I bought my first Plated meal at my local Safeway a few days ago. The meal kit was on sale for $9.99 to entice people to try it (Regular price $18.99). I liked that it was a meal for just 2, prep time was only 10 minutes (30 minutes cooking time) and $5 per person seemed like a good deal. I purchased the Chicken Marsala with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes.
I am NOT a cook by any stretch of the imagination but the ingredients were well labeled, and the instructions easy to follow. Everything seemed fresh and only the parsley was slightly wilted - no big deal.
I naively thought that 10 minutes prep time was all that I would spend in the kitchen and for the remaining 30 minutes the meal would cook in the oven or on the stove. It took me a full hour to prepare and cook the meal while standing in the kitchen the whole time.
I struggled with the following items: Rosemary was to be minced and parsley was to be finely chopped. I didn't know the difference between minced and finely chopped so both ingredients were cut into small pieces. Unfortunately, I mixed the two items when I should have kept them separated. The tip on drying your chicken before dredging it in flour was good but once cooked, my chicken looked pale and did not have an 'evenly browned crust' or any crust at all. I also failed at making the Marsala sauce. I couldn't judge when the liquid was reduced by half and my sauce turned out thin & watery. I also didn't have a meat mallet to flatten the chicken but a heavy pan can be used instead. The potatoes turned out well but the sizes were quite varied some - very small and others 4 times as big but it didn't seem to make a difference when they were cooked.
Additionally, the meal was 710 calories per serving but didn't feel worth that number of calories.
Would I do it again? Hmmm, maybe. If it was still on sale, I'd try a different meal and go in knowing that prep time and cooking time will take longer than indicated and all that time will be spent in the kitchen.