Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Monday, 11 May 2015

A Chicken and Mushroom Pie

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If you like chicken and you like pies, then today you are in for a real treat because the other day I cooked us a Chicken and Mushroom Pie for our tea that was absolutely fabulous.   With a delicious rich gravy, made all the better for using some pale ale to help flavour it (and cream) and a crisp and flakey puff pastry topping.  This Chicken and Mushroom Pie is a winner all round!

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I was able to use the Kingfisher Premium Ale which came in my latest Degustabox for this recipe.   This April Box was an International Box and there was a lot to love in it.  To those not in the know,if you sign up for it,  once a month, every month . . . .  Degustabox will deliver to your home 10 to 15 new, special or innovative food products for you to try in the comfort of your own home via a subscription service.  A monthly subscription costs £9.99 and there is a delivery fee of £3, for a total of £12.99, and what you receive can be tailored to the types of things that you like and would use.   To me it's a bit like a foodie Christmas every month of the year!  I love them. 

And now  . . .  what was in this months box . . . 

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Veetee  2 X £1.49

Triumph over the ordinary with the astountingly convenient microwaveable rice!  Perfect in your favourite stir-fry, as a side dish or even enjoyed as a snack, you're never short of mealtime possibilities.  Simply heat in the microwave and eat in 2 minutes.   Available at all major supermarkets.  (Our dog Mitzie, has cooked chicken and rice with some vegetables for her dinner every night.  She has a very sensitive stomach.  I have found these Veetee rice packs to be a God send as it means I don't have to always be cooking rice from scratch.)

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Barry's Tea 1 X £1.75 

As a family owned Irish company since 1901, Barry's Tea understand teh importance of tea.  They have spent years perfecting their signature God Blend, a unique blend that has been passed on through generations of family.  Since the beginnign their master Blender has never compromised his absolute commitment to fine quality tea.   Available at:

and in the World Food Sections of the following stores:


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CIRIO  £1.60 for the Tomato Fillets  £1.20 for the Tomato Double Concentreate

In 1856 Francesco Cirio was a pioneer in preserving tomatoes in tin cans.  Every day since then, consumers around the world have been able to experience the true taste of Italy on their tables.  Francesco Cirion, good food, made with traditional passion, Italian tomatoes.

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Kinder 2 X £1.55

Kinder Chocolate with Cereals mini contains a delicious milky filling and the great taste of 5 different toasted crunchy cereals, all covered in fine milk chocolate.  Individually wrapped, each chocolate is a delicious treat for the whole family to enjoy.

Kinder Choco-Bons have a creamy milky centre containing the moreish hint of crunchy hazelnut pieces, all covered in a smooth milk chocolate coating. Individually wrapped, each chocolate is a delicious treat for the whole family to enjoy.

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Schwartz  2 X £108

New Scwartz curries are second to Naan!  (Cute play on words)  Our love affair with curry is heating up!  We've seen Indian Food go from an occasional, exotic treat to a weekend tradition, and now a midweek favourite!  Let Schwartz give you a helping hand with their new authentic range of recipe mixes . . .  Korma, Balti, Rogan Josh & Biriani.  All the aromatic flavours you need to create a delicious homemade curry for 4 in as little as 25 minutes.  Available from ASDA & Tesco.

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Nandos  3 X 69p

Nando's, the home of legendary flame-grilled Peri-Peri chicken, has extended its popular portfiloio of Grooves Cut Potato Chips by adding a Peri-Salted twist to the already popular range which includes:  Smokey BBQ, Spicy Chicken and Sizzling Hot.   These ridge cut crisps are designed to lock in Nando's celebrated Peri-Peri flavour, for consumers looking for a twist on the classic and much-loved salted crisp flavour.

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DeBeukelaer Cookies Bakery  1 X £200

Inspired by traditional family bakeries in Greenwich Village, New York, DeBeukelaer Cookies Bakery brings delicious enjoyment to the UK with their irresistible range of bigger, better, tastier cookies.  For a fresh taste each exquisite cookie is a single wrapped.  Indulge in one of three irresistible flavours, creamy cookie, brownie cookie and crispy cookie.

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Scheckters  1 X £1.35

Sehecter's Organic Energy, is a great tasting 100% natural energy drink that is Organic, Fairtrade, Vegetarian, Sloil Association and Informed Sport approved.  Ingredients:  Sparkling filtered water, organic raw cane sugar, organic lemon juice, organic pomegranate juice, organic elderberry juice, organic ginseng, Scheckter's organicenergy blend (green tea, guarana, green coffee extract) pomegranate flavour.

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Idrinq 2 X £1.49

IdrinQ is a new generation drink, which helps to think smarter.  Things that were challenging become simpler and everthing seems clearer and more in focus.  It is great for idea generation and creativity.  It helps to separate the important from the unimportant.  With IdrinQ everything clicks.

