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Coronation Chicken

by The Hairy Bikers from The Hairy Bikers’ Complete Mums Know Best! (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

This dish became famous when it was served at the coronation luncheon of Elizabeth II in 1953. Showcase the classic coronation chicken salad for a delicious nostalgic lunch. This is not a bashed-together mayo and mango chutney affair, this is the real deal and fit for a queen.

Dave’s mam used to make it with a handful of sultanas, mayonnaise, a teaspoon of mild curry powder and some cold roast chicken.

Serves 4


2 free-range chicken breasts, boned and skinned

1 tbsp olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

knob of butter

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 tsp Madras curry powder (Nigel says if necessary, use any curry powder you have)

2 tbsp tomato purée

100ml/3½fl oz dry white wine

100ml/3½fl oz chicken stock

1 tbsp apricot jam

150ml/5fl oz mayonnaise

75ml/3fl oz crème fraîche

1 large mango, peeled and diced

4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

dash Tabasco sauce

sea salt flakes and ground black pepper to taste

green salad leaves, to serve (Nigel used gem lettuce)

50g/2oz flaked almonds


First rub the chicken with olive oil. Scatter on the lemon zest and season with salt and black pepper. Place the chicken in a steamer – the Chinese bamboo ones work well for this – and steam for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool. The chicken will be fragrant and juicy.

Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the shallot and chilli and sweat gently for about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a few minutes more, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for a further minute. Add the wine and cook hard until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the jam and stock, then continue to simmer until again reduced by half. Set this mixture aside to cool.

Mix the mayonnaise and crème fraîche together in a bowl. Stir in the cooled curry mixture, then add the mango, spring onions, lemon juice and coriander.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Fold into the curry mixture and season with salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste. Serve with a green salad. You can also toast some flaked almonds in a dry frying pan and scatter these over the chicken just before serving if you wish.

(Nigel also scattered over red chilli, parsley & spring onions, all finely chopped)

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