This is the best and easiest authentic Coronation Chicken recipe that is delicious and slightly spicy and all ready in about 10 minutes with just a little cooking involved.
Coronation Chicken is a classic British dish that became famous due to being served at the luncheon for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
History of Coronation Chicken
Like all good historical foodie recipes there is a bit of a story involved. This curried chicken salad recipe was often credited to Constance Sprye who was a famous florist and did all the flowers for Her Majesty’s coronation.
Actually, the recipe was originally created by famous cook Rosemary Hume who started Le Petit Cordon Bleu cookery school in London. and the recipe was first published in her cookery book.
She was asked to devise a recipe for the coronation luncheon to feed 350 distinguished guests. It had to be something that people from all over the world would find acceptable and of course delicious.
Rosemary and her students worked on the recipe for Coronation Chicken for weeks, the use of curry in the recipe was a luxury as after the war spices were hard to come by in the UK.
The dish was named Poulet Reine Elizabeth and has become a classic.
Over the ensuing years, the recipe has been altered and added to in all sorts of ways but the original was often served up at Balmoral Castle where her Majesty holidayed every year.
The complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this recipe can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Ingredients for Coronation Chicken
Contrary to popular belief there are NO sultanas in this recipe. The original recipe called for a paste of dried apricots. I have used apricot jam in my recipe, but feel free to use finely chopped dried apricots instead.
In the original recipe, the creamy dressing was made with a mixture of mayonnaise and whipped cream. I have opted for a mix of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt for lightness. Feel free to use whipping cream instead if you want a really authentic chicken salad sauce.
Chicken is the star of the show in this recipe so either start with a couple of cooked chicken breast fillets as I have or poach your own chicken.
Curry powder, onion, a bay leaf, red wine, tomato paste, lemon juice and a touch of sugar make up that all-important flavour base for the Coronation Chicken sauce.
Mayonnaise and Greek yogurt as my dressing base, but you could use the original mayonnaise and whipping cream or use creme fraiche instead. Mixing something with the mayonnaise lightens it up and makes for a super light and creamy curry sauce.
How to make Coronation Chicken
First, we are going to make that gorgeous creamy curry sauce for our chicken.
Do this by sauteing the chopped onion along with the bay leaf and curry powder in a little vegetable oil for about 2 minutes. Then add in the tomato paste, wine, water, lemon juice and slice of lemon and cook for a further 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the sauce from the stove and set aside to cool (or pop it into the fridge to speed things up a bit).
Strain the cooled sauce through a sieve into a big bowl where you will mix it along with the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt and apricot jam (or finely chopped dried apricots).
That’s it, you have now completed the task and made homemade Coronation chicken!
Many people make Coronation Chicken simply by mixing mayonnaise with curry powder and stirring in the chopped chicken and a bit of onion and some sultanas.
Yes, that’s easy, but by sauteing the onions with the curry powder and bay leaf then adding the other ingredients you are cooking out the sharpness of the onions and really blending the flavours together for the perfect Coronation sauce.
Adding different flavours
Over the years this Coronation Chicken recipe has been altered and adapted by thousands of cooks. You can add all sorts of goodies to make it your own.
Why not try adding some chopped celery, sprinkling toasted flaked almonds on top when you are serving it. Adding the infamous sultans instead of dried apricots/apricot jam.
How to serve this curried chicken salad
Coronation Chicken was originally served alongside a green salad with peas and rice.
I like to serve mine in a sandwich with some fresh salad leaves underneath and lovely fresh white bread.
Serve Coronation Chicken as a delicious filling for a baked potato. Or just serve it with rice or even pasta.
Stuff it into a wrap or turn it into little canapes or vol au vents. Coronation Chicken is super versatile.
Your homemade Coronation Chicken will keep in the fridge for about 2 days.
Can you use Coronation Chicken sauce for other things?
Yes, this creamy curry flavoured sauce is wonderful with chilled prawns or lobster.
Looking for more delicious chicken recipes? Then check these out before you go;
Or why not check out my entire Chicken Section on Larder Love.
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Quick And Easy Homemade Authentic Coronation Chicken
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp white onion finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 50 ml red wine
- 50 ml water
- 1 slice lemon
- 1 squeeze lemon juice
- 1 pinch sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 150 ml Mayonnaise
- 150 ml Greek yogurt or whipping cream or creme fraiche
- 500 g cooked chicken breast
- 1 tbsp apricot jam or finely chopped dried apricots
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped onion, bay leaf and curry powder once it starts to shimmer and saute for about 2 minutes
- Add the tomato paste, red wine, water, lemon juice and slice of lemon and cook for about 3 minutes more then add a pinch of sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool completely
- Strain the sauce through a sieve into a large bowl and stir in the apricot jam, mayonnaise and Greek yogurt to make a creamy dressing and add the chopped chicken. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste