Coronation Chicken - a picnic classic!

May 20, 2016

Coronation Chicken - a picnic classic!

Said to have been created in 1953 especially for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation banquet, Coronation Chicken has remained a firm favourite and a classic picnic food ever since. Here’s our recipe for this delicious dish.

You'll need the following ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Half a bottle of white wine
  • 1 jug of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion
  • Half a tablespoon of curry powder
  • Half a teaspoon of tomato puree
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of mango chutney or marmalade
  • 200 grams of mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper

Serves 4 people

Here's what to do

  1. The chicken needs to be poached so cut the chicken breasts in to bite-sized pieces and place in a frying pan (ideally one with a lid).  Pour over a 50:50 mix of water and white wine to just cover the chicken pieces, add one bay leaf and a sprinkle of pepper.  Cover with the lid and turn on the heat.  Leave for 30-45 minutes until the chicken is cooked and tender.  You could pop the chicken on the BBQ for a few minutes after poaching to add a bit of chargrill flavour.
  2. Whilst the chicken is poaching, cut the onion in to fine pieces and fry in a separate pan.  Add the curry powder, tomato puree, one bay leaf, a pinch of sugar, the mango chutney (or marmalade), a small glass of wine and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Leave the sauce mix to cool and remove the bay leaf.
  4. Once cool, stir in the mayonnaise.  If you prefer a smooth sauce, you can bled it at this stage to get rid of any lumpy bits of onion.
  5. When the chicken pieces are ready, drain and keep aside some of the wine/water mix.  Add the chicken pieces to the sauce mix and stir.  Voila!

Depending on the consistency of the finished coronation chicken at this stage you can add some of the water/wine mix used to poach the chicken to water it down to the desired consistency.  Bear in mind that if it's going in a sandwich you don't want it too runny or things will quickly get messy!

Optional extras

  • Add sultanas or de-pithed satsuma segments to the mix to increase the sweetness of each bite
  • Sprinkle some pine nuts or almonds on top for extra taste and texture
  • Add some chopped peppers for extra colour, taste and crunch
  • If making a sandwich, combine with fresh rocket leaves or watercress for an additional peppery taste

Click here for a printable pdf version of this recipe

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