Coronation chicken

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Coronation chicken is an absolute must on any buffet. It is a combination of precooked cold chicken meat, raisins, herbs and spices, and a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce which can be eaten as a salad or used to fill sandwiches.The bright yellow colour of coronation chicken is usually coming from a curry powder or paste, although more sophisticated versions of the recipe are made using fresh herbs and spices and additional ingredients such as flaked almonds, raisins, and crème fraîche. The original dish used curry powder, as fresh curry spices were almost unobtainable in post-war Britain. Coronation chicken may have been inspired by jubilee chicken, a dish prepared for the silver jubilee of George V in 1935, which mixed chicken with mayonnaise and curry. Preparing the food for the banquet of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, Constance Spry, a food writer, and Rosemary Hume, a chef, created the recipe of cold chicken, curry cream sauce and dressing that would later become known as coronation chicken. Additionally, for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, another celebratory dish was devised, also called Jubilee chicken.


2 tbsp apricot jame

1 tbsp curry powder

300 ml mayonnaise

150ml half-fat crème fraîche

1 tbsp tomato purée

finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

450 g cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 spring onions, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

175 g black and green seedless grapes, cut in half lengthways

rocket or parsley to garnish (optional)

Coronation chicken


Put the jam and curry powder in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the jamhas melted. Set aside to cool a little.

Meanwhile, put the mayonnaise, crème fraîche,  and tomato purée in a mixing bowl with the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix together until combined.

Stir in the jam mixture, then add the chicken and spring onions. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add the grapes, and stir until combined.

Spoonon to a serving platter and garnish with the rocket or parsley. Other way to serve it is to put it in a small bowl with the bread served and ready to make a sandwich.


You can make a sauce up to three days ahead so the flavours have time to infuse. Chicken can be cooked a day ahead.