Thursday 28 June 2012

Charlie Bigham's Breton Chicken review

We took a leap into the culinary unknown here at The Madhouse for dinner last night, trying not only a brand that we'd never heard of (Charlie Bigham's) but also a recipe that we'd never heard of – ironically Breton Chicken, which we've never come across despite Madhouse Daddy Mike being Breton and both of us having lived in Brittany for several years. Well, nevertheless, it was a resounding success.

Breton chicken is described on the pack as “fresh chicken breast in a handmade creamy mornay sauce with cheese, leeks, lardons, Dijon mustard and fresh parsley”. That sounds just like the sort of meal I would knock up from scratch and, looking at the ingredienst list, there's nothing I wouldn't find in my own kitchen : fresh chicken breast (37%), fresh cream (18%), water, smoked bacon lardons (10%), Cheddar cheese (10%), fresh leeks (8%), Dijon mustard (1%), sunflower oil, fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley (1%), fresh garlic purée, black pepper. That's it. Not a single artificial additive or E-number in sight.

The cardboard sleeve, featuring a humorous cartoon of “Twosomes”, hides a plastic tray with two compartments, one with the chicken and leek mix and the other with a sachet of ready to heat sauce. Unlike many frozen ready-meals, the chicken isn't pre-cooked, it's raw, so you get a much juicier, more tender final result when it is cooked. The fact that it is pre-chopped and pre-seasoned is a real time-saver. You just need to cook the chicken mix in a drizzle of olive oil for 8-10 minutes, pour over the sachet of sauce, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

I was actually a bit concerned that the portion size was slightly on the small size so I added some slices of chorizo. (The whole pack weighs 600g.) This worked really well because the spiciness complemented the creaminess of the sauce and the saltiness of the bacon. It did change the colour of the sauce though, so yours will look less orange if you don't add chorizo.

Taste-wise, it's delicious. The combinations of chicken and bacon and leeks and cheese are well known classics and putting the whole lot together really works. The meal tastes fresh and home-cooked - you could pass this off as a very impressive home-made dinner for a special romantic meal ! Portion-wise, I had plenty but Madhouse Daddy Mike did say that he'd have liked a bit more (despite me adding some chorizo). We served ours with fresh pasta which was delicous, but you could also use rice, boiled potatoes or fresh vegetables as an accompaniment too.

Madhouse Daddy Mike is still not totally convinced that Breton Chicken is an authentic Breton recipe, but we both agreed that it is delicious. One 1/2 pack serving contains 459 calories, 29.8g of fat (of which 15.5g saturates) and 2.4g of salt.
You can find Charlie Bigham’s Twosomes in Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Booths or online from Ocado.
star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £5.99

for more information :

Disclosure : We were sent a selection of Charlie Bigham's products in order to write honest reviews.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Organic Village 100% Pure Pressed Organic Pomegranate Juice review
Merrydown Vintage Cider review
Ainsley Harriott World Kitchen Chilli & Lime Flavoured Quinoa & Basmati Rice review


  1. looks good and a reasonable price

  2. does sound delicious and i haven't heard of it either lol. might be one i'd try & make rather than buy as a bit pricey for us though :(

  3. I too have never heard of breton chicken, but it sounds delish :)

  4. Why on earth would you add chorizo

    1. Extra flavour and smokiness? Finding something almost instant to cook in the fridge to pad out a meal?!

  5. We find Charlie Bingham foods excellent! Especially for busy families at work !
    Tonight is our trial of the. Breton Chicken! Here’s hoping.


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