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Chosan Wonjo  

 Wonjo Hibiscus is a delicious soft drink bursting with exotic flavour. Made from 100% natural ingredients, the Hibiscus plant gives it a distinctive red colouring and crisp, refreshing flavour. It can be drunk on its own chilled, or as a mixer.

Wonjo comes in five flavours Original, with fresh Root Ginger, with Moroccan Mint, with Warming Spices and with Essex Apple. Traditional folk medicine uses Hibiscus as a diuretic, as well as for treating hypertension and urinary tract infections. Hibiscus is also claimed to help lower cholesterol.. Chosan is an independent producer of healthy and exotic soft drinks, made from 100% natural ingredients. Inspired by tradition our recipes are derived from the Gambia.

Our exotic ingredients support a balanced lifestyle with many associated health benefits from increasing energy levels to reducing high blood pressure. Read more about us at www. and

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Kingfisher  1 X £2

Kingfisher is India’s No.1 beer and is the leading Indian beer the world over. However, this triumphant tipple can trace its roots all the way back to 1857 when Castle Breweries first started brewing in the majestic city of Mysore. The sight of bullock carts carrying huge barrels of beer was a common sight. These carts wheeled their way to customers throughout the region as the refreshing brew became a favourite of all who tasted it. In time, Castle Breweries joined forces with four competitors to form the company now proudly known as United Breweries. Since then, United Breweries has endeavoured to sell their most famous beer from Kerala in the south to Delhi in the north, and everywhere in between. As it has grown, the beer has become synonymous with the exciting side of Indian life. It is a sponsor of the Bangalore Royal Challengers, the Force India Formula 1 team and countless music festivals.

And as you know this is the product I chose to highlight in a recipe this month.  Because we do not drink alcohol as a beverage I usually try to cook with it in some way when I am given it.   It worked perfectly in this recipe and gave the gravy a really nice flavour.

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Do you like my little cut out chicken shapes in the four corners of the pie?   I know, cute!  I also sprinkled the top with a big of freshly ground black pepper and flaked sea salt after I brushed it with the egg wash.

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Did you know that sea salt flakes expand when they are heated?   They do. I didn't know that myself.  But when the pie came out of the oven they were twice the size as they were when they went in!

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In any case this is one very delicious pie!  With a fabulous gravy and tender pieces of chicken and mushrooms,  and that buttery flaky crust it went down a real treat with some mashed potatoes and a green vegetable on the side!

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*Chicken and Mushroom Pie*
Serves 4

One of Britain's favourite pies!   Tender pieces of chicken with mushrooms in a delicious gravy beneath a puff pastry hat.  What's not to like? 

2 TBS light olive oil
12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into cubes
1 pound of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 small onion, peeled and minced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
50g of butter (scant 1/4 cup)
3 TBS of plain flour
225ml of pale ale (1 cup)
100ml of double cream (3 1/2 fluid ounces, scant half cup)
200ml of good chicken stock (7 fluid ounces or one scant cup)
freshly grated nutmeg, black pepper, white pepper and salt to taste
1 TBS parsley flakes
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 small free range egg, beaten with 1 tsp water

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Heat the oil in a large skillet.   Add the chicken and cook until the chicken begins to turn white.  Add the mushrooms and onions and continue to cook, until the chicken is golden brown.  Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook for a few more minutes.   Remove from the heat and set aside.
Mix the chicken stock, cream, and seasonings together in a measuring beaker.

Melt the butter in a saucepan.   Whisk in the  flour.   Cook for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly, until smooth.   Whisk in the ale.  Cook, stirring until the mixture begins to thicken.  Whisk in the cream mixture slowly.  Cook over low heat, whisking frequently, until the sauce has thickened.   Stir in the parsley and pour the sauce over the chicken mixture.   Stir to combine.  Pour into a large pie dish and set aside to cool completely before baking.

When you are ready to bake the dish, preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface.  Brush the edges of the pie dish with some beaten egg and lay the pastry on top, pressing down on the edges.  Trim.   Brush the top of the pastry with some beaten egg and cut two or three slits in the top to vent.   If you have any pastry left, you can cut out shapes and decorate the top of the pie with them.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.   Serve hot with mash and a green vegetable.

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Some people might see a chicken pie as a waste of a good bottle of lager, but we saw it as a delicious addition to an already delicious pie.  If you don't have any lager, you could just use additional chicken stock.

 Many thanks to Degustabox for sending me this box. I have to say I really look forward to getting my box each month.   There are always lots of things in it to enjoy and new products to try out.  I highly recommend.  You can also tailor the boxes to your own likes and dislikes by filling in your own Taste Profile.  I also have a code which is worth a £3.00 discount when registering.  Simply use the code:  NEHFF

Do check out the Degustabox web page for more information and details.

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Please note that I was sent products from both the alcohol and the alcohol free box.  Both would not be received in your chosen box.  These products were the Kingfisher Lager and the Chosan Wonjo.


  1. I love this chicken pie Marie!

  2. Thanks Gloria! It is really very good! xoxo


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