“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Type: Gourmet Lines „
Upon tearing off the packaging you are confronted with the following: 4 x flour tortillas, 1 x portion of chicken with red / green peppers and onions in a mexican style thin gravy with 1 x pot of sour cream and 1 x pot of mexican style salsa.
First things first - 4 fajitas? How on earth is that going to fill me up? Interestingly they give you nutritional information by the serving which turns out ot be half the pack, presumably M&S are trying to tell me to share this with someone. If I don't think 4 are enough, how the hell are 2 going to be anywhere near?
To be fair, these are nice fajitas and it only takes around 6 minutes to prepare the whole meal using a microwave. Rolling the fajitas is straightforward once you work out an appropriate technique and you get a generous amount of filling and sauces. Then again there are only 4 tortillas to fill. The chicken is nice and tender and the mexican style gravy is delicately spiced to cater for all pallets.
Nutrition-wise (per serving!) you get 345 calories for 2 fajitas and 11.5g of fat, so even if you do eat the whole thing you aren't destroying your calorie allowance. However if, like me, you need to see a lot of food in order to convince yourself that you are full then buy 2 packs.
While on a recent browse in the Marks & Spencer's food hall after finishing work I came across an offer which caught my eye... Buy One Get One Half Price. Now I wish I wasn't gullible but when it comes to food offers even the smallest saving will have me piling them into my basket. However I managed to control my demanding stomach and selection the Chicken Fajitas and a further item from the same range to take advantage of the saving.
The product comes in quite a large square red box which has a photo of two fajitas cooked and wrapped on the front which clearly shows what the product will be like and does make your mouth water, especially if you're starving as I was. The front of the box also contains the information that the product serves two, that it can be cooked in the microwave or the oven, that it is mildly spicey and the relevant sugar, fat and salt content as well.
The back of the box contains information on the ingredients which I rarely bother to read as well as all the nutritional values of the food. There are cooking instructions which state that the product can be cooked in the oven or the microwave while the tortillas can either be steamed or microwaved. There are serving instructions which detail exactly how to make the fajitas which did worry me slightly as I wasn't sure how much work I'd have to do!
Upon opening the box I discovered a small black rectangular tray containing a mixture of chickens, peppers and onions which simply needed the plastic covering piercing or removing before cooking depending on the cooking method you chose. It didn't look overly appealing if I'm honest and it did seem that there weren't really many peppers in the mixture. It did smell quite nice, mainly of Cajun spices as this is what the chicken is covered in.
Also contained within the box were two standard sized pots; one of sour cream and one of tomato salsa which didn't require cooking. Lastly there was a flat plastic bag containing four tortilla wraps which again either needed to be cut or removed depending on the chosen cooking method. I must be honest and say the size of the box is slightly deceptive as I did expect there to be either more contained within it or larger portions really.
Onto the cooking... the chicken and vegetables take the longest to cook, either seventeen minutes in the oven or two minutes in the microwave while the tortillas take four minutes if steaming or thirty seconds if cooking in the microwave. The whole process is really straightforward, there are no ingredients to add or mix and you can literally have the whole thing cooked with about a minute's effort which is quite nice if you want something easy.
Once it's all cooked the serving instructions recommend that you spoon a teaspoon of salsa and soured cream over each of the four tortillas before adding the spicy chicken and vegetables to it then finally folding or rolling the tortilla to make it easier to eat. It is a slightly messy process as I did manage to spill the sauces but it is also quite a quick process, it took me about two minutes to make the four tortillas which I intending to eat all by myself!
Surprisingly enough I did find that there was enough fillings to actually fill each of the four tortillas. There was plenty of chicken and each tortilla got about four or five pieces while the peppers were slightly lacking as there only seemed to be about six pieces of red or yellow pepper. The sauces came in a standard sized circular tub and there was enough for a teaspoon of each to be added to each tortilla, if not a little extra to dip them in at the end.
So I was finally ready to eat them... I picked up my first tortilla and was about to take a bite... when half the filling dropped out. I had to resort to eating them with a knife and fork which isn't how they are meant to be eaten but I couldn't even fold the ends over to enable an easier eating experience! I would recommend that if you do decide to buy these then it is easier to eat them with a knife and fork, especially if you're entertaining guests!
Anyway as for the taste they were delicious; the tangy tomato sauce was really evident after about a second as was the Cajun chicken. They were advertised as being mildly spicy and I'd say this was the correct rating, although they were a little tangy and a tiny bit hot they weren't too hot and nor were they what my boyfriend would label as spicy. The sour cream sauce did a really good job of complementing the hotter elements as well.
I managed to demolish three of the tortilla wraps but had to give up by the time I got to the fourth as I was a little full. Although it does say the product serves two people you would need to get something to go with them such as salad or one of the other products in the range to fill you up as if I'd eaten only two of the tortillas I would have still been quite hungry and ended up eating a chocolate bar or something to just fill me up!
Just to give you waistline watchers a bit of information there is 16g of fat per half pack of these and 1.7g of salt per half pack. They're priced at £3.99 which while they're on the buy one get one half price offer if quite reasonable as it does lower the price of them. I probably wouldn't pay the full price for them if I'm honest as I do think they'd be more reasonably priced at around the £3.29 mark or even the £3.49 mark at a push.
In conclusion I would have to say that they're the nicest fajitas I've bought from a supermarket and that they're really easy to make. I think it's nicer to buy them like this than buy them already assembled as I've found in the past that this doesn't tend to work as well. All the ingredients you need are contained within the box so there is no need to buy anything to go with it other an an accompaniment if you are sharing it between two.
So next time you fancy a change, try these!
Thanks for reading!
My car is in the garage yet again and I couldn't get to a supermarket, so I nipped in to Marks & Spencer's to pick up a couple of ready meals. One of which was Chicken Fajitas.
The box is bright red and has a picture of two fajitas stuffed full of chicken and peppers, which look very appetising. To be honest the first time I bought this meal I wasn't expecting a huge amount of filling but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The box contained a tray full of chicken, caramelised onions and red and yellow peppers. There was a packet of four flour tortillas and two good sized tubs containing tomato salsa and sour cream.
The chicken is coated in Cajun spices which give a really nice flavour without being too hot, and the caramelised onions are delicious. There is more then enough filling and sauces to fill the tortillas and I usually have a bit left over (not for long though :-D). The only negative I can think of is that sometimes there isn't very much red/yellow pepper included
This is also one of the quickest to cook ready meals I have ever bought. In an 850w microwave the chicken takes 1 ½ minutes and the tortillas take 30 seconds. So great if you are in hurry!
To serve the fajitas spread some salsa and sour cream on to a tortilla then add some chicken, onions and peppers. Wrap the tortilla around the filing and enjoy!
The pack says it serves 2 but in my opinion if you where having this as your main meal just 2 tortillas wouldn't be very filling.
---Nutritional Info ---
half a pack (230g) contains
6g Sat Fat
They don't contain any artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives
--- Allergies ---
It contain Cow's milk, Wheat and Gluten
--- Conclusion ---
I have bought this ready meal several times and it has always been very nice and much quicker and less messy then making your own. One warning though, I have never seen one of these meals with a very long used by date, they are usually only a day or two so make sure you check it.
The chicken fajita meal is 3.99 and currently part of Marks and Spencer's buy one get one half price offer.
This is definitely a favourite of mine for when I am feeling lazy! I recommend giving it a try.
Not just a fajita. Well maybe just a fajita.