1950s – Coronation Chicken

1950s - Coronation Chicken_page

Created by Rosemary Hume, founder of London’s L’Ecole du Petit Cordon Bleu, this dish was served at the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. The recipe was published ahead of the Coronation so the dish could also be enjoyed at street parties nationwide. Still perfect for a summer party.

1 large whole chicken, about 1.8kg (4lb)
2 bay leaves
5cm (2in) fresh root ginger, peeled
10 peppercorns
For the sauce:
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tsp medium curry powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp tomato puree
finely grated zest and juice ½ lemon
2 tbsp apricot jam
200 g (7oz) mayonnaise
150 g (5oz) plain Greek-style yogurt
1 small mango, peeled and diced
small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
toasted flaked almonds, to serve, optional


[1] Untruss chicken, place breast side down in a large pan (that has a lid) and cover with cold water. Add bay leaves, ginger and peppercorns. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 1hr.

[2] Reserve 125 ml (4fl oz) of chicken poaching liquid and lift cooked chicken on to a board. Once cool enough to handle, discard skin and shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

[3] To make the sauce, in a medium pan, heat oil and fry onion for 8-10min until softened.  Add curry powder, turmeric and tomato purée; cook for 1min. Add reserved chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 3-5min. Add lemon zest, juice and jam; simmer for 3min until reduced and thick. Leave to cool.

[4] In a separate large bowl, mix mayonnaise and yogurt. Stir in cooled curry mixture, chicken and most of the mango and coriander. Check seasoning. Spoon on to a serving platter  and scatter over remaining mango, coriander and flaked almonds (if using). Serve.