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Well what can I say, I'm a sucker for anything that looks like a bargain and I was tempted to try one of these pies after spotting them in my local Poundland. Of course I paid just £1.00, and from what I've seen supermarket prices can vary from between £2.00 and £3.00.
This product is essentially just a pie, in a tin. Cooking instructions are printed on the underside of the tin, so I made sure to check these first and set my oven to the necessary time and temperature before opening the tin. Unlike others have remarked in previous reviews, I had no problems in removing the lid. It was very easy to prepare this pie, as all I had to do was open the tin and then place it in the oven with a baking tray underneath. The baking tray is a very good idea as I found that while it was cooking some of the gravy had bubbled up over the sides of the tin and spilled out, which would have left a nasty mess at the bottom of my oven if the tray hadn't been there to catch it.
I chose this pie as kind of a compromise, as my housemate and I take it in turns to cook dinner for each other. I really dislike gravy, and he really dislikes white sauce, so I decided to brave it and try this pie anyway. The pie has a plain chicken filling with gravy and is covered in a puff pastry top. I was a little disappointed as I LOVE pastry and thought it was a shame that the pie did not have a proper crust all the way round and on the bottom, especially as this made it very difficult to serve. I attempted to first cut the pie in half before dishing it up. As soon as I started cutting into it the pastry completely deflated and lost all of the lovely light and airy texture that it had after I removed it from the oven. After cutting it I then had to basically scoop out the pie and spoon out all of the filling as there was nothing to hold it in place due to the skimpy amount of pastry only covering the top. This looked pretty awful and combined with the smell of gravy I found it to appear most unappetising. There is something about gravy that I just really dislike, I think it's partly the way that it engulfs everything else on your plate and ruins the texture making everything go soggy, and partly because the smell reminds me of cat food. The pie had a real heavy stink to it, which was coming from the gravy as none of the other ingredients have any strong noticeable smell to them. Unwilling to waste food, I soldiered on and served up my meal which consisted of this Just Chicken pie accompanied by mashed potatoes and peas.
Upon tasting the pie, my fears were confirmed. This was a complete waste of time! I thought that the pieces of chicken looked decidedly ropey and were not at all tender. The gravy started to soak in to the pastry making it go soggy. Because of the lack of vegetables or other ingredients to bulk out the filling, the serving size looked and felt quite insubstantial and I can expect that some people would not be happy with a half-tin portion unless there were enough extras to go with it and make a more balanced meal. There was practically no flavour at all that I could taste, and it came across as being very bland. The only redeeming feature is that the pie is very convenient being tinned, as you can store it in your kitchen cupboard and have it waiting for when you want to prepare a simple meal. There is barely any effort involved in preparation and cooking, but this comes across in the results and I don't think it's a match for a proper fresh pie in any way. My housemate was equally unimpressed with this offering (although grateful for my "efforts" in cooking!) and didn't even finish eating it so the cats ended up with the leftovers. I can't recommend this and certainly won't be purchasing it again.
I'm reviewing the 'Just Chicken' pie from FRAY BENTOS.
It comes in a 425g tin & the price varies. I've found it at £2 + (but didn't buy),and it is often to be found in Pound stores & bargain stores for £1.
First I'll tackle opening the tin....and I stress tackle. The tin(being 16cms in diameter), requires a lot of effort with a hand held opener and would be a nightmare for someone with limited hand mobility. I'm not sure if an electric can-opener could be used on it because I don't have one of those & I've only seen one used on ordinary sized tins of soup.
OK,now we've got the lid off and the pie looks like a dish of congealed grease/suet with some gravy seeping through in places. Not the nicest looking thing,but fair enough,it IS uncooked as yet. You need to put it on a tray before putting it in the oven & this is important because these pies often bubble over the sides in cooking & you DON'T want to be needing to scrape burned gravy from your oven shelves & oven floor. Personally I put a small sheet of tin-foil on the tray THEN put the pie on top of that. That way any spill can be scrunched up for disposing with the foil rather than needing to scrub furiously at the tray during washing up.
It cooks in a preheated oven at 230degrees C/450degrees F for 25-30 mins.
Once cooked there is a nice crispy but thin pastry top on it while underneath that is a layer of a suet (?)substance.Personally I remove that & set it aside for the dog later because I don't like it.Fortunately dog does.
Dishing it up can be a pain trying to get it all from the hot container.I tend to use wadded paper kitchen towel to grip one edge of the pie tin & tilt it as necessary that way.....because using a tea-towel or oven glove means getting the item stained badly with gravy. I also use a table spoon to retrieve as much gravy as possible from the edges of the container,so have one handy.
