Giveaway #148: Chicken Chasseur Seasonal Box from Knorr (and why it is OK to use ready made stock some of the time)

Knorr Chicken ChasseurI am not ashamed to hold my hand up and say that I use ready made stock.

In an ideal world we would all make our own stock (and bread, jam, cure bacon, grow wheat, mill it, and while we were at it rear sheep, spin and knit all our clothes etc etc). Also in this ideal world we naturally would all have the kitchen space, time, energy and organisational ability required to make the said stock.

I certainly do make stock some of the time.  I have been known to leave dinner parties with a chicken carcass in a supermarket bag for stock making.  Currently there are two carcasses in the freezer waiting until I have the aforementioned time, energy and organisational skills to make stock.

I am not going to criticise anyone for using ready made stock in their cooking.  At least they are cooking (rather than eating ready made meals or takeaways); which after all is half the battle.   Life these days can be a hard job, and many people need a little help just to get through.

According to the office for National Statistics the average salary in the UK in 2011 was a little over £26K.   After tax that is just under £400 a week.  Given that with continued economic uncertainty, people are fearful of losing their jobs and working longer hours. I reckon that stock making does not figure on their list of priorities.

I suspect that some of the ready made stock haters are not parents.   Nor am I.  but I spend lots of time with small children and it is an exhausting full time job.  I once gave the parents of my youngest goddaughter a 24 hour pass for a birthday present.   I lasted about 14 of them.   I was dead bone tired after one night of disturbed sleep.  The logistics of getting myself showered and dressed involved locking both protesting children into the bathroom with me, as they were too young for me to take my eyes off them for more than 30 seconds.

Enough said.  I buy ready made stock.  I also really rather like the Knorr stock pots, and their Touch of Taste vegetable stock in a bottle.  I wish they did a free range chicken one, so I do try to make my own, but life is short, and I am sometimes not organised.

So yes, I am flying the flag that ready made stock is great!

Anyway, you may remember that last year I worked with Knorr, and received and gaveaway a series of seasonal boxes.    My first box of the year arrived earlier today – packed with lovely products from Foreman and Field to make chicken chasseur with.   We shall be having ours tomorrow – my friend J is coming for supper, whilst her son attends his end of year school disco nearby.

The box contains everything that you need to make a delicious dinner.

  • 1 small chicken
  • 2 shallots
  • brandy
  • white wine
  • 1 Knorr Chicken Stock Pot
  • tomato juice
  • button mushrooms
  • chopped tarragon
  • chopped parsley
  • tomatoes

Please note that the boxes will be delivered on Friday 13th July, please do not enter if you cannot receive them on that day.

Win A Seasonal Box from Knorr & Foreman & Field

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Many thanks to Knorr for my seasonal box, and this prize.

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About Helen

Helen Best-Shaw is a freelance writer, who has been writing about achievable and affordable food on Fuss Free Flavours since 2007. She also contributes articles and recipes to a number of online and print food magazines.

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  1. I know that living across the Irish Sea stops me from entering but I cook a lot and use Knorr stockpots and Touch of Taste 99% of the time – the quality is excellent and not over salty unlike some commercial products.

    • Thanks Aoife. I think they are great.

      I detest food snobbery. And sadly there is too much of it. I try and blog for people who shop in supermarkets.

  2. Anne Thompson says:

    I keep ready made pastry on standby for a quick way to make a pie/tart.

  3. Ali Thorpe says:

    I agree regarding pastry, I always have some shop-bought in the freezer to save time and I never find it lacking. I also always have a few jars of pesto as I love it for a quick pasta dish, in which I throw in roasted-whatever-from-the-bottom-of-the-fridge, or in sandwiches with chicken or cheese. I do also make my own but I don’t always have enough basil.

    • Ali Thorpe says:

      I would pin the image from the article (that’s right, isn’t it?) but it keeps telling me there are no pinnable images, whatever that means :-S

  4. Jane Willis says:

    I’m a fan of Knorr stocks too – I keep the home made stuff for soups and use ready made for most other things. But the one ready made item I would never be without is puff pastry. I’ve made it once – just to prove I can – and once was enough! There’s always a pack in my freezer.

  5. I always keep a tin of custard on standby for hubby as he cannot make it, come to think of it he can’t make anything x

  6. Kara Harrison says:

    I have been known to use Very Lazy creamy chicken from time to time (though I only use it occasionally) but I generally prefer to whip up things myself. Like you I do also use ready made stock though. Really anything that will always be easier and doesn’t make a real difference to taste is a suitable shortcut in my opinion.

  7. I too use ready made stock. And ready made pasta sauce, ready made pastry and also packet gravy mixes. That is not to say that I don’t make my own as well, but there are times when you just want to get a meal on the table quickly. Takeaways don’t feature in our house, so that means something from my mind to the table in less than 20 mins.

  8. Vanessa F says:

    I have a lot of ready-made items in my cupboard for those days when I’m too tired/busy/ill to cook from scratch, but my most used are probably ready made stock because it can transform nearly any dish.

  9. Ashleigh says:

    agree with Anne, ready made pastry saves time and still tastes great!

  10. Pauline Rendell says:

    Ready made pastry is my shortcut for pies!

  11. Tracy Nixon says:

    I must admit I use ready made and rolled puff pastry for making sausage rolls and pasty for the kids! It is so quick and easy and great for a rainy day when the kids are looking for something to do! I also suffer from bad finger joints and find rolling out home made pastry difficult! The ready rolled and made is a life saver! Oh and I sometimes buy the cookie mix – another great item to store in the pantry for rainy days!

  12. Debbie Stanley says:

    tinned custard – it is just so much easier than making custard from scratch, no messy saucepan (which I have been known to throw away on occasions) and no lumps

  13. Jeff Wolf says:

    Puff pastry – life’s too short and the ready made stuff is pretty good.

  14. Jean Bolsover says:

    I sometimes use a cookin sauce for shepherds pie for quickness

  15. sarah davison says:

    Ready to heat rice – I never use anything different, they come in loads of different flavours too, just pop them in the microwave for two minutes. Makes my life much easier.

  16. Aimee Ryan says:

    I love homemade stock and make it when I can but it does require effort, the knorr stockpots are great too and I use them when I’m strapped for time (or when i’m feeling lazy!)

  17. Valerie Dallimore says:

    Ready Made Pastry. Saves time – AND saves me getting stresed trying to make it!

  18. julie kenny says:

    Puff pastry – so difficult to make …so easy to buy ;-)

  19. Carole Barnes says:

    Flaky pastry

  20. Rainie Bish says:

    Pastry. Im just not so good at making it myself


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