“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Meat „
This Tesco Chicken Breast Joint with Stuffing and Chipolatas has to be my ultimate 'convenience treat' dinner, as it's a complete doddle to cook (remove film lid, place foil dish in the oven for about 45 minutes) and gives you the basic components of a roast dinner - and a nice one too - as an end result. It's sold raw, and is available in the chilled food cabinet of the supermarket.
It usually costs £3.98 for just over 500g of the chicken and sausages, and there what seems to be an ongoing offer where you can buy two for £7 so you can get about 50p off. This applies to a few different roast joints sold at Tesco; there's a pork crackling one and a gammon one for example - so it is possible to pick and mix a bit with these things, though none of them tend to have terribly long shelf-lives, which means that if you did buy two you'd most likely end up having to eat two roast dinners within the space of about five days to a week (unless of course the two roasts were for feeding a large number of people).
£4 per pack is not exactly cheap for a convenience food, though what you're paying for is undoubtedly the effort that's gone into packaging it all up like this, because I doubt even at that price it's particularly high-welfare-standard chicken meat or pork that's going into the product. And a double-whammy of potential cruelty to farm animals, because it's got pigs and chickens in it too - as well as the chicken breast, you get four small mostly pork-based chipolata sausages, and four balls of pork sausage-meat-based herby stuffing stuff.
I don't know why the trimmings for this dish come in multiples of four, because according to the suggested serving sizes given for the chicken breast joint, one person would be expected to eat about a third of it (this provides just under 300 calories). I'd say this about right; the chicken breast is quite large and easily provides three moderately-sized portions. It's got the skin on but is mostly boneless (there is a fragment of wishbone that crops up at the 'crop end' - ie the thicker bit of the breast) and the skin often crispens up quite nicely during cooking. With the chicken skin, and moreover the pork fat from the stuffing and Chipolatas this is considered to be a moderately high-fat dish by the end of cooking, with, with about 15g of fat per approx. 150g portion.
The chicken breast has added water which emerges during cooking. On the downside, this soaks into the pork stuffing balls and makes them tend to disintegrate (they're still very tasty, however) but a plus point, it does provide some nicely chicken-flavoured residue that you can use to make gravy - and as the foil tin the chicken cooks in is heatproof, it can even go on the hob while you're making that. The chipolatas however, being small, don't benefit from being cooked in the oven with the rest of the roast for a full three quarters of an hour; they almost always burn (unless you put the chicken on top of them during the second half of the cooking period, so it act as a heat-shield.)
The chicken does pick up a lot of sausage flavour from being stored and then cooked in close proximity with the sausage-meat balls, and although the taste is quite nice from time to time, although I wouldn't want every chicken I ate to taste exactly like that.