“ Brand: Sharwood / Type: Chicken „
Some nights it is so nice just to prepare a quick meal solution particularly if you have had a very busy day at work and the thought of cooking anything that requires any sort of effort is a complete turn-off or frankly just like me you probably just cant be bothered and need a quick easy food fix. I as most of you know by now am a staff nurse who works in a busy teaching hospital in Oxford. On occasion I have to work nightshift and I tend to take easy meals with me which I can heat up in the microwave although I have to say it takes a bit of getting used to eating a ready-meal at 4am in the morning!! Needless to say I have had the pleasure and sometimes displeasure of trying out several varieties of these types of food over the years. The latest version I tried is manufactured by Sharwood's and to give it its full title Chicken Madras ready meal with rice it is this product that I shall now review.
Like most of these products they are ready to cook straight from the freezer so you don't even have to remember to take them out and defrost them in the morning. This particular product was on a special offer at my local Morrisons where they were doing a promotion where you could buy 3 meals for £5. I purchased three different varieties. One of which included the Chicken Madras. Although I like curry I am not a fan of extremely hot versions of this product so I was careful to select mild to medium spiced products. There is a key on the front of the package that alerts you to the hot nature of the product. One chilli for mild two for medium and so on.
The product comes packaged in a cardboard outer with a plastic inner covered in microwaveable plastic. The food itself is slit up into two sections. One containing yellow rice and the other a portion of the curry. I have to say first impressions leave you thinking that there is not much to this meal and I have to say I was a little concerned that it would not be enough to fill me up. I followed the instructions given on the back of product. Simply pierce the product on both sides and place in a microwave for 8 minutes. It is important to remember to stop halfway through the cooking time to stir the product. Then restart and once finished leave the product to stand for a further two minutes.
The smell of the curry cooking is absolutely delicious making your mouth-water particularly when you are as hungry as I was. On removing the heated product from the microwave I was aware of the wonderful madras aroma infused with the delightful scent of yellow rice. I placed the contents on a plate and was actually rather pleasantly surprised at how much food came out of the little tray!!
I would advise leaving the food to cool down for a few minutes before tucking in as it really is hot as I discovered to my cost burning my poor tongue almost immediately. There are around seven pieces of decent sized chicken pieces mixed in with the wonderful orange madras sauce. I would estimate around a cup and a half of yellow rice too. Certainly more than enough food for me for a meal however for those with a big appetite I would recommend popadoms and naan bread too to top up the meal. The chicken was tender and extremely tasty and very moreish. I was a little disappointed with the rice though as i thought it was quite dry. Mixed in with the sauce though it wasn't really noticed.
The product itself is probably not the best for those people who are on diets as it is simply packed full of calories and sugar. However for a one off treat or a meal solution when working nightshift I would suggest an ideal product and cheap to boot. The packaging does state that the product does not contain any artificial colours or preservatives. Overall worth a try.
Sharwood's Chicken Madras with Rice is a simple yet tasty option for a microwave curry (curry in a hurry). The item is ready to heat and can be cooked in the oven or the microwave direct from frozen.
The curry and rice itself is made with chicken breast, no artificial flavourings, no artificial colourings and contains no hydrogenated fats which makes it a "healthier" option than other ready meals available at around the same price range with normal prices for Sharwood's curries being anything from £1 to £2.
As with many ready meals the curry itself is not a healthy item with the 375g serving having 533 calories, 9.6g sugar, 16.5g fat of which 9.6g saturates and 1.80g salt. This means that your daily intake recommended for salt is nearly a third used and your saturated fats are nearly half used but so long as you watch your diet then you are allowed treats like this.
- Quick and easy
- Most of packaging is able to be recycled
- High amount of salt and saturated fats
If you are in need of a quick and easy option every so often then having these in your freezer provides a tasty meal that is at a decent price and fills you up.