“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Type: Chicken „
Marks and Spencer's Count on Us Lemon and Ginger Chicken Curry is a dish that in the time I've known it has already come in several different forms. Previously known as simpler Lemon and Ginger chicken as listed here, it is fundamentally the same product, just with a bit of rebranding. The chicken curry form it currently takes is by no means the worst, but nor is it the best incarnation of it thus far.
The curry itself is a fairly standard rice, chicken and sauce. The sauce is one of the principle things that has changed about this dish; it used to be much thicker and more substantial taste, whereas now, to fit in with the product name, it has been watered down somewhat to the more typical curry sauce consistency. There's still a lot of flavour there, it's very mild, not too hot for those who aren't a fan on spicy curries. I'd say this is probably even milder than a chicken korma! Taste is not sacrificed in the milder strength in any way though, the ginger is very much present, though the lemon is more of a background flavour, no where near as notable. You also have hints of red chilli, coriander and turmeric all bringing out the best of the dish.
The chunks of chicken are a good size, most giving you about two mouthfuls which is delicious when covered in the curry sauce. The size of the chicken pieces if definitely something M&S have improved in this dish.
Being a Count on Us dish, the low calorie content is something to be noted - 400 calories for this rather filling meal is pretty good I'd say. The one the M&S has let me down on though is the fact that this meal used to contain just enough veg in it to be counted towards one of your five a day. This is no longer the case, though they have given a recommendation of what to add to bring back this nutritional benefit.
Things to note for allergy sufferers: this product does contain Cow's Milk and Mustard, and it also prepared in a factory using Nuts and Sesame ingredients.
This is quite expensive for a ready meal; I think this was £2.99 the last time I looked, so it's certainly not the cheapest option available. It is however rather good and I would certainly recommend giving it a try!
I decided that my derailed weight loss efforts should get back on track, and just to make things easier for myself I picked up a few ready meals at M&S. Among their 'count on us' range, I found the Lemon & Ginger Chicken with fluffy basmati rice.
The list of ingredients is impressively detailed, and I recognised each and every one as an item I would happily store in my kitchen cupboard or fridge.
Each meal contains 420 calories, 6.8g sugar, 7.6g fat , 2.8g sat fat, 1.50g salt and even lists it as 6 ½ points based on the Weight Watchers points scale.
The front of the pack claims that it contains less than 3% fat, which is true if you're comparing it weight for weight (7.6g fat as a percentage of 400g meal). However, if you look at it in terms of calorific values, each gram of fat contains 9 calories so 7.6g of fat accounts for 68.4 calories out of the 420 in the meal. This means that 16.29% of the calories in the meal are made up of fat, which is still good. I usually try to aim for about 30% fat or less.
This meal is designed to be cooked in the microwave, and only takes 5 minutes to prepare.
After cooking, I put it on a plate and tucked in. The sauce was creamy and really quite delicate with just a bit of a bite from all the spices, chilli and ginger. The pieces of chicken were very generous, were tender and tasted very good. The rice was fluffy and light and just right. I'm no great lover of ginger, but this was delicious and the taste of ginger wasn't at all overpowering.
This was a really tasty dish, and also very satisfying. For me it was just the right amount, and by the time I finished I was no longer hungry.