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Being the young healthy man I am I *try* to lead a balanced diet. Some form of cereal for breakfast, fruit for a snack, then for lunch I prefer something with rice. Not only that, I prefer something that suits my average cooking skills. I have tried a variety of rice based meals over the years, with the end result being that the ones I like strangely becoming very rare to locate or the production of them has come to an end. Coincidently. Therefore I have no lunch. So I am forced to set on a mission to locate some rice-based meals to remedy my craving.
One such meal was this 'Birds Eye' product; Chicken Jalfrezi.
The meal rests inside this quite attractive box, which consist of a swirl of purples, pinks and fuchsias. There is also an appealing (and appetising!) representation of the meal inside on the box. And of course, the 'Birds Eye' logo houses the top left of the box. We are also informed in a bubble that it includes 100% chicken breast. Birds Eye has also taken the initiative of gauging how hot these meals are with red chilli icons. This meal is tagged with 3 chilli icons, which means it is 'Hot'.
The Birds Eye 'Chicken and 1 dumplings' meal looks very tempting also, but if you read my review on it a while back you may remember that it was rather pretentious and wasn't really as very filling as it let's on. However, I have also consumed other products produced by Birds Eye and have generally been pleased with them and so I didn't see the harm in giving this the chance.
The box has a perforation that you push down with your thumb, and it allows easy access to the box. In side you will find a bag around 13 /14 inches long and about 11 inches wide containing the meal.
How To Cook:
First of all if cooking by cooker you will need to bring the unopened bag to the boil for 15 minutes. After this time has passed, add the rice bag and boil for 4 more minutes. Then simply lift out the rice bag, cut off the top and drain it (ideally through a sieve) and then serve. Finally lift out the chicken/sauce bag, shake, cut of the top and serve along with the rice.
The box lists instructions so that you can also simply microwave this meal, however, I find that the method of boiling via cooker results in a much more rewarding taste. Also, the rice appears more likely to clump together if micro waved, which is never a good thing.
What is chicken jelfrezi I hear you wondering? Well, it obviously includes chicken, and I have counted about 7 fairly decent sized chunks. It also includes a generous amount of whole grain rice and the hot tomato sauce consists of traditional herbs and red peppers.
I found that there is enough on the plate to fill me up, although you may want to consider adding something along the side, such as some Nan bread, which I think would help this go down rather well. If you were to serve between two people, I think that you'd get a good amount each, but past two people would be stretching it.
What can I say about the rice? It tastes like your regular good quality rice, and not like that type that taste like cardboard in some of the cheaper brand name products. As for the hot sauce, it is warm, but definitely not to the extent that it will have you rushing for gallons of water, although I do advise you have a glass along side you, as sometimes you do encounter the odd mouthful that warms you up. The herbs compliment the sauce well, and the quality chicken pieces are tender and at the right texture to chew. There is nothing springy about them, and there is nothing more I hate than chicken that is like rubber. All aspects of the meal compliment each other well, and the after taste is of a pleasant one.
These meals can be located and purchased at variety super markets, such as Kwik Save and Co-op, and retail at the average price of £1.29.
Nutritional values and important information from the box:
It includes no artificial colourings or flavourings.
'Although great care has been taken to remove all bones - some may remain'
Per Meal Cooked Provides:
Energy: 2000 k/j/ 470kcal (Calories)
Protein 26.0g Carbohydrate: 76.0g (of which sugars) 5.1g
Fat: 7.1g (saturates) 0.8g Fibre 2.8g Sodium 0.3g
As sold100g provides:
Protein 6.5g Carbohydrate: 19.4g (of which sugars) 1.3g