Eatenders: Famous food moments from Albert Square
The team behind E20, EastEnder’s new spinoff series recently sent us a recipe penned by party-loving Naz from the show. Naz gets some help from Tamwar who works at his family's Masala Masood takeaway business – those of the samosa food fight fame!
You’ll see Naz’s recipe is a particularly personal one for coq au vin (AKA not-chicken-in-a-bucket) and it got us wondering about famous food moments from the series...
Well first up, Jean Slater’s sausage surprise is so legendary, there’s even a Facebook page devoted to it. One fan has posted her version of the recipe onto the BBC Good Food website. I wonder if that’s what inspired this recipe by top chef Peter Gordon!
It’s all about the retro food for the old-time ‘Enders. Ian Beale loves his fish and chips of course and he hasn’t yet progressed to selling patties (as featured on E20), while Dot’s keen on Battenburg cake.
What about the time Sonia wanted to make ‘something special’ for Martin? Chicken in a shop-bought sauce. Harry Hill hilariously thinks it's ‘far too delicious’. And who can forget the liquid lunch enjoyed by Pat and Peggy in a stationary ice cream van?
Eastenders actors have graced the screens of some of our favourite food programmes too. Nadia Sawalha (Annie Palmer) impressed the judges of Celebrity MasterChef enough to win in 2007, while Laila Morse (Big Mo) eschewed posh nosh and made a thoroughly English meal for Celebrity Come Dine With Me.
And here’s Naz’s coq au vin recipe. I’m not sure about using fake bacon, so if you want something more authentic, try our coq au vin recipes…
Stuff you’ll need
- a tablespoon of butter
- 1 chopped onion
- a couple of garlic cloves
- 6 or 7 slices of chopped bacon (Halal fake bacon for me)
- sum thyme (I reckon about an hour)
- like 2 handfuls of chopped mushrooms (not the magic kind)
- 2 chopped carrots
- ½ a bottle of red wine, preferably not box wine
- a tablespoon of port (no idea what that is)
- 200ml of chicken stock
- 6 cheeky Halal chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- a tablespoon of flour
Preppin’ & cookin’ (totes time should be like an hour max)
Get yourself a nice big pan and whack it on the stove. Shove in the butter, the garlic and the onions, check your wearing waterproof mascara cos them onions make you proper cry. Stick the heat on medium and cook until onions are see through. Stick in the chopped up bacon and smell that yummy baconey goodness.
When the bacon’s cooked (don’t even think about nibbling a bit), put in the chicken for the last minute or two. Whack in the liquor and simmer until a bit reduced – like 5 mins. Then add the mushrooms and the carrot just before you put in the chicken stock.
When it starts bubbling away, turn the heat down so that it’s all just simmering nicely for about 30 mins.
Whatevs you do, check the middle of the chicken to see if it’s cooked through. Don’t wanna go poisoning your man.
Season with salt and pepper. I like things a bit spicy so I drench it in pepper, but taste it. If the sauce ain’t thick like Fatboy, then mix a spoon of flour with a few spoons of water until it’s a paste and pour in, stirring as you go. After a few minutes of stirring on the heat the sauce should be thick. Serve. Simples.
Naz’s coq au vin recipe appears in EastEnders: E20 episode 5 which goes out tonight at 8pm.
Ramona Andrews is the host of the BBC Food Q&A blog and messageboard.