“ Brand: Levi Roots / Type: Chicken „
I'm not normally a massive fan of ready meals, but I saw this in TESCO and decided to give it a try. I'll be honest the thing that attracted me to the product was my love of the Dragons Den programme and that fact that I remember seeing Levi Roots and thinking that he was such a likeable down to earth guy.
He has a range of ready meals which all seem to be priced around £2.95 so not the cheapest, but trust me this and the others are all excellent. Out of the meals I have tried this one and the prawn curry are my favourites. These found in the fresh ready meal section and should be kept in the fridge or frozen on the day of purchase. I'll be honest when ever I go shopping this is what I have for my tea when I get in, so it gets eaten straight away.
This is quite a big ready meal and I tend to view it more on the par of takeaway quality and I'm always full after eating it. The sauce is delicious and I've never known rice taste so good. I would highly recommend you try this and the other ready meals they are excellent. In fact I am so impressed I have bought his new book and am really getting into the traditional Caribbean style cooking. The flavours and the colours are far more exciting than a Tesco value pasta dish.
The review above was quite comprehensive, almost as if it was written by the marketing people for Levi Roots.I tried this meal today and was left underwhelmed. The rice is good but the sauce of the chicken is TOO sweet. It ruins it.Having said that it is the third time I have tried his chilled meals. The other two were actually quite good. They were the hot prawns and the chicken curry with coconut sauce. The bbq chicken meal is just too sickeningly sweet.
I must start by saying I usually hate doing food reviews, but this is going to be the fastest review ever. It only contains three words. JUST BUY IT!
Ok ok, I understand I must tell you about it some more before you make your own opinion whether or not to trust my judgement, so here goes.
Levi Roots, became a household name after pitching his now infamous Reggae Reggae sauce on the B.B.C. show 'Dragon's Den'. This was back in 2007 and you can see his pitch to the Dragons here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/dragonsden/entrepreneurs/leviroots.shtml
I am sure Levi is set on world domination as his products are everywhere now, and his range is multiplying at an alarming rate. This quote from the man himself backs up my theory - "I think it is my great duty really to try to bring Caribbean food right up there along with Indian food and everything else that the British palette has taken to. I really believe that Caribbean food has been a sleeping giant."
The product I am reviewing is Levi's BBQ Chicken with sunshine rice. This is a very substantial ready meal, packing a mighty 450grams. The colours on the cardboard outer are bright and eye catching - Lime green, bright yellow and orangey red, I did originally think this has something to do with the Jamaican flag, but a quick search on Google, confirmed I was indeed...Wrong!
There is a silhouette on the packing, presumably of Levi himself. There is a photo of the dish beautifully presented, and this is what made me decide to purchase this ready meal. I don't usually eat convenience food and I have never tried any of his food before, so with the fantastic reviews this man is getting, it had better be good. :o)
This is stickered with the label 'New', and was on promotion at the time of consuming, I paid only £1.95 for this from my local Tesco store. The price has now risen, now its introductory offer has ended, as is usually the case.
*How to Cook*
After purchasing this product, it must be kept chilled in the fridge (or frozen on the day of purchase and then thoroughly defrosted before cooking). This comes in a standard plastic container, as all ready meals do. It has two compartments - one for the rice, and one for the BBQ chicken. I pierced the film on top, to vent out the steam, and placed in the oven at 190 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes.
You can also microwave this, for speed, and economy. Why heat up the main oven if there's no need? The microwave instructions are to heat on full power for 5 minutes, remembering to stir halfway through. This is for a Category E microwave or 850 watts.
Even uncooked this meal looks inviting, and a peppery aroma emanates around the kitchen.
The ingredients list looks long but I am reassured by the absence of artificial additives and E numbers.
Cooked Savoury Rice (44%), Chicken Breast (21%), Red Pepper, Red Onion (5%), Sugar, Tomato, Tomato Purée, Onion, Water.
Reggae Reggae Sauce, Tomato Ketchup, Spring Onion, Corn flour, Demerara Sugar, Chicken Stock, Ginger, Vegetable Oil, Garlic, Red Wine Vinegar, Salt, Red Chilli, Lime Juice, Smoked Paprika, Orange Zest , Scotch Bonnet Chilli Purée, Allspice, Thyme
Cooked Savoury Rice contains: Water, Basmati Rice, Onion, Vegetable Oil, Chicken Stock, Garlic, Ginger, Coriander, Salt, Thyme, Turmeric Powder, Oregano, Allspice, and Bay Leaf.
Reggae Reggae Sauce contains: Water, Sugar, Barley Malt Vinegar, Tomato Purée, Onion, Spices, Chilli, Herbs, Salt, Garlic, Ginger, Spring Onion, and Paprika.
Tomato Ketchup contains: Water, Sugar, Tomato Purée, Salt, Dextrose, Onion Powder, Spice Extracts, Vegetable Oil, and Celery Extract.
Chicken Stock contains: Yeast Extract, Water, Chicken Carcass, Sugar, Carrot Concentrate, Salt, Natural Flavouring, Onion, and Carrot.
Warning - Contains Gluten and Celery. This may also contain traces of nuts. There may also be a choking hazard as small bones and wholes spices might be present.
The nutritional values are: per 100g:
Energy - 130Kcal
Protein - 6.1g
Carbohydrate - 18.0g (of which are sugars - 4.9g)
Fat - 3.3g (of which are saturates 0.4g)
Fibre - 2.0g
Sodium* 0.2g *salt equivalent 0.6g
Right, I think I've covered everything, apart from the taste, so let's get down to the nitty gritty.
The rice is perfectly cooked, not sticky but not dry. Each grain separates beautifully. This is how I wish rice (when I cook it) would turn out - lovely and fluffy. It is a sunshine yellow colour due the turmeric. There are flecks of herbs, which looking at the ingredients list is coriander and oregano. The flavour is mild with just the merest hint of garlic and chilli.
The aroma when opening the BBQ section of the container is just fabulous. I love chicken in a BBQ sauce, so my expectations are quite high. Upon spooning the meal onto the plate, I am immediately struck with how sticky the sauce is. This usually informs me that it has sweetness to it, and I wasn't wrong. The sauce is almost jam like. It coats the chicken perfectly. It has a sweet, smoky flavour that's also mildly spicy. I am not a fan of curry's or hot chillies and any more fire to this would have had me running for a drink, but I think Levi has the balance of the flavours perfect here.
There are also lots of chunks of chicken, I counted eight, but I may have eaten one while I was dishing up - It smelt divine and I couldn't wait to eat it. ;o)
There are also great chunks of roasted red peppers and red onion. They certainly haven't skimped on anything. It is a wonderfully satisfying meal - the absolute perfect size for a hungry person (I had skipped lunch).
I think that's everything covered now. I must just say that I do not review food unless I genuinely think it should get five stars, and this is it.
This meal is tasty, satisfying and sublime.
This is produced in the UK by Kerry Foods.
PO Box 145,
Telephone: 0800 783 4321
Levi says on the front of the packet 'Put some music in your food' - this is better than music, this is a party for your taste buds.