Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: BackCountryCuisine Instant meals - Roast Chicken

As my second part in the four dehydrated meals reviews I have been doing,  I will cover the Backcountry Cuisine "Roast Chicken" meal.

The first of these reviews, on the Outdoor Gourmet Butter Chicken meal was published on Breach Bang Clear, and I had some interesting feedback on it. Go check it out here... The principle is the same, the plasticised foil retort is both the cook-pot, the serving dish and eating bowl.

The Roast Chicken meal weighs in at 175g (6.2oz) tender chicken in little squares, vegetables and stuffing smothered in gravy and then served with the mashed potato. You simply add 220mL of hot water to the mashed potato sachet and 250mL hot water to the chicken meal sachet, stir and let stand for 10 minutes. The result is a delicious hot meal wherever you may be.

About half way down the retort a second tear tab on all pouches allows you to tear the lower perforation and use the pouch as a bowl once the food has reconstituted. It's a great idea and saves getting messy hands when using your spoon or fork, but be sure to tear carefully or you can make a hot mess of the meal. It might even be an idea to cut it into a bowl, to be sure. You have a knife with you, right?

The mashed potato comes in a separate retort, stored inside the main retort, which is good in that it allows you to serve it separately and keeps it from becoming a thick sludgy mess. I found the texture of the main meal to be really appealing, with the mashed potato being fairly standard for instant mash. The flavour balance was good, and it wasn't too salty.

The waiting time wasn't too bad, especially from water brought to a fast simmer, through to eating it only took 15 minutes.
One thing that I found was important, but not required was to have a flat surface to plop them down on as they are reconstituting, but the retorts fan-out from the bottom as part of their design, but I think they did better from standing up than laying down. One good thing however, was that the zip-lock top seal allows you to squeeze-mix the contents to reconstitute your food. This made me feel like an astronaut, given food served on the ISS.

Nutritionally, the whole meal makes up 1549 kJ (370 Cal) which Back Country Cuisine state is 18% daily intake requirement, so it's not a hefty food source, but being light, you could pack a bunch of them, and if you had three a day, that's 54%, so don't leave out the snacks when you're packing.

One thing I found was that the mashed potato didn't quite reconstitute properly, and when I spooned it out, I found some dry patches, but by mixing it up when in a separate bowl, it all came good. All in all, this was a really good meal and I enjoyed it, it was tasty.

Well worth adding to your pack if you are wanting to travel light, but also want a home-cooked style meal.

Be sure to pack enough potable water, or have access to enough wherever you are going, and enough to balance out your hydration as you go.

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