onion stuffing balls. The product comes in a foil dish so it can be place straight in the oven (for approx. 20 minutes with the outer wrapping and plastic film lid removed as the first blast of cooking, followed by another approx. 20 minutes - after you've poured the revolting 'own gravy' sachet on.) There is a small plastic container containing nice-looking brown roast chicken gravy, that has to be removed before the roast gets bunged in the oven. According to the cooking instructions, the gravy should be poured over the entire roast dinner about half way through cooking. This is the point at which 'everything was ruined' in my opinion. Firstly the gravy, in itself, tastes of nothing at all - though it does have an unfortunate thin-wallpaper-paste-like, overly-gloopy consistency which makes it revolting to eat. Secondly, through the act of pouring (liquid) gravy over your nicely roasting chicken etc., you kill the roasting process stone dead: following the addition of the gravy the chicken, sausages and stuffing don't so much broil as boil. This makes the bacon wrapped round the chicken breasts go all tough. The sausagemeat stuffing balls disintegrate in the excess liquid, and the Chipolatas effectively poach in nasty tasteless liquid. I thought this was a disaster of a ready-meal. Cooked without the gravy, it would have been tasty and fine. As it was, it turned out a tasteless, poorly-cooked, starch mess of a dish. Yuck. As for nutritonal content, it's a nice lean chicken breast but served three ways with all sorts of saturated-fat-containing, artery-clogging pig meat. I shouldn't think the saturated fat, and salt content of this dish are going to be anything to write home showing off about their healthiness in that case, are they?
I was looking for something different for dinner one night so I picked up a pack of the Mini Roasts with Gravy from the Simply Cook range in Tesco's. It contained 2 chicken breasts, 2 chipolata sausages and 2 stuffing balls. There was also a separate container of gravy in the pack. At only £3.00 per pack or 2 for £5.00 I thought they were really good value for money and would give them a try. As they were so cheap I did wonder if the taste would live up to the price, however I was not disappointed on that score. The food comes in a tin foil container so it can be popped straight into the oven without having to wash up afterwards. This is always a plus from my point of view. Firstly you have to remove the film lid and take out the separate tub of gravy before placing in a pre heated oven (200 degrees) for 20 minutes. After this time you are instructed to drain off any liquid and pour the contents of the tub of gravy over the meat. As both my husband and I like a lot of gravy I added some that I made from gravy granules as I felt there wasn't enough for what we like. However, it may be sufficient for others. After adding the gravy you return the meat to the over for a further 15-20 minutes as instructed on the packet. I have a fan assisted over and found that it actually cooked in a shorter time than stated on the packet so would advise you keep an eye on it to be sure you don't overcook the chicken. The chicken breasts are skinless and boneless and once you add the sage and onion stuffing and chipolata sausage you have quite a plateful of food, especially when you add your own potatoes and vegetables. Half of a pack contains only 289 calories which is great if you are on a diet, although the fat content is 12.5g which may be higher than you would like. I found it to be a really tasty and filling meal and for the price I paid, it is excellent value for money. The packs can be frozen on day of purchase and it is recommended that they should be used within a month of buying. However, I have kept mine for longer than this in the freezer and they have been fine when used. As with all chicken, please remember to thoroughly defrost before using. Some of you may be interested to know that the label states that chicken used in this product is produced on farms that meet all the welfare standards that Tesco require. However, the pack omits to tell you what these standards are so is, in fact, meaningless in my opinion.