Wendyl Wants To Know

Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl wants to know: DIY roast chicken hard to beat on cost, content

Add a comment
Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents

Tegal Meal Maker Diced Roast Chicken, $9.49 for 320g.
Tegal Meal Maker Diced Roast Chicken, $9.49 for 320g.

Most weeks our 15-year-old takes my eftpos card and disappears to the supermarket to buy "things for lunches and snacks."

Recently her "things for lunches and snacks" have been costing an arm and a leg.

Closer investigation revealed that we were buying three packets of this a week.

"What's wrong with a roast chicken in the fridge like we always have for lunches?" I inquired.

"It's handy," she replied. "And tastes better."

This product does have flavouring and colour added, so she might have had a point.

Until I bought a ready-cooked chicken, chopped up the breast and put them in this packet, carefully hiding the original contents in the back of the fridge.

"Enjoying your special chicken?" I asked later that day.

She was. And when told it was a cheaper version she simply said:

"Meh ... chicken is chicken."


Chicken (94%) - This is 100% New Zealand chicken breast meat but not free-range.

Salt - There is 440mg of salt per 80g serving. SugarNot a lot in here, will be mainly in the chicken for flavour.


Natural flavours - Not sure what these are but at least they are natural. Corn starchThis is cornflour and will be in here as a coating/thickener.Herb

Vegetable powder (tomato, onion, garlic) - These will be dried.

Maltodextrin - This is another form of sugar but will also be in here to keep things moist.

Natural colour (150c) - I wouldn't consider this a natural colour. It is caramel III which is made by heating sugars with ammonia.

Spice extract

Acidity regulator (326,262) - These are potassium lactate (326) which is a natural acid produced from milk and sodium acetate (262).

Preservative (223) - This is sodium metabisulphite which can be a problem for people who avoid sulphites.

My recommendations

From a price point of view I can buy a whole cooked chicken at the supermarket for $13.99 (free-range for $15.49) and get 400g of breast meat as well as thighs, drumsticks, wings and a carcass for the dog or soup. For 15-year-olds you could cut up the breast and put it the fridge as a handy snack. But do be aware that the ready roasted chickens in the supermarket also have added ingredients such as mineral salts, maltodextrin, acidity regulators, thickeners, natural flavours and a natural colour (paprika).

The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to buy a free-range chicken for $10.99 (about the same price as this product), roast it yourself so there are no additives and chop it up for teens in need of handy chicken.


• Has added flavour, colour, preservatives, acidity regulators.

• Tastes the same as breast off a ready-roasted supermarket chicken.

• Costs a little less than a whole chicken.

Do you have a food product you would like to feature in Wendyl Wants to Know? Email wendylwantstoknow@gmail.com with suggestions. Unfortunately Wendyl cannot correspond with readers.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2015, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 04 Oct 2015 23:23:39 Processing Time: 469ms