Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bertolli Chicken alla Vodka & Farfalle

I don't do a lot of those frozen "skillet" meals that have became so popular over the last few years. That's partially because while I do eat meat, I don't eat a lot of it; and for the Italian inspired meals, I am extremely picky and tend not to like them. But the thought of one more plate of Christmas leftovers was just a little too much to bear...and my mother had thoughtfully sent this meal to me, sooo...

Bertolli Chicken alla Vodka & Farfalle consists of breast meat chicken and asparagus mixed with a creamy tomato vodka sauce. To cook the dish, all you really have to do is put it into a covered skillet and heat for about 9 minutes while stirring occasionally. Pretty easy. (Alternately, if you're having one of those horrible days when even stirring a skillet is too damned much to deal with, this meal is microwaveable. But I chose to actually cook it on the stove top.)

On the plate the sauce is a rather alarming shade of orange. Sort of like nacho cheese sauce that comes in a can. But it does cover the pasta and chicken evenly without drowning them. The taste is...well, zesty. I would almost call it "too sweet" in the way that canned/pre-made tomato products can be (but homemade never seems to). It's cheesy -- but there are no outward signs of cheese, except to say that it looks like a neon orange Alfredo sauce.

The bow tie pasta (farfalle) came out perfectly. Not gummy or mushy, just al dente. The asparagus is crisp and cut into neat bite-sized pieces. There are also little slivers of tomato, which add a little fresh quality.

The chicken is also sliced into slim bite-sized pieces, and there's not very much of it. As for what there's just sort of there. It's reasonably moist and lean, but nothing special. (Not bad either, to be fair.) I do give Bertolli points for not putting those fake grill marks on the chicken. I really hate fake grill marks.

This is a perfectly serviceable meal. Nothing about it stands out as being especially good, but there's nothing particularly bad about it either. If you're not picky about your Italian food, you might love this dish. If you are picky, well...hey, it's bright orange! Everyone loves bright orange food, right?


Vons Supermarket (courtesy of my mother)


Jim said...

Bertolli was one of the brands I worked on in unilever before I moved to deodorants ... some of their wet tomato sauces are nice but I can't say I care much for their prepared pasta meals. I did get to try one that you get in the US ... the mushroom one!! I didn't like it myself. Nice work Gi! Really looking forward to your Brit week :D

Gigi said...

Unilever didn't make you review the chocolate scented Axe did they? (do you guys have that scent over there?)

The Shrimp Scampi was good as well but I have not tried the rest of the line.

I am prepping for Brit week as we speak!