chicken in cider casserole
I seem to have a thing for baldy guys with glasses.
No, not that one this time. I’m talking about Adrian Edmondson.
I was a fan of the Young Ones growing up. Though I suspect I was too young I would sneak a look at my brother’s VHS tapes. Hole In My Shoe was the first song I bought. I kinda liked Filthy Rich and Catflap but I didn’t understand why Vyvyan and Rik were so different. Then Bottom arrived and I was smitten. Rude, comically violent and puerile slapstick was just what I wanted. GAS is one of my favourite 30 minutes of television ever, it’s just outrageously funny.
When someone says “do you want to have dinner with Ade Edmondson?” I barely stopped to breathe before replying yes.
Held at the wonderfully eclectic Food at 52, Ade was presenting a dish of his own devising: a cidery take on coq au vin. Fitting as the night was hosted by Merrydown cider. Not a cider I was familiar with but that was just another reason to say yes.
It was a very silly evening with bucketfuls of cider, Morris dancing and Ade plugging away at his casserole, enjoying himself and talking about his recent Celebrity Masterchef win (“I only had to beat 14 people!”). Reining in the urge to bark “squashed potatoes, your maaaa’am?” I took the opportunity for a quick chat. He seems to be over his comedy background and wants to move on to food and music; in fact a few days after the event he was off to Australia with his band. Ade also told Kavey and I he dreams of opening a pub with a menu that changes daily.
Aside from one toe-curlingly awkward moment where someone asked him if he’d ever tried stand-up (going to happen if you invite lots of young ‘uns I’m afraid) it was an evening of good food, good drink and lots of laughs.
I made the dish for friends only two days later, and it’s cracking. Dead easy too, just bung things in gradually and let it tick away. It’s the mustard seeds that make it. Don’t leave them out.
The recipe below for chicken in cider casserole (or “coq au cider” as he calls it) is Ade’s in all his own words. Many thanks to Merrydown for hosting an hilarious evening.