Creamy Chicken & Mushroom Casserole

Posted on December 13th, 2011 -

My step by step guide to cooking this classic family dish.Chicken and Mushroom pie

I cook in large quantities for our family of 8 and for our reception shop meals. The quantities are very forgiving, go with what feels right for your family, or cook in bulk and freeze as I do.

This basic recipe is great for all the family as it is tasty enough for adults yet subtle enough for children. I am a big fan of one pot cooking for a family meal and not turning the kitchen into a menu of individual choices.

Ingredients 

Whole Fresh Chicken. Free range if possible.

Tip: You can use chicken breast which is much easier and quicker but more expensive or Turkey breast works well too and is cheaper than chicken.

Mushrooms sliced, any variety

Garlic clove or 2

Carrots or other vegetables of choice. Tip: sweet corn works well and popular with most children.

Salt and pepper

Olive oil and butter

Tin of evaporated milk

Plain flour

Method 

1. Remove Chicken skin and place in a large pan. Cover in boiling water and simmer gently for half an hour. Cool then remove from the pan, bone and place chicken pieces in a casserole dish. Reserve the liquid. Boling chicken may sound strange but it is the best method for keeping it plump and juicy. To me there is nothing worse than dried out chicken. 

2. Saute the mushrooms and crushed garlic cloves in a little olive oil and butter for 3 minutes on a high heat.

Lightly frying the mushrooms and garlic

3. Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish with a slotted spoon reserving the garlic and mushroom juices.

4. Return frying pan with juices to the heat. Add a few spoons of the reserved chicken juices, good knob of butter and large spoonful or 2 of plain flour, salt and pepper to taste. Gradually add the evaporated milk a little at a time.

Adding chicken stock to mushroom juicesseaoningAdding the milk

5. Simmer and stir till a creamy sauce is formed, if it is too thick just add more of the chicken stock and or evaporated milk.

simmering and stirring

6. Lightly boil the carrots or other vegetables and add them to the casserole before pouring over the sauce. 

drained cooked carrotsPouring over creamy sauce

7. I like to top the dish with either creamy mashed potato or  sliced saute potatoes. For these I peel and slice the potatoes then simply place them in a roasting tin with a little olive oil for about half an hour while the chicken is cooking. Then just arrange on the top of the casserole.

Tip: A puff pastry top works well for a change, or the basic mix served with rice. 

 Sliced PotatoCasserole ready for the Freezer

8. For my freezer dishes here at Coombe Mill, I then cool and freeze the meals ready for our guests to simply defrost and heat for about 30 – 40 minutes (depending on size). Otherwise the casserole can be chilled till needed in the fridge or heated straight away. A delicious family meal that can be made in advance ready for a busy evening or made in batches and frozen for those days when there just isn’t time!

 

Chicken & Mushroom Pie

Give it a go, ask any questions in the comments below, or come and stay here on holiday and try one of mine! 


Leibster Blog Award

Posted on December 12th, 2011 -

The Award

I have been awarded with the Liebster Blog award and am very honoured.  This is an award bestowed upon bloggers with less than 200 followers and the idea is to foster new connections between bloggers.  Apparently the word Leibster is German and means dearest, so this is a great award to have been given by the lovely  Mum.

Blog award

The rules

The rules for the award are fairly straightforward, to thank the person who nominated you and nominate 5 other bloggers with less than 200 followers. 

More Than a Mum

To me   is a cheerful and approachable fellow twitter friend.  I find her upbeat and enthusiastic about life, full of ideas and ambition so please follow if you are not already doing so. She has a lovely parenting blog at http://morethanamumblog.wordpress.com which is well worth a visit for all things parenting. A great writing style and interesting posts that keep you coming back. I must also give special thanks as she is a big supporter of our Country Kids linky https://www.coombemill.com/blog/post/2011/10/10/Country-Kids-from-Coombe-Mill.aspx with some awesome outdoor play features. Thank you. 

My 5 Recommended Bloggers

Here is my list of 5 bloggers I am following who appear to have less than 200 followers. Sincere apologies if I have misjudged this and you have more but the Liebster award comes to you with best intentions and congratulations from Coombe Mill!

Pippa who hosts http://redrosemummy.blogspot.com/

A truly lovely lady tweeting at  with a parenting blog about her son Bud, together with reviews. Well worth a follow

Rachel who hosts http://www.confessionofsahm.com/ 

Rachel is a self confessed twitter and blog addict and keeps her blog lively and up to the minute. Catch her on twitter at  to follow.

Sharon who hosts http://i-heart-motherhood.blogspot.com/ 

Read all about the fun and games with her 2 youngsters as they make their way through the joys of childhood together well as reviews on parenting products. Follow on twitter at  

Clare who hosts http://www.emmysmummy.com/ 

A truly bubbly lady with a delightful toddler called Emily who is the center of her lovely blog, not to mention parenting product reviews and some great competitions. Catch Clare on twitter too at  

Amanda who hosts http://mummymisfit.blogspot.com/

I love Amanda’s writing style. She has a book out called Diary of a Mummy Misfit and her parenting posts on the blog are so well written I often find myself laughing out loud. Well worth a read.  will find Amanda on twitter

Go girls and share your recommendations

  


Silent Sunday

Posted on December 11th, 2011 -

Silent Sunday 11th December 2011

Deer at Coombe Mill

Silent Sunday


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on December 10th, 2011 -

Farm Magic

Weekends are precious and when we are alone here on the farm we like to turn feeding the animals into a family affair. We can happily while away a morning on the farm, feeding and petting the animals, chatting and catching up on any little jobs that need doing along the way.

