Living alone, to be honest most of the time I can't be bothered going to too much effort to cook for myself. Don't get me wrong I do make myself some pretty decent meals from time to time and if my friend is round then I really don't mind making the effort to cook but last night, as an example all I wanted to do was shove a ping dinner in the microwave and have done with it.
I love sweet and sour chicken and it is a dish I cook from scratch usually. However this I spotted in the chilled section of my local Tesco store and costing only 88p for an entire meal I thought it had to be worth a try though I have to admit to being more than a little dubious!
Recently this range has had a little revamp. No longer is the range simply called Value and in very garish packaging that screams I bought this cheap but now its called Everyday Value and has much more toned down packaging. This meal came in a deep black plastic divided into two section tray and over that it has a beige coloured sleeve that easily pulls on and off and on the front of that there is a photograph of the meal along with some orange drawn on pictures of peppers, chickens and pineapples and so on and we are told told that it is of course Tesco 'Everyday Value Sweet & Sour Chicken With Rice 'Succulent chicken breast pieces in a sweet & sour sauce with pineapple and red peppers served with rice' and that it is 'Made with only kitchen cupboard ingredients' and then we are told that it is cooked in the microwave in 6 minutes, is a freezable product and there is an at a glance nutritional chart shown. On the back of the sleeve other information listed includes ingredients and allergy advice being given, we are told how to cook it, there is a full nutritional chart stated, the weight it given (which is 400g) and contact details for Tesco are clearly stated. Nice enough packaging, much better than the previous in my view in its appearance and it is informative enough too.
Well as I previously mentioned you get two sections, one of sweet and sour chicken and one of the rice. This I liked as a fair few meals I have had in recent months consisting or rice and some sort of main meal offering which tended to be all in one tray and not separated so the appearance of this I thought was good.
To cook this you can oven cook it or microwave it from chilled or frozen, from frozen in the oven it takes around 40 minutes, from frozen in the microwave in about 9 minutes then from chilled in the oven around 25 minutes and in the microwave, still chilled it cooks in about 6 minutes. I heated mine up in the microwave from chilled in 6 minutes which I thought was excellent and it came pout piping hot!
So as promised you get a portion of sweet and sour chicken in one side of the tray. The sauce is red and plentiful with small and thin slices of red pepper in it and you get about 6 small chunks of chicken breast. I couldn't see or taste any onion which is said on the ingredient list to be within it and the sauce was nice, naturally sweet and rather tangy. I was impressed by the taste of the chicken and the portion size, however after initially rather liking this though finding it heavy on the thick sauce portion I did soon get sick of it as its too flavoured with garlic. Far too much so in fact and after a couple of mouthfuls of this all I could taste was garlic which was a shame as otherwise the initial flavours were rather nice!
The rice was nice enough. Looked long grain and off white in colour to me, wasn't stodgy and was plain in flavour. Through microwave cooking I find a lot of rices go very clumpy and stick together this really didn't though. I can't rave it contained a lot of flavour to be fair but it looked nice enough and there was plenty of it.
After initially really enjoying the meal I got so fed up of the major flavour of garlic I quit which is a real shame cos if they cut down a bit on that then this actually would be a rather pleasant meal surprisingly enough but sadly the way it is I won't be purchasing it again in the near future!
Nutritional Information Per Meal:
Only available from Tesco stores.
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Ok so im trying to save money at the moment with my food cause i buy far too much expensive foods and wanted to try cheaper alternatives.
SO i love sweet and sour, ilove chicken, i love rice, but i dont love this.
I mean im not going to slate the product too much since i should have expected the quality with the price ticket, and too be honest in my opinion, only students would eat this.
Like on most foods, that packaging makes it look appertising, but when its on your plate its a whole other story.
So where shall i start:
Followed the cooking instructions and of course had to put a little more time onto it (im a good cook) lol, so not really any problems there.
The bullets---oh i mean rice.
this was not nice at all, it was not overcooked or undercooked at all but the texture of the rice was awful, it was like overcooked basmati rice but like 4 grains stuck together lol.
Now the slop--sauce
Dispite looking like sweet and sour sauce, i may have well just gone to mcdonalds and asked for like 10 pots of their dipping sauce. It was awful, did not taste of very much either, as well of having a two toned sauce (watery on top of really really thick..litterally could have bounced it off the floor) but mixed togther it went sort of back to its original state.
Chicken........was it chicken....i dunno
Basically probably the offcuts of there value range of fresh chicken, it had the texture of pot noodle soya peices i mean it was gross. And again because of the price what should i expect, the amount of chicken in it was questionable.