Poulet Reine Elizabeth, now known best as Coronation Chicken, was created by Le Cordon Bleu London Culinary School for the Coronation luncheon in 1953. The dish consists of cold cooked chicken coated in a curried creamy sauce and was widely promoted at the time so that it could be replicated at street parties around the country.
Read on to find out how to recreate the famous dish for this weekend’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. We’ve even added a few tips from Lisa Holloway, former owner of the award-winning B&B Compton House, so you can make a vegan, veggie or ‘lighter’ version.
Easy Coronation Chicken recipe:
- 500g chicken breast
- 6 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2-3 tsp mild curry powder, to taste
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp mango chutney
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 tbsp sultanas
- 1 tbsp dried apricots, chopped
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
Put the chicken in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil before turning down the heat and simmering for 15 minutes. Check the chicken is well cooked through and then drain and leave to cool.
Mix the mayonnaise, curry powder, cinnamon, mango chutney and lemon juice together and season with salt and pepper.
Add the sultanas, apricots and almonds to the mix.
Shred the chicken or, alternatively, cut into bite-sized pieces and add to the mixture.
Serve with a mixed leaf salad or in a sandwich.
For a veggie coronation chicken…
Lisa suggests using jackfruit or tofu. Drain one tin of jackfruit and shred before adding to the mayonnaise mixture or use 300g of firm tofu chopped into cubes.
Or make it vegan… by using vegan mayonnaise.
“Adding grilled lemon would give a good colour, texture and taste, and fennel seeds would pair well with the lemony base,” adds Lisa.
For a lighter version of the dish, she suggests using thick plain yogurt instead of mayo and adding turmeric for extra flavour.
“I’ve had to experiment to get the right textures, but I think people want lighter food now and fresher flavours. Another top tip is to use fresh ingredients rather than dried fruit.”
You could also use homemade curry paste instead of curry powder, by blending garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds mustard seeds, garam masala and fresh chilli with tomato puree.