Coronation Chicken Recipe

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Coronation Chicken Recipe



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Coronation Chicken is a dish that exudes British charm and elegance. Created to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, this recipe has become a beloved classic in British cuisine. With its vibrant colors and rich flavors, Coronation Chicken is the perfect addition to any gathering or meal. In this article, we will delve into the history of Coronation Chicken, explore its ingredients and preparation, and provide you with a step-by-step guide to making this delectable dish at home.

The History of Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken has a storied history that is closely tied to the British monarchy. It was first introduced in 1953 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. At that time, the dish was created by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume, who were both esteemed figures in the world of British cuisine.

The original recipe, which was served at the Queen’s coronation banquet, was a fusion of flavors inspired by the British Empire. It combined ingredients from various parts of the Commonwealth, reflecting the multicultural influences that have shaped British cuisine over the centuries.


Before we dive into the preparation of Coronation Chicken, let’s take a look at the key ingredients that make this dish so unique and delicious.

Cooked Chicken: The heart of Coronation Chicken is tender, cooked chicken. You can use roasted, grilled, or poached chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination of both.

Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise forms the creamy base of the sauce. You can use store-bought mayonnaise or make your own if you’re feeling adventurous.

Curry Powder: A blend of aromatic spices, curry powder adds depth and a hint of warmth to the dish. The type and amount of curry powder you use can be adjusted to suit your preference for spiciness.

Mango Chutney: Sweet and tangy mango chutney is a key ingredient that lends fruity notes to the sauce. It balances the spices and mayonnaise beautifully.

Red Wine: A small amount of red wine adds complexity and depth of flavor to the sauce. It’s an unexpected but essential ingredient in Coronation Chicken.

Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice provides a zesty, citrusy brightness to the sauce, cutting through the richness of the mayonnaise.

Salt and Pepper: Season to taste with salt and pepper. These simple seasonings enhance the overall flavor of the dish.

Fresh Ingredients: For added texture and flavor, Coronation Chicken traditionally includes chopped apricots and slivered almonds. You can also add diced celery and scallions for a pleasant crunch.

Now that we’ve covered the ingredients, let’s move on to the preparation of this royal dish.


Making Coronation Chicken is relatively straightforward, and it can be done in a few simple steps.

Step 1: Cook the Chicken

Start by cooking the chicken. You can use leftover roast chicken or grill or poach fresh chicken. Once cooked, allow it to cool before cutting it into bite-sized pieces or shredding it.

Step 2: Prepare the Sauce

In a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, curry powder, mango chutney, red wine, and lemon juice. Whisk these ingredients together until you have a smooth and creamy sauce. Adjust the amount of curry powder to suit your taste for spiciness.

Step 3: Add the Extras

To enhance the texture and flavor of your Coronation Chicken, fold in the chopped apricots, slivered almonds, diced celery, and scallions. These fresh ingredients add a delightful crunch and a burst of color to the dish.

Step 4: Mix and Chill

Gently mix the chicken pieces into the sauce until they are well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the Coronation Chicken for at least an hour before serving. Chilling allows the flavors to meld together and intensify.

Serving Suggestions

Coronation Chicken is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways:

Sandwich Filling: Spread Coronation Chicken between slices of fresh bread or in a sandwich roll for a delightful lunchtime treat.

Salad: Serve Coronation Chicken on a bed of crisp lettuce leaves or mixed greens for a refreshing salad.

Canapés: Spoon small portions of Coronation Chicken onto crackers or small toast rounds for elegant appetizers at parties.

Jacket Potatoes: Stuff baked potatoes with Coronation Chicken for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Platter: Arrange Coronation Chicken on a platter with additional fresh fruit and vegetables for a stunning centerpiece at gatherings and buffets.

Coronation Chicken is a true culinary gem that showcases the rich history and diverse flavors of British cuisine. Whether you’re hosting a royal-themed party, looking for a unique sandwich filling, or simply craving a taste of tradition, this recipe is sure to delight your taste buds. With its creamy sauce, exotic spices, and a touch of fruity sweetness, Coronation Chicken remains a beloved classic that has stood the test of time. So, why not channel your inner chef and prepare this royal dish for your next meal or gathering? Your taste buds will thank you, and you’ll be savoring a piece of British culinary history.

Variations and Tips

While the classic Coronation Chicken recipe is a beloved favorite, there are numerous variations and tips that can help you put your own twist on this royal dish:

Spice it Up: If you love a bit of heat, consider adding some chopped fresh chilies or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the sauce. This will give your Coronation Chicken a spicy kick.

Yogurt Substitute: For a lighter version, you can substitute some or all of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. This results in a tangier and healthier option.

Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro or parsley on top of your Coronation Chicken just before serving. It adds a burst of color and freshness.

Rice Salad: To turn this dish into a heartier meal, mix cooked and cooled rice with the Coronation Chicken. This variation is known as Coronation Chicken Rice Salad.

Serve Warm: While Coronation Chicken is typically served cold, you can serve it warm if you prefer. Heat the sauce gently in a pan before adding it to the chicken.

Vegetarian Option: If you’re a vegetarian, you can make a meatless version by substituting the chicken with chickpeas or tofu. The sauce works wonderfully with these alternatives.

Customize the Fruits: Feel free to experiment with different dried fruits like raisins or currants if you don’t have apricots on hand. Be creative with what’s available in your pantry.

Nuts and Seeds: Besides almonds, you can use other nuts like cashews or even pumpkin seeds for a unique texture and flavor.

Use Leftovers: Coronation Chicken is an excellent way to use up leftover chicken from a roast dinner.

Make it Ahead: You can prepare the sauce in advance and keep it refrigerated. Just mix it with the chicken and fresh ingredients when you’re ready to serve.

Coronation Chicken is a dish that beautifully blends tradition with innovation, making it a timeless favorite for countless generations. Whether enjoyed as a sandwich, a salad, or a canapé, its creamy, spicy, and fruity flavors never fail to impress.

As you prepare and savor this delightful dish, you’ll be participating in a culinary tradition that has celebrated the British monarchy for decades. With its combination of flavors and textures, Coronation Chicken truly deserves its place in the pantheon of classic British cuisine.

So, gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and embark on a culinary journey fit for a royal banquet. Whether you’re serving it at a special occasion or indulging in a weekday lunch, Coronation Chicken is sure to please your palate and transport you to a bygone era of regal celebrations. Enjoy your Coronation Chicken, and savor every royal bite!


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