I'm not anti from the packet by any means. I understand the need for quick food without having to put loads of effort into it. After a long day nothing seems more appealing than the satisfying rip of a packet, pouring the content into a baking dish and bunging it in the oven before retreating to the solace of the sofa.
In true packet style, this little pouch contains most of what you need to create a quick meal. You'll just need to add oil, chicken, a bell pepper, a can of tomatoes, pasta and cheese. The instructions suggest that the entire meal will take 16 minutes max. However, that doesn't include the time needed to make the pasta, which you'll need to cook beforehand.
So adding in the time it takes to cook the pasta and the time it takes to prepare the veg, I'd say you're looking at about 40 minutes to make this dish. Not too bad, but not that quick, really.
For a Mediterranean dish, I was shocked to see a lack of vegetables! Mediterranean food is known for its robust flavors and clever use of vegetables. Especially courgette. I expected to need to buy some courgettes to make this dish but was disappointed when I wasn't instructed to. Instead, I followed this recipe to the tee and resisted the urge to make any alterations, no matter how badly I thought they were needed.
Okay, so the verdict? This dish is easy to make. Simple. Boil water. Dump in pasta. Open packet. Fry chicken. Combine. Tumble in veg. Top with cheese. Finish off in the oven. Simple. But surprisingly lacking in flavor. Also, we found the crumb mixture to be ... less crumb and more sand. Since I received this packet through the post, it's very likely it could have gotten crushed and if it has, then that's fair game. But if this is the normal texture, then, personally, I found it a bit odd. It was far too gritty for my tastes and every now and then, the crunch it made while chewing was startling.
But don't completely write this packet off! With a bit of ingenuity and modification, I would happily serve this to my family when I need a quick(ish) meal. I'd replace the uncooked pasta with fresh pasta that takes 1 or 2 minutes to boil instead of the dry pasta I used. I'd add a whole lot more veg: more than one pepper and a courgette, probably a red onion or two and some mushrooms. I'd saute them in a bit of oil and seasoning before incorporating them. I'd also skip the tinned tomatoes and opt for fresh ones instead. There'd be loads of sea salt thrown in and a bit of lemon pepper for zing.
I wonder, though, if a packet needs that much doctoring, if it's worth using? I don't know what's right for your family or what works best, but we weren't too impressed with this packet meal, although the idea of a 2 in 1 concept is really interesting and clever.