Chicken & Mushroom Casserole or Pie

My kids used to love this.  It started as a chicken pie mix, but I never got round to making pastry every time I announced that morning that we were having it for tea.  So instead it ended up being served over basmati rice, which went down fine.  But the problem was we haven't had it since the spring and the kids have forgotten they like it.  The moaning starts on the way home from school at 3.30pm.  Only around 5pm when they sit down and reluctantly have a spoonful do they realise it is infact better than alright.  But do the little darlings say so...

Serves 4

500g diced chicken, or leftover roast
50g bacon offcuts, lardons, or ham
Handful mushrooms, roughly chopped (optional)
Handful frozen sweetcorn (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
25g plain flour
400ml recently boiled water
100ml white wine
1 chicken stock cube, crushed or chopped finely
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Fry the garlic in the oil for about a minute, then add the bacon/ham and fry until it starts to brown.  Add the chicken and stir around for a few minutes until it starts to loose it's pink colour.  Add the mushrooms and stir around for a minute or so if the other ingredients in the pan are not starting to stick.  If they are add the flour and stock cube, stir around, then add the water and wine if using.  If not using wine make the water up to 500ml.  Stir the pan until the sauce starts to thicken.  Add the sweetcorn and thyme and leave to simmer gently with the lid on for 20 minutes.

At the end of the cooking time check the seasoning, as it may be salty enough with bacon and a stock cube.  Life right now is too busy to bother making pastry, easy as it is.  I serve this with mash, rice, or my children's current top carbohydrate, bulgur wheat!

If you do want to serve it as a pie, transfer the mixture to a pie dish as soon as the sauce has thickened and cover with homemade shortcrust pastry or shop bought puff pastry for something cheatily fancy.  Bake the pie at 200C for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the pie is bubbling.