Coronation Chicken

Back in 1953, for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, two old dears, Constance Fry and Rosemary Hume, were tasked with coming up with a new dish to serve at the official banquet (no apologies for historical inaccuracy). They proposed a chicken dish served in a spicy yet fruity sauce.

The corgis eat Coronation Chicken everday for breakfast


Now, nearly 60 years later, we Brits usually buy coronation chicken ready made and put it in sandwiches. But here we are going to prepare it ourselves (with some modern additions).

Here is everything you need:

Wine! What a surprise

To transport yourself back to the good old days (actually rationing was still in force in 1953 so it couldn’t have been that good) go find this lot (It’s a version by the Hairy Bikers – they are are what Jamie Oliver will end up like):

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • olive oil (not in 1953)
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • butter
  • 1 shallot (Onion in 1953)
  • 1 red chilli (rare in 1953)
  • 2 teaspoons madras curry powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100ml white wine
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 150ml mayonnaise
  • 75ml crème fraîche (just cream in 1953)
  • 1 mango (no chance in 1953)
  • 4 spring onions
  • fresh coriander (not likely in 1953)
  • Tabasco sauce
  • flaked toasted almonds

Method

First steam your chicken, covering it with olive oil, the zest of the lemon and salt and pepper:

Meanwhile finely chop the shallot and chilli, fry in butter then add the curry powder and continue cooking:

Now add the tomato paste, wine, stock and jam and let it thicken up.

Meanwhile mix the creme fraiche and mayo and chop up the mango by first cutting round the stone:

Then twist to separate the halves and cut the flesh. Squeeze the fruit inside out so you cun slice off the chunks. You couldn’t get mango in 1950’s Britain so they used apricot in the orginal recipe. Mango was invented sometime in the 60’s my Dad says.

Now add your sauce to the creamy stuff and add the mango, spring onions, lemon juice and chopped coriander

Finish with almonds and a dash of tabasco:

My cooking wine glass looks empty – its got a low centre of gravity to reduce spillage

Now serve. Coronation Chicken is a dish best served cold, like vengeance (but a bit spicier). You can put it in wraps or sandwiches, use as a baked potato filling, or serve it straight up with leaves and tomatoes as here:

That glass is plastic amazing isn’t it?

I’m still eating it 3 days later.

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