In my last post I sent out a plea for new products to review. I had a limited response, but in the meantime I managed to try a couple more Heston things (there’s always more Heston) and I’ll post reviews soon. Ideally though, this won’t become a Heston blog, not least because these guys already do a better job than me www.insearchofheston.com/ but also because there are other three star chefs out there that need my attention, and so I turn once again to Michel Roux Sr.
One of the responses from my plea for help was from the chaps at Scratch. They have developed a new meal with Monsieur Roux that is being trialled in a few Waitrose stores and they offered to send one out to me. I said yes.
And so it was that in the height of the recent heat wave a Vietnamese Chicken Ga Kho Gung was sent out with a courier. I wasn’t in when he first tried to deliver it, so it sat in a baking warehouse all weekend and turned up a couple of days later at 7pm. It was supposed to arrive between 9-5 and my girlfriend had waited in all day to take the delivery. Couriers eh. Bastards. I tore open the box to find a warm packet of gone off chicken, sweaty noodles and brown ginger. I was very grateful to Michel Roux for sending it through, but my gratitude didn’t stretch to risking dinner with a sprinkling of ecoli, so the first packet went in the bin.
A couple of weeks later, Michel tried again and after a hairy moment when the man from Addison Lee didn’t think to knock on the door to let me know he was there, I finally got my hands on a Vietnamese Chicken Ga Kho Gung.
Scratch meals have branched out since I last tried one and now make packs for two people and not just meals for one. Just as well really as it meant I could share the meal with my girlfriend after she stayed indoors all day during a heat wave.
I’ll be honest, I had no idea what a Chicken Ga Kho Gung was and if what I was going to eat would be a good one or not, but why let an uninformed viewpoint and lack of knowledge get in the way of a blog post.
I fried the chicken for a couple of mins, added the ginger, chilli and onion and then added the noodles and caramel sauce. Yep – caramel sauce, I thought it was a bit of a worry too. I had visions of toffee coated chicken or butterscotch poussin and neither of them sounded appealing, but then knowing nothing of Ga Kho Gung who was I to judge. Right at the end I mixed in spring onions and peanuts and in less than 10 mins it was ready.
It turns out Ga Kho Gung is rather good. The caramel sauce does add sweetness, but it’s a complex affair of bitterness, sourness and added heat from the fresh chilli. The crunch from the peanuts is a welcome texture and brings the whole dish together. It’s light and refreshing and I still don’t know if it’s a good example of a Ga Kho Gung, but it is a good example of a nice thing to eat for your dinner!
Michel Roux Scratch Meals – Vietnamese Chicken Ga Kho Gung £5.99 serves 2