The content is just fine for 1 person,a limited amount of chicken and a tasty gravy. As I said,fine for one person & if you throw a few oven chips on the tray as well about 10-15 mins into cooking time, then you have a reasonable meal for one.
So I buy these from time to time as a 'stand-by' meal for those occasions when I haven't been able to shop & am stuck for something for tea. They do the job just fine,but I wouldn't say "yummy....I'm looking forward to this !" . I buy them at the £1 price so in that respect they are indeed a bargain & tend to have a long cupboard/shelf life without needing refrigerated,which is another plus.
On a current note..........thankfully I've not heard them mentioned in the recent scares re ready meals & pies,so I assume they ARE what they say on the tin.
Thank you for reading & I hope my review was helpful.
I stumbled across this pie while foraging through my boyfriend's pantry for something edible and it seemed to be the only thing that looked somewhat appealing in his selection of single-person-food. While the "best before" date was about 11 months ago, I still decided to risk it, and I have to say, no regrets here.
In order to prepare this pie you will need a good quality tin opener, which I fortunately found in my boyfriend's kitchen, so the hurdle that seems to be a problem for other reviewers of this pie was easy as pie (forgive the pun) for me. I would suggest one of those openers that open the tin on the side, that way it is much easier to remove the pie once it's cooked.
The first look at the uncooked pie was, I must admit, not the most appetizing one, since the crust is uncooked, flat and pale, but I decided to give it a try anyway, preheated the oven and then put the tin in for the suggested 30 minutes, after which I found my bravery rewarded with a nicely risen, crispy brown crust I had not imagined possible after the initial first impression.
Having read previous reviews of this pie, I knew not to expect a crust at the bottom of the tin, and rather than attempting to cut slices out of the pie, I decided to flip the entire pie upside down onto a plate, so that it somewhat resembled a Yorkshire Pudding filled with chicken and gravy rather than a pie. If you plan on eating this pie by yourself, that's probably the best idea.
The crust was quite nice, as you'd expect a puffy crust to be, with a crisp outside and the inside softer from the moisture of the pie contents. While I liked the taste of the gravy, it was a bit too gooey for my preference, and the amount of chicken in the pie was a bit disappointing. Enough for a single person, but I'd suggest not sharing with anyone, if you want your properly sized serving of chicken.
All in all I'd say it's not too bad a buy, if you can get it reduced at Poundland. Definitely better than what I would expect from tinned food normally.
i think all the chickens are STILLrunning around the fray bentos factory because there was NONE in the pie.the pastry was REVOLTING, I WILL NEVER EVER BUY THIS LOAD OF RUBBISH.
i used to love these as a child but omg i tell my partner everytime do not buy you do not like ....................it took me a good 10 mins to try and get lid off and when cooked pasty was like mush and low and behold 4 pieces of meat in a gueeeey jell never never again sorry but biggest load of rubbish in a tin i have ever seen fray bentos you are a disgrace.... how you can show pic full of meat is beyond us really ...
At the age of 30 I had my first ever Fray Bentos pie last week. I'd always dismisssed those cheap tinned pies because, well, it's a pie in a tin and how could that possibly be any good? Right? Wrong! Upon opening the tin lid I was surprised to find that the batter on top was uncooked and when placed into an oven for approx 30 minutes this batter would rise into a wonderful crusty pie top!
The chicken and gravy underneath the glorious pie crust was equally tasty, I found myself thoroughly satisfied with my first venture into the world of Fray Bentos! The only negative I could find was that there was no base to the pie so I had to make do with just the top crust. I would also recommend that you wait a few minutes before attempting to devour the pie goodliness as the initial temperature out of the oven is hotter than the sun.
=== The product ===
This is a puff pastry pie filled with chicken in gravy.
=== The packaging ===
This is a pie that comes within a metal tin. You will need a strong can opener to open this pie and I found that it took a few goes round with the can opener to actually get the lid off and get the pie out. This is definitely the trickiest product I have ever tried to open with the can opener and that is the main reason that I rarely buy these pies.
=== How to cook ===
I cook my pies for around 30 minutes. This is usually the ideal amount of time to prepare some accompaniments too!
=== Overall opinion ===
I had never tried these pies before this year and the only reason that I actually purchased some was that my husband was asking for them almost constantly when we went shopping. I told him that I would shop around and when I found them for £1.00 each in Iceland I picked up a few different ones to keep him happy for a little while. I believe that these are also regularly available in Poundland in numerous flavours as well so worth visiting there if you want to stock up and like these.
