Product Type: Maggi Spices & Seasoning
Newest Review: ... at the bottom of the bag at the end of cooking. The Maggi website says Mexican Chicken So Juicy has a 'delicious mix of spices -- c... more
Maggi So Juicy
Member Name: jo1976
Maggi So Juicy
Date: 18/03/13, updated on 27/07/13 (234 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to use, mess and hassle free, tasty moist results
Disadvantages: Difficult to adjust for smaller quantities, high in sugar and salt
As a BzzAgent, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to test products for free in return for spreading the word about them to others. (It's not a paid job, sadly, but a nice way to try stuff for free. Anybody interested can sign up online at www.bzzagent.co.uk)
One of my most recent campaigns has been for a range of 'So Juicy' seasoning mixes from Maggi. These handy little packets are designed to provide everything needed to effectively marinade and season chicken (either chicken breasts or drumsticks) and come in a range of different varieties - with each pack including a handy cooking bag.
I was provided with a decent selection of flavours to try from a pretty extensive range; including Mexican Chicken, Tomato & Herbs and Tuscan sausage - the only variety from the selection designed to be used with a different kind of meat. The BBQ chicken variety was the one that instantly appealed to my oldest son and it was the first that we tried as a family.
I do cook a lot of chicken for my sons so I was interested in trying this range, especially as the cooking method sounded pretty simple. I don't like too much preparation prior to cooking and the Maggi So Juicy products really don't require any preparation or cleaning up afterwards, which is always a bonus for a busy parent!
Like the other varieties, the coating can be used with either eight chicken drumsticks or four whole breasts. Personally, I feel that a BBQ coating lends itself perfectly to drumsticks so this is how I have used it. I found the perfect opportunity when I had the in-laws round for a buffet lunch a few weeks ago. BBQ drumsticks seemed the ideal accompaniment to a range of buffet items.
As I hadn't used the range before, I studied the instructions on the packet very carefully and followed them to the letter. Fortunately, the guidance is very clear and easy to follow with just three simple steps to follow. My ten year old son was the most enthusiastic about this new concept so acted as my 'sous chef' for the occasion. He was most excited about the teeny little folded up plastic bag which, when unfolded, opened out into quite a substantial bag with plenty of room to fit the drumsticks in. The dry powdered seasoning then needs to be tipped out from the lower part of the sachet and the bag tied securely with the little tie provided.
The second step is to coat the chicken thoroughly by mixing and turning the pieces from inside the bag. This step really appealed to my child helper and proved a great way to get the kids more involved and interested in cooking. Once thoroughly coated, the bag needs to be placed within a pre-heated oven, with the chicken pieces spread out as much as possible. It proved a little difficult to spread the drumsticks out evenly, as they were inside the bag, but this didn't appear to have any impact on the overall results of the cooked chicken.
The packaging does warn that the bag will expand, so advises placing the chicken on a lower shelf. I was a little alarmed by this warning and kept an eye on the bag whilst cooking - expecting it to have billowed out to the size of a hot air balloon within seconds. I actually found that it was almost towards the end of the cooking time that the bag really starts to inflate, so don't be concerned if it doesn't seem to be expanding during the first half of cooking time.
Cooking the drumsticks takes slightly longer than breasts, so this took an hour to cook thoroughly (compared to 35-40 minutes for breasts.) During the cooking time, the oven was giving out some really tempting smells so my son was desperate for his first taste!
The hour long cooking time was an accurate estimate, and the drumsticks were all thoroughly cooked, despite being quite thick ones from Sainsburys. Most importantly, the dry powder had transformed into a rich and attractive looking saucy brown coating, with a pleasant and distinctive barbecue aroma. When biting into the chicken, the meat was so soft and tender that it was literally falling away from the bone and the 'so juicy' name proved to be pretty accurate with the chicken feeling moist and juicy. Both sugar and salt feature high on the list of ingredients but, despite that, the chicken was not at all overpowered and did not appear to be overly salty but did have that moreish sweetness you would expect from a barbecue style coating.
For those worried about the health aspects, the packet does offer the reassurance that it does not contain any added MSG, hydrogenated vegetable oil nor any artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives. Despite this, the packets do have quite a lengthy shelf life so these should prove to be a handy store cupboard items for those days when I run out of inspiration!
I served this slightly warm as part of a buffet and they proved to be a real hit with my guests and, crucially, with my kids who can be fussy about any new foods. In total, I think my oldest son wolfed at least three of these drumsticks down so he certainly had no complaints to make. (I did regret not using the other packet too!) He begged me to try some more and we subsequently went on to try the Tomato and Herb variety. I have to say, out of the two flavours, this BBQ was the preferred option and is the one that we are most likely to purchase again, particularly for use with a buffet selection as they are an inexpensive, popular and easy to make addition.
The Maggi So Juicy range is widely available from most major supermarkets with the individual packets costing around 99p. I have recently seem then on offer at Morrisons for half price, so just 50p per packet, so it may be worth waiting for any promotions before trying the range. I can certainly recommend the BBQ flavour and have appreciated a new method of cooking chicken with minimal preparation and no clearing up afterwards (apart from licking sticky fingers!)
Summary: A mess free method of cooking barbeque drumsticks