Something savory?! Thank the foodie gods! For the last two weeks I've reviewed nothing but sweets and I was seriously starting to burn myself out. I need to get some savory snacks queued up before I end up ruining candy for myself forever.
Normally I make home cooked meals after a long day at work, but I've been more busy than usual. Between my day job, freelancing, recording, photo and video editing, review writing and having what little social-life a hermit like me can handle, I'm completely and utterly burnt out. Tonight I'm phoning it in and we're having a freezer meal. (It's gotta be better than ordering take-out, right?)
The packaging is very basic, you have a large plastic bag with all-over printing, and inside that is a sauce packet and bits of frozen chicken. It's as no-frills as it gets, but Aldi still managed to make the design pretty nice. The product photo on the front is a little too dark, but the food looks appealing, and even though the text choices are lazy, I've seen a lot worse.Then again, I'm tired and hungry. Almost anything would look good to me right now.
This meal "kit" is really just frozen chicken and a large sauce packet, so it's incredibly easy to prepare. All you have to do it cover a baking sheet in foil or parchment, pour the frozen chicken bits in top, and toss that into a preheated oven. When it's done, pour the sauce on top. It can't get easier than that! It doesn't come with any side dishes like veggies or noodles, and sadly I'm all out of frozen veggies other than peas...so I pulled out my trusty rice cooker.
I put the chicken in the oven, set up the rice cooker and followed the recommended rice-to-water ratios, hit a button, and then took my dog for his nightly walk. When I got back, dinner was ready! (Which was awesome.)
Not too shabby looking for something that was whipped up in 20-25 minutes.
Everything smells pretty good, but the sauce has this strong vinegar tang, which is something I would normally love, but this was extra sweet and a little citrus-heavy. It didn't stop me from eating it, but it wasn't what I had expected from a chili sauce. (Are we sure this isn't mislabeled orange-chicken?)
The chicken pieces are heavily breaded and not the best quality, so when you bite into them it's almost like a tempura-style chicken nugget, but it' not half bad for a freezer meal. These little nuggets are crispy and crunchy, especially for something that was frozen and baked up in the oven, but that sauce? What's wrong with it?
Judging by the bag's description of "sweet chili" I had assumed that this was normal sweet chili sauce, but it's not! It's this weird, tangy, duck sauce and chili sauce hybrid. There is a teeny tiny bit of heat, but for the most part this is sweet and weirdly tangy. Kind of like unripe oranges. It's bizarre and not what I was hoping for, and you get a LOT of it. I only used a third of the package to coat my chicken pieces, so if you use the whole thing, like what's recommended, your tiny chicken nugget-bits are going to be floating in this stuff! If this sauce tasted good, that would be one thing, but it doesn't.
Thankfully I only "sauced" individual servings, so after we realized the sauce that came in this bag was a dud, we used our normal sweet chili sauce from the Asian Food Market on the rest and it tasted a LOT better.
If you're on the go and want to avoid ordering take-out, this might be handy to keep in your freezer because it cooks up so quickly and easily, but it's not something I would really recommend. It's fast and filling, but the quality is pretty low, and the sauce is really bizarre, plus there's no packet of frozen veggies included with it. It was fine for my lazy meal tonight, but I wouldn't get it again. Unless you're really desperate for something fast and easy at home, I'd tell you to suck it up and order the take-out. (Which is something I've NEVER said before.)