Coronation Chicken

coronation chicken

The British have always held a special fondness for curry since they held reign in India during the period of 1858 – 1947.  This particular cold chicken salad was designed specifically for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.  While the British Empire no longer exists, the ingredients in this particular dish represent the aspects of Britain’s rule over the centuries.

Coronation Chicken is wonderful in cold rice salads as well as a filling for tea sandwiches and pita bread.

While it had fallen out of favor in the past few decades, it had a comeback in 2012 during Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, which marked her 60th year on the throne.  With Prince Harry’s recent marriage in 2018 to American Actress Meghan Markle we’ve seen it rise in popularity here in the United States, too!

queen elizabeth II coronation


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • 1/4 pint chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 pint mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream, medium whipped (you need to be able to fold it into the rest of the dish
  • 1 lb cooked chicken, diced
  • 2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds


In a frying pan, heat the oil to hot, not burning. Add the onion and cook over low heat for 3- 4 minutes. Stir in curry paste and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Take care not to burn it.

Remove from the heat and stir in the red wine, chicken stock and bay leaf. Season with sea salt and black pepper return to the heat and bring to a fast boil. Stir in the sugar followed by the lemon juice and simmer on a gentle boil for 5 – 10 minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a jug and leave to cool.

Slowly add the curry sauce mixture to the mayonnaise, do not do this too fast as you need to the sauce and mayo to be thoroughly combined. Next stir in the apricot jam and finally, fold in the cream.

Place the cooked chicken in a large bowl, pour over enough sauce to coat the chicken. Any remaining sauce can be frozen for future use. Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Sprinkle with almonds

Serve the Coronation Chicken with a rice salad, or use in sandwiches or even stuffed into pita bread.

Red Flame Seedless Grapes are a wonderful addition to this dish as well.



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