Meal: 20 Cloves Garlic Chicken
Cook Time: 45 minute
Price: $19.99 (on sale from $24.99)
When Chef’d approached me to be one of the very first to try out the new meal kits they’re rolling out at Gelson’s grocery stores, I jumped at the opportunity. While ordering meal kits online is super convenient, it isn’t ideal for me and my lifestyle. I eat out regularly for work, and when I have an evening at home, I’ll stop by the grocery store to pick up ingredients to prepare dinner. Ordering meal kits online aren’t practical for me because I’m not always sure when I’d have an evening at home. But stopping by a retailer to pick up a tasty meal kit, now you’re talking!
I arrived at Gelson’s to find the Chef’d meal kits strategically placed right by the cashiers, facing the entrance. I didn’t even have to scour the aisles to look for it! My usual routine means stopping by the grocery store several hours before dinner and meandering through the store trying to figure out what to make. Often, I’ll get home only to find that I’ve forgotten something, and then, may or may not have the energy to go back out again for the missing item(s).
As a single mom, I have to make sure my teenager is fed, and fed healthily. When he’s not dining out with me, I will make sure a home-cooked meal is on the table when dinner time rolls around.
I was thrilled to find many choices including Asian-inspired dishes, such as Chicken Pad Thai and Pan Fried Spicy Udon. If you’re a fan of pork, there is Maple Glazed Pork Chop, and a regular Pork Chop, as well as Pan Roasted Chicken. My son and I decided on 20 Cloves Garlic Chicken, a dish I’d made before, using a slow cooker.
Unlike other meal kits, Chef’d has a patented innovative packaging that keeps all ingredients fresh without preservatives. Chef’d kits last up to 16-days from production versus the usual seven days from other companies. Each ingredient I unpacked appeared to be firm, fresh and sprightly.
All the ingredients are packaged into one box, with each ingredient individually packed and ready to prep. This not only saves me time, but also, refrigerator space to store what I don’t use — not to mention waste! I hate finding leftover ingredients at the back of my fridge weeks later which I am not able to use again because they have gone bad.
An accompanying recipe card helps guide you through the cooking process. I tear it off from the inside panel of the packaging sleeve and placed it right by my stove in case I needed to follow along. I like to read a recipe, and then do things my way, going back to the card only if I need assistance along the way.
Of course there is some prep involved, like mincing the shallots, cutting the garlic cloves (if you’re following instructions) in half, and chopping the parsley, but it took only five minutes of my time.
Cooking the 20 Clove Garlic Chicken Kit
First things first, boiling the potatoes. Place the purple potatoes into a pot with cold water to boil.
Next step is to season the chicken, prep the shallots, garlic, and parsley.
I heated my skillet with some olive oil (not included) and ONE pat of butter (the recipe calls for two). Once it’s heated, add the seasoned chicken thighs. I did my best to follow the instructions as best as I can, but if I thought something needed tweaking, I did it.
When the chicken is seared and browned, I turned the chicken pieces…
… then added the garlic, leaving them to brown slightly, and soften in the process.
Next, I added the white wine and chicken base to the pan to deglaze. The recipe calls for ½ cup of warm water, but I didn’t use all of it. If you like your food less salty, or with a little more sauce, I’d highly recommend using all ½ cup.
Around this time, the potatoes were soft. I drained the water before mashing them slightly and added the chopped shallots and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
I added the amount of olive oil that the recipe called for (I use Olive Oil & Beyond picual) but after tasting it, I thought it needed a little more fat. Instead of adding more olive oil, I used the second pat of butter that I omitted before, which created a lovely richness to the potatoes.
The final step was wilting the spinach, and this takes no time at all. I started another pan while the chicken finished up. The instructions called for one tablespoon of pan juice to wilt the spinach in, but I used three. The end result was not only extremely flavorful, but also, made it super easy to season your spinach without requiring additional ingredients.
This meal kit has a meal prep time of 45- minutes from start to finish. It took me 30. My plated dish looked pretty close to the photo on the packaging.
The best thing about Chef’d is not having to subscribe to the service, which other meal kit companies require you to do. Frankly, I am not able to commit to a subscription given how volatile my schedule can get.
I love that I’m able to stop by Gelson’s and have these kits right there ready for pick up.
I love that I save money because I don’t have any extra ingredients that will just sit in my refrigerator waiting to go bad.
I love the easy clean up.
I love that I don’t have to find space in my refrigerator to store it, or any leftovers because there won’t be any!
What a fantastic experience…
Chef’d is currently rolling out to all the Gelson’s stores in Southern California. If you do not see it at your local Gelson’s, please ask the manager on duty when they expect their shipment to arrive. If you want a broader selection, take a moment to browse the Chef’d website at www.chefd.com. With over 1,000 recipes, they are the largest non-subscription meal kit company. You can always have meals shipped to your door within 24 to 48-hours if you can’t find it at Gelson’s.