Driving Lessons

The children have been keen for Daddy to teach them how to drive the tractor. Today it was Theo’s turn. All our younger guests have a “pretend” go, sitting on Farmer Nick or Ted’s knee and helping at the wheel. Theo decided he wanted to be like his big brothers and really take control. Pretty good for a first try, though at age 9 he is still not strong enough to apply the brakes!    

Driving lesson for TheoDriving alone!

 

Some highlights from our morning

The animals are all very hungry now that winter is here and delighted to see us with their daily rations!

 

Wallaby in his play houseTheo hand feeding a Polish Banthan chickenJed feeding the alpaca

Walking the goatDonkeys with their hayClio with a Chicken

 

Daddy had his tool kit on hand for a spot of repairing in Jurassic Park (the Chicken, Duck and Wallaby enclosure). A few slats had fallen off the chicken shelters and they are an essential now that the weather is turning for winter. They will be all cosy again now and we may even find an egg or two for our breakfast in there! 

Repairing the chicken house

The children rode back to the house in style as Daddy allowed them a somewhat unconventional ride on the tractor!

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Farm Holidays Cornwall

Please come and share your snaps of the children enjoying outdoor play. Active minds and bodies make for healthy kids.

 


Christmas in Cornwall

Posted on December 8th, 2011 -

So much going on round Coombe Mill

December is upon us and we have begun enjoying the wonderful Cornish build up to Christmas. 

Festival Fun in Padstow

Last weekend, Padstow Town held their annual christmas festival.  It is such a lovely town with the harbour, beautiful clothes and gift shops and all delicous places to eat from bakeries with tasty pasties to pubs and restaurants, including the famous Rick Stein restaurants http://www.rickstein.com/Restaurants.html. For the festival add in an amazing Samba band which can be heard right across the harbour, 2 large craft tents with all sorts of lovely Christmas present ideas and cookery demonstrations, finishing  with turning on of the spectacular Xmas lights. It makes a perfect day out just ambling round and soaking up the atmosphere. 

Clio at the craft stallDaddy and Jed having funThe family together on the harbour

We met up with friends there for a lovely family day. The children adored the stands inside the tents, helping themselves to the chocolate and fudge freebies, ensuring they had sampled every variety from lemon cheesecake to chilli chocolate before parting with their money! Clio adored the craft stands, as did Mummy, while the Samba band generated crowds of on lookers.  

Samba BandClio and Daddy watching the bandMesmerized by the band

After a successful afternoon, the children were torn with staying on to see the wonderful lights by night and being back to our local village in time to meet Santa, sing carols and enjoy a mince pie or two all courtesy of the St Breward Carnival committee. With mulled wine on offer from St Breward Stores http://www.stbrewardstores.co.uk/ I knew where my vote lay. The kids were keen to see Santa too, so we promised a return visit to Padstow one evening when school finishes for fish and chips and admiring the Christmas lights. An annual treat we look forward to each year. 

Padstow Harbour boatsPadstow Harbour LightsPadstow Christmas Lights

 

Santa’s Surprise

Santa never fails to impress. I love the twinkle in the children’s eyes when they see his sleigh all lit up and the Christmas music blasting out to signify his arrival. My eldest 2 now consider themselves too grown up for this one, but to the younger 4 it is still magical. I remember my own excitement at Christmas time around their age and find myself wrapped up in those feelings all over again with them. 

 

Guy and Santa in the village Clio and Santa in the villageTheo and Santa in the village

Still to Come…

Santa has many visits still to make local to us at Trelawney Garden Centre, Trago Mills and the lovely Santa express at Lappa Valley and Bodmin to name but a few! 

Santa Express at Lappa Valley

Eden at Christmas

The Eden Project is under half an hour from us and the lights are again quite something, but the real treat there is the ice skating. The children adore this one and it lasts right through until the new year. http://www.edenproject.com/ Go skating then warm up with a visit to the biomes! 

Eden Project Ice Skating

Coombe Lights Up

School finishes early this year on 15th December and I am looking forward to many of the other exciting Christmas treats in Cornwall still to come. This weekend our Coombe Mill lights go up  and the real Christmas trees come in for all the properties which is a great family event here. Plenty of ladder climbing for Farmer Nick and much dancing around below for the children shouting “up a bit Daddy” “over a bit Daddy” and so on.Coombe Lights

Christmas Eve at Coombe Mill

Finally if you are staying at Coombe Mil for Christmas we have an open house Supper party on Christmas Eve for all our guests after the local Church Family Christingle Service. A wonderful way to begin Christmas with the Nativity story at Church then family drinks and dinner with us. We have even got a little Santa surprise for all the children staying with us!Xmas Eve Surprise

If you are considering coming to stay do give us a call on 01208 850344 or email at mail@coombemill.com as we still have some cottages left and would love you to come and join in the fun. If it is all a litle too close for this year, then do consider a family gathering here for Christmas 2012.

What ever your plans,  have a Merry Christmas.