Wednesday 3 July 2013

Two mixes, three meals - What's For Dinner? Schwartz '2in1' Review

We may be a little old-fashioned at JibberJibber Towers but always on a Sunday we have a roast. Lately, however I have relaxed the insistence on the wearing of ties for the gentlemen and pearls for the ladies. Quite often though it can be hard to get some variety into the roast dinners so it was a welcome relief to be sent some new Schwartz 2in1 Recipe Mixes to try out.

First up was the Garlic and Thyme Roast Chicken + Crispy Roast Potatoes. We usually either put the whole chicken in the oven as it is or sprinkle a stock cube over the top and let the heat do the rest of the hard work. With this mix you need to score the chicken first and then combine the sachet contents with oil and brush it over. 

Mix brushed on the chicken and ready for the oven

To stop the mix getting completely crozzled you need to cover it with foil. While it's cooking you need to prepare the potatoes by cutting to size and par-boiling before placing in a pre-heated roasting dish and then sprinkling over the crispy mix. You then take the foil off the chicken and cook both for 45 minutes or until the juices of the chicken run clear. Quite simply really as any roast dinner involves a bit of jigging about with timings and things coming in and out of the oven.
Garlic & Thyme Roast Chicken all cooked

The most important thing is of course how did it taste? The chicken was nice and the coating did add an extra element to it but only if you ate the skin which some people avoid (not us). The potatoes were described by my husband as, “Nice...really nice,” and he did say he preferred the potato coating to the chicken one. My son gave his verdict by clearing his plate in record speed. Would I buy it myself? Certainly not as an every week purchase as I consider it something of an extravagance and it didn't blow my taste buds enough to make me fall in love with it. However, if you are having guests round for dinner, got in a panic and wanted a fail-proof way making chicken and potatoes a little different then this is worth a punt.
Chicken and potatoes waiting to be plated

One of the reasons we like a roast on a Sunday is that often there is quite a bit of meat leftover for another meal. On the Monday evening I did the shopping so needed something quick to make. I bought a packet of ready-rolled puff pastry and laid it out on a lined baking tray and folded in the edges. I pricked it all over and then cooked it for 10 minutes at 200°C. Once it was out I stabbed it a couple of times with a fork as it puffs up a bit. Spread it with a 200g tub of crème fraîche and then cover it with the leftover chicken. On one half I added mushrooms that needed using up and the other half had frozen sweetcorn (all tastes catered for). A handful of grated cheese and snipped chives from the garden finishes off the topping. Cook for another 10 minutes. Slice and eat.

Leftover Chicken Slice - half with sweetcorn, half with mushrooms

So two meals in the week down and it was on to Pasta Tuesday. This is so-called because my Daughter goes swimming on a Tuesday and requires large amounts of carbohydrates to re-fuel. The next mix was rather conveniently Mediterranean Chicken Pasta +Cheesy Crumb Topping. Having chicken again for a third day would have been a bit much and also the recipe calls for chicken breasts which is outside of the JibberJabber budget. Thankfully, the packet suggests you substitute tinned tuna for the chicken and I always keep a stock of them in the cupboard. One thing to remember is that the recipe ingredients calls for 'pasta, cooked and drained' so remember to do this before you start on the rest of the dish. Once this is sorted you mix the packet with water and a tin of chopped tomatoes add the tuna and sweetcorn (says tin but we used frozen) and heat through. All this then goes into a dish and the topping goes on before it is put under the grill. 
Mediterranean Tuna Pasta + Cheesy Crumb Topping

Onto the taste test. I have to admit while it tasted fine it was a bit sloppy for my liking which is down to the water needed for the mix. I usually just use tinned tomatoes and then thicken with tomato purée. It did have a bit of a kick to it and upon inspection of the ingredients list I noticed both paprika and cayenne pepper. My Daughter didn't gobble it up as quickly as she normally does and I did question if she found it too 'spicy' (an universal term covering anything she doesn't like with a bit of heat in.) She said she didn't but I don't think this one was really a winner in our house.

Dinner is served!

This post is an entry for BritMums ‘What’s for Dinner Tonight?’ sponsored by Schwartz. Find out more about the new 2in1 mixes here. I was sent the above samples to try for free. No payment has been made for writing this post. The views stated are my own and the rest of the squad at JibberJabber Towers (husband and kids).


  1. Looks tasty! Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

  2. Thanks for letting us try them!


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