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I'm going to try something completely different - I am going to write this opinion whilst acually sampling this product for the first time. I am a self-confessed fan of M&S foodhall. They are not always the cheapest but the quality is generally pretty good (with a few exceptions).
I hate sandwiches for lunch as I find them boring so when in M&S this morning I happened upon their special offers section where I found this dish - Lemon and Ginger Chicken with Apricot Rice. £2.49 (50p off) for lunch - not bad for London and it sounds alright so lets try it.
After piercing the clear plastic film a few times it takes 4 mins in a microwave to heat up and belive me it is HOT!! The film is very hard to get off - in fact it is stuck so well in portions that it just tears across the pot. Added to the fact that it is still very hot it is not too easy to get into! I'm glad I had a serviette to hand as my fingers got quite wet!
It smells fantastic (although perhaps a little artificial) and the sauce has separated a little on heating so a good stir is required (necessary anyway after heating anything in a microwave).
Visually it is a little like a bad curry - large pieces of chicken burried in a bright yellow/mustard colour sauce in one half of the tray and bright yellow rice in the other with a few herbs, onions and apricot bits scattered throughout.
On its own the rice is great, well separated and not at all cloyed. The addition of the apricot is inspired - I may well try to recreate this at home.
Again, on its own the chicken tastes a little commercial. The sauce has quite a strong lemon and ginger taste - probably just as well as this is what it is meant to be. The chicken tastes "boiled" as opposed to roasted or fried although it is actually proper pieces of chicken and not pre-formed lumps.
Put them both together and it is inspired - really good and far better than a soggy sandwhich.....I'm going to eat it properly now before it gets cold and then I'll give my final impressions.
MMMmmmm that was good! I have been left with an ever so slight "hot" taste in my mouth, perhaps from the chillies but it is not unpleasant. The front of the packet describes it as a mild dish and I would agree.
The portion would be OK for a small appetite for a main meal but is pretty good for a spot of lunch.
If I have a complaint it is probably an unfair one. I like to be able to eat my lunch at my desk with just a fork as this allows me one free hand to do something else. The size of the chicken pieces made this impossible and I had to resort to two hands and a knife. Still a minor complaint on what is otherwise a very good product.
I'm sure some reading this are going to be saying sounds good but at what calorific price - well suprise, suprise it is from M&Ss "Count on Us" range and is less than 2% fat and 360 calories (NB this is not a criterion on which I judge products.. especially after all the chocolate and crisps I have been eating this morning!). What does let it down though is the high salt content 3.2g out of a recommened daily amount of 5g for women and 7g for men.
And here I thought it was going to be a recipe - darn! I love lemon. I suppose TECHNICALLY, this op should have more info on M&S itself...but since you managed to make me hungry just as I read this LOL...:) Cheers, Kate
janehammill 27.02.2001 06:32
very useful op cmh i love m& s scran and ive not tried their chicken /apricot count on us, i think the rest of the c.o.u range is excellent.
Yankee_tam 24.02.2001 18:26
A very good option, made me hungry just reading it :)