“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Chicken „
I may sound a little stingy, but sometimes I really grudge spending a lot of money on something for tea. Certainly this being priced at £2.79 can hardly be considered extortionate, but often when you are used to making a Spaghetti Bolognaise for about £4 and it lasting about 4 days, then this does seem pricey. Then again a change and treat is good to have now and again. This is found in the chiller section at Tesco. It is next to the Oriental meals and other Chicken based dishes. You can only oven cook this, and that seems a bit fiddly when I describe what this is like. The packaging is a black plastic tray which is split into 2 compartments. The Sweet and Sour Sauce is in 1 part, and the Chicken pieces are in the other. I would have thought it would have been split about 70% Chicken and 30% sauce, but it seems split down the middle. The result of that is not enough Chicken and quite a lot of Sauce in my view. I didn't want to pour this sauce over the Chicken, as I thought that would be too much, and I prefer dipping Chicken into Sweet and Sour sauce. The tray is covered in a cardboard sleeve. The Sleeve has a nice picture on the front of this arranged on a plate and I think it looks very appetising. The nutritional information is also on the front and this pack has 625 calories and 22g fat. So pretty much considering how much you get in the pack. Isn't Chicken meant to be good for you? Perhaps without the coating and sauce! The size of the pack is 400g, had a use by date of about a week on it, and it could be frozen as well. So, now to the food. How was it? It was alright, but nothing I would go out my way for. There was 5 pieces of Chicken in the meal. They were quite small pieces and looked a bit like Chicken Strips. They were coated in a batter, which seemed to have a bit spice to it and a good season. The batter crisped up when cooked and it was nice to dip this in the sauce as an accompaniement. The sauce was a deep red colour and has the taste of Pineapple, onions, and peppers. It was quite tangy, but not overly. It tasted quite authentic. You cook this in the oven for 25 minutes. So how is it fiddly as I mentioned at the start of the review? Well you cook the Chicken first of all on a tray, then you are meant to add the sauce to a oven proof dish and cook for approx 10 minutes. Stuff that I though. I cooked the Chicken, then put the sauce in the Microwave for 40 seconds and that done fine! Easy done. This is a nice dish, but certainly not filling. Why not team this with rice or chips and that would make this seem more like a meal and not a snack.
When it comes to cooking I'm a hopeless case and occasionally my parents leave me home alone (well I am 34 years old after-all lol) and I'm left to my own devices to feed myself. Course I can manage simple stuff like toast and soup but occasionally I fancy something a little fancier and one day last week I really fancied a sweet and sour chicken dish but not only did I not want to prepare it, there seems no point when I can bung something in the oven already prepared so strolling around my local Tesco store I chucked this £2.75 meal into my trolley at 100 miles an hour. Problem solved lol..... The Packaging.... Light burgundy coloured cardboard sleeve over a large black plastic tray with two compartments (one contains chicken and the other sweet and sauce) and has a clear plastic cover over it. On the front of the sleeve there is a photograph of the sweet and sour on the right hand side of it and then on the left hand side in light pink writing I'm told it's Tesco Oriental... Crispy Chicken Fillets With Sweet & Sour Sauce which is 'Pieces of marinated chicken coated in a light, crispy batter with a sweet and sour sauce' and contains no artificial flavours, colours or hydrogenated fat. On the bottom of the sleeve I'm told this serves one person, takes 25 minutes in the oven to cook and is freezable. There is an at a glance nutritional chart displayed, I'm told to keep the product refrigerated and finally the use by date is clearly displayed. On the back of the box all in small black writing on a white background I'm again told what it is, given instructions on how to cook it (20-25 minutes from chilled, 35-40 minutes from frozen in a preheated oven 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5), freezing guidelines are given, ingredients and allergy advice are listed, I'm given storage and caution advice, there is a full nutritional rundown given and finally size is stated (400g) and there is a bar-code on there. Nice enough packaging and informative enough it is. The Meal Itself.... Well I pulled off the sleeve revealing the tray when I got it home and immediately I felt disappointed with it on first glance. There were only 5 reasonably small chunks of lightly battered chicken and in the other compartment a tray of orange coloured sauce which never filled the compartment fully. I simply put the tray on a baking tray as I was directed to and cooked it in my gas oven for about 25 minutes (from chilled as I bought it). So my chicken never grew and I got 5 pieces, golden, slightly crispy and not stodgy or greasy it was succulent chicken breast, though really...not enough of it for the price it cost me. It was under-seasoned and plain but as I say good quality, breast of chicken...it was. The orange sauce stains where it touches! Be careful with it. I got it on my work tops and had to scrub them with bleach (which did eventually remove the marks). Now you an pour this sauce over the chicken or dip the plain chicken nugget type things into the sauce if you prefer (which I did!). The sauce is basically runny tomato ketchup (and I mean runny meaning lack of body). Tiny bits of pineapple which tasted fresh were in there (though not alot could be found), mixed with small pieces of green pepper which tasted a little too peppery and that's that really. For me the sauce wasn't thick enough, was far to tomatoey (in a ketchup harsh way) and really, really seriously over vinegary to get the sour...which is was and too much so. Also it was too sugary and had the sauce been a little thicker maybe I'd of preffered it but really I found the sauce..well...yukky to say the least a bit greasy! Overall.... Overpriced, this isn't a filling good value meal. I don't mind paying more for something great but this really isn't that. The chicken was plain leaving the sauce to do all the work and for me it was spoilt by the sauce instead of being enhanced by it which is saying something. Overpowering and not all that tasty do have the rennie on standby if you really must try it! Allergy Advice.... Contains Sesame Seeds, Wheat, Gluten, Soya, Mustard, Celery. Cannot guarantee nut free. Nutritional Information Per Pack.... Calories: 625 Sugar: 48.6g (how much lol) Fat: 22.7g Saturates: 5.9g Salt: 3.1g Only available in Tesco stores priced £2.75.