In the second part of the Charlie Bigham’s reviews I’m going to talk mainly about the Cantonese Sweet & Sour Chicken, but I cant get onto that without talking about the Steak Pies that I mentioned yesterday
The Bighams box arrived on Friday afternoon – and was unpacked with great glee – I was snapping away and preparing when we would have what and how I would review – we actually went out for dinner on the Friday night so the plan was to start on Saturday.
Saturday morning I went to the gym, in preparation for the Great Manchester Run that I was doing on Sunday. I returned – STARVING from the gym to find 2 empty ramekins, and a gravy covered face – my daughters – not my husband, he has just about mastered putting it in his mouth not around it. I stood there open mouthed while Tim told me that ‘Emma – LOVED the pie and woofed the lot’ I said ‘I’m supposed to photograph and review those..’ he said ‘I can do that .. they were MEGA’ so there you have it – not a terribly lengthy review granted but certainly high praise and a happy customer! His only criticism was regards the size of the pies – he’s a growing boy my husband – and he likes a ‘big’ dinner. He thought that you would need 2 pies each to make a meal of them, he did comment that the pastry was superb and the gravy rich and meaty – so there is his feedback
So on Saturday evening I prepared the Cantonese Sweet & Sour Chicken – this one had been shouting at me since it arrived in my fridge – I love a little bit of sweet spice. Now straight away you need to remove that thought – yes that thought there *points at brain* about sweet and sour.. that hideous sickly sweet MSG’d sauce coating battered, rubbery chicken *heaves* you might have had before… or those horrendous Uncle Bens Jars *shudders* let me tell you this is NOTHING like that at all.. this is fresh, ready to cook, nothing added goodness.
A big part of what I LOVE about these meals are the ingredients – I challenge you to go into your fridge and pick up a pack of something pre-prepared and find me ingredients that look like this
Look at the ingredient list – no additives, no preservatives – no hidden nasties – nothing other than what I would cook with myself – now THAT is a refreshing change – for someone like me who is watching their weight – thats a big one – Im SO fussy about ingredients, and with the Charlie Bigham’s packs you can slide out the pack, and have a nose at whats been prepared before you buy it, its ALL trimmed chicken breast and good sized pieces of veg – absolutely NO NASTIES
Preparation for all the Charlie Bigham’s meals are all pretty similar for the hob prepared ones, tablespoon of oil, fry off the meat and veg aspect for 8′ish minutes, add the sauce for 2′ish mins, sooo simple that its hard to believe it could taste so good. The Bigham’s sauces are SUPREME, this one in particular had a superb sticky sauce that thickened up brilliantly to give that distinctive unctuous taste, the chicken moist and tender, the vegetables big enough to make an impression in the meal – it was really top drawer. As my husband commented ‘this is better than the sweet & sour you get in restaurants’ … high praise indeed
The Cantonese Sweet & Sour Chicken was NO exception to this, beautiful ingredients, easily prepped and simply DIVINE – the right level of spice, not enough to blow your brains out or make your nose run, but just enough to give you heat and a kick of sweet & sour heat – truly fantastic – its definitely one of our Charlie Bigham Favourite’s so far.
and this is generally a good sign I find