I found the lids ridiculously hard to remove and would definitely buy these pies for the cupboard more if I could actually manage to remove the lid without either breaking a can opener or cutting my finger open!
This pie does not look particularly appetising when the lid does finally come off and I was initially worried about how this looked. This came out of the oven looking absolutely delicious, brown and yummy! I could not wait to eat the pie and it looked absolutely lovely! The smell was pretty nice too!
This is puff pastry, there are lots of layers and they are delicious. The pastry is crisp on the top and when you cut in to the pie there is lots of gravy that pours out. The gravy is a fairly light colour, which makes me think of fresh home made gravy, and is chicken flavoured with a nice little kick to it. There is lots of flavouring in this gravy too and this goes very well with the layers of pastry.
The main downside to this pie is the amount of chicken that comes within the pie. Now for £1.00 I was not expecting the largest amount but there was literally just a few pieces of chicken and as I had assumed that a pie this size could be shared between two people this pie ended up being a disappointment and my husband promptly announced that he would only eat them again if he got a whole one to himself. Now cost wise this is not exactly prohibitive BUT there would be about 650-700 calories per pie and that is without any vegetables and side dishes. The chicken that is found in the pie is quite tasty, is flavoursome and succulent it is just a shame that there is not more of it.
Overall I would give this a 3/5. The packaging can be quite hard to open and there was a disappointing amount of chicken contained within the pie. I would be willing to pay the £2.20 standard price is this pie actually had some large amounts of chicken.
When it comes to pies they are one of my favourite foods, especially Fray Bentos ones. When I was a kid I remember hating these offerings with as a passion as they were always associated to me as 'Caravan food' along with tinned potatoes and I hated the meals in there lol!
Long gone are those days for me though and a couple of years back a mate who had no money at the time rustled up up one of these and some instant mash as a quick meal and since then I have became a huge fan.
This 'Just Chicken' one I hadn't tried before the other evening. Limited Edition, the retail price on the tin of this is £2.19 per pie however they are often on offer and in Poundland for a pound each and I got mine in Poundland as I do many bargains I purchase!
The pie comes in a dark blue tin which is round and rather large in shape. On the top of the that tin we are told that it is Fray Bentos 'Limited Edition' Just Chicken 'Chunky pieces of chicken covered in a delicious gravy, topped by our signature puff pastry' and as I have previously mentioned the rrp is listed on there too. On the bottom of the tin other information listed includes cooking instructions being given as well as ingredients and allergy advice, there is a full nutritional chart given as well as the weight being stated (which is 425g) and contact details for H.L foods Ltd (the manufacturer of the product) are given. Nice enough looking packaging this is and informative enough too.
The Pie Itself:
The only problem I ever have with the tins of these is the fact that they are so hard to get off. I broke my can opener using it to get the lid of this pie and today my mate has been out and bought me a new, much more robust one! Course with Fray Bentos pies we have to remove the lids to these prior to cooking by ourselves which is seriously a big pain lol.
These pies generally cook in about 25-30 minutes. They go in the oven looking soggy and anemic due the pastry being so moist and voila....in about half an hour you should get a full risen puff looking and crispy looking golden pie!
Hard to get out of the tin, again although I adore the taste of these pies usually they never come out looking like nice sliced pie but more like blobs but for me its always the taste and not appearance so much anyway!
Taste wise this pie is nice enough and the usual quality we expect from this brand. The pastry is crispy, tasty and not one bit greasy with the outer being crispy and the inner part of the pastry a bit like suet to me. Inside there is lots of light brown thick chicken flavoured gravy, not too runny but highly flavoured and well seasoned. However to me there is not enough chicken in this pie at all and for a large sized pie really (this is suitable really to serve 2 people with) we (me and my mate) only counted up between us 6 very small chunks of chicken (which only makes up 18% of the pie). It did look like breast of chicken to us and was moist and a nice colour however we are not told on the ingredient list that it is chicken breast so we couldn't be sure about that.
Being called 'Just chicken' I expected more chicken in it but the majority of the pie was just the gravy and the pastry really. However I can't say we didn't enjoy it as we did and it was tasty enough but come come on Mr Bentos.....where's the chicken gone lol!
Nutritional Information per 1/2 Pie Serving (The important Bits!):
Energy: 324 Kcal
of which saturates: 8.1g