Like many people, I’m busy and don’t have time to shop, prepare meals, let alone compare prices to save money and still get fresh, wholesome ingredients. Yesterday I talked about Hello Fresh, a food delivery service I’m trialing. I wanted to see how fresh the ingredients were as well as how easy to prepare and how satisfying the meals would be. I took the default offering, with their generous trial discount. This gave me 3 meals for the week, portioned for 2 persons. Today I tried Meal 1. Here’s how it went.
First I unpacked the bag of contents labeled “Creamy dill chicken” and pulled the recipe card that matched. The instructions are pretty straight forward. In fact, they even give you an easy way to get organized before starting. There’s a list of what you need and then the step-by-step instruction set for preparation and cooking. Meals are supposed to take 30 minutes, this one took me about 40.
I was not sure what I was expecting to find in the bag of ingredients, but I was not excited to see packets that looked like fast food condiments inside. The 6 oz bag of green beans in a microwavable bag screamed preserved veggies. At least the chicken breasts were trim and properly sized (12 oz in total), though I’ll have to double check if they were free range, grass fed with no antibiotics. The dill was fresh and the potatoes looked good, weighing in at around 13 oz. All of what they provided mapped to what was on the recipe placard. All-in-all, the portions seem appropriately Audrey-sized.
Speaking directly to the recipe placard, the bust outs were handy. Each step lined up with the timing and everything went like clockwork. Potatoes in the oven, chicken on the stove, chicken off the stove, with the exact time remaining for the green beans to roast. I wish all of my meals were this synchronized! They get a gold star for this effort!
All of the cooking was going great, except the de-glazing of the pan. I put the packet stuff in the pan and added the minimum water but it didn’t thicken enough to become a drizzle so I addeed some flour to thicken it and over-thickened it, into more like a dip. Still tasty, just thicker. I initially put it on the chicken as it said to do, but it didn’t look good so in the future, I would just add this on the side, as you will see in my meal photo.
One thing they didn’t make clear was when resting the chicken, I wasn’t sure if I should tent it like a steak or just set it aside on a plate open. I would have prepared a dish, warm to keep the chicken warmer longer, as well, but didn’t pre-empt the step. So, on a cold dish I set my chicken aside to rest, under a tent of foil. The other omission was the inner temperature of the meat, instead of guiding strictly by time. They say 4 to 6 minutes a side, but even after 12 minutes, my chicken was still not cooked all the way through.
Finally, the outcome. everything was awesome! The flavor, potatoes and green beans were crispy, the sauce was much better than I imagined (despite that it came in condiment-like packages), My only disappointment is that their image of the meal did not look at all like the meal portions my meal turned out.
Ok, first impressions. I give this a B+, but only because I’m pretentious when it comes to my ingredients and the dings for my remarks above. I’m looking forward to meal 2. I don’t want to be over zealous on a first impression so who knows, maybe by the end they will be grade A. 🙂
Share your thoughts. Did anyone else have this meal this week from Hello Fresh?
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