Chicken pieces simmered with red bell peppers and tomato, steamed potatoes and green beans.
Poulet Basquaise is guaranteed to make your heart sing and your belly cry out for more. A native of the Basque Country, where Espelette peppers and chicken go together like French and kissing, Poulet Basquaise is a dish to smooch over.
• Gourmet Potatoes
• Chicken Thighs And Breast
• Green Beans
• Chicken Stock
• Red Bell Peppers
• Tomato Paste
• Black Pepper
• Smoked Paprika
• Cayenne Pepper
Like many Kiwis, the thought of "French Cuisine" brings to mind garlic, snails, and long sticks of bread. That's pretty much it... so to come across authentic French Cuisine, made with seasonal NZ ingredients, and actually tasting pretty amazing was more than impressive... it was a revelation. Not only is the food of the highest standard, it seems these clever chaps have found a way to make microwave heat'n'eat food stay tasting amazing.
Each box is a single-serve portion for an average adult... or so they say. I'm no glutton, but after polishing off this serving, I was craving more... the flavours were full and rich without being overpowering, which is a pretty clever balancing act really. One small issue, the potatoes and beans were cooked almost to perfection - though I had to add 30sec at full power to the instructions time to get them to this stage... I think a further 20 seconds was needed, bringing the total cooking time up to 3:20s at 100% in a 1kw microwave. I have no idea how this would have tasted at 2:30s in a 750w nuker.
Frankly, I find myself at a loss for words, because the words pale in comparison to the amazing meal I ate. The baby potatoes with garlic butter were brilliant - not chewy or dry even after microwaving. The beans were tender and crisp, without signs of wilting or burning... but the highlight has to be the amazing main... the chicken was fall-apart-in-your-mouth tender, moist and full of the rich flavours infused from the red bell peppers (capsicum to us Kiwis) and the tomatoes, along with herbs and spice enough to give a rich spectrum of flavour.
The box suggests "...salt and season to your taste." but to be honest I thought this dish was pretty much bang-on as-is... and normally I am one for adding extra flavour to anything I eat, thanks to the aftermath of too many student years causing Chilligeddon on my tastebuds. For this food to be so delightful, unaltered, to my war-weary veteran tastebuds was a feat so impressive I can't wait to try another of their dishes to see if it was just a fluke or evidence of brilliance.
Overall, though a little high on the price-scale for the average Kiwi, these will be great for those last-minute 'need to impress' meals. But what really pleased me was the packaging. With the exception of the peel-off plastic film, the packaging is full recyclable. The cardboard outer can be thrown into your regular paper recycling stack, and the bottom tray is type-1 PET plastic, the same as your regular soft-drink bottles, so can be recycled in most major centre around the country... IF you can educate your collectors and prove they aren't polystyrene meat trays, despite looking like them. Maybe a change of tray colour is something that Tom and Etienne could look into.
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