I picked up another deli item from M&S's new summer of flavour range having been very impressed with the Carolina BBQ Glazed Pull Pork I tried last week. This time I carried on the global taste adventure moving from the American South to the Far East with this chicken with soy, lemongrass and chilli. The colourful, bright packaging shouted summer and freshness and was part of the 3 for £6 deli mix and match offer.
One thing I always appreciate about M&S deli meats and chicken is that firstly it is British chicken but also you get very large, attractive looking pieces. The slices are delicately sliced but still generous and whole rather than crushed pieces, which is what you often get in other supermarket deli chicken. I knew these would smell delicious before I even the opened the packet because the scent is so strong and zesty you can smell it from outside the packaging!
Emptying it into a bowl, a lovely aromatic smell tingled my nosebuds. The smell reminded me of Thai street vendor food - lots of spices and pungent, savoury flavours that are still light and uplifting. Usually, I eat my deli meat cold but after having such a success with heating the BBQ pork before eating, I once again blasted this in the microwave for a mere minute.
Once again, this only intensified the aromas and I couldn't wait to eat the succelent chicken. I once again mixed foods and eating styles from different countries and put it in a lovely, warm, crispy ciabatta. I then topped with a few spinach leaves and that's all it took to make something that look like it came from a lovely little delicatessen.
Biting into the warm sandwich, the chicken really held its own. The strong umami taste of soy were uplifted by a really dominant but lovely zesty kick from the lemongrass. The chilli also contributed a further layer of flavour but only added mild heat. I usually find Thai spicing isn't that hot with more of subtle mash of flavour rather than overpowering spiciness for the sake of it.
The spinach added a little crunch and the bread some crispy texture but this chicken is so flavourful it made the sandwich in itself. The seasoning on it is done to perfection and the lemongrass and soy is so zingy and fresh, it tingles your tongue and uplifts your senses. This will definitely be a regular purchase.
Price: £2.50 for part of a 3 for £6 mix and match promotion
Available: Marks and Spencers
Pros: Perfect blend of flavours - powerful and tantaslising. Versatile. Good quality chicken
Cons: You only get 2 servings per pack