Great British Coronation Chicken
By Sam Wass, Medium Well
The country is about to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day in very different circumstances due to lockdown. There will be lots of scaled back garden celebrations, and we thought it was high-time we made the case for celebrating with a quintessentially British tradition. Great British Coronation Chicken.
It's much easier to make than you think, and it tastes far superior than a shop bought variety. It's guaranteed to spice up your day, and by starting your own family tradition, you certainly won't go back to shop bought again.
Created in 1953 for the Queen’s Coronation, it was a popular party dish in the 1970s and 1980s. Nowadays Coronation Chicken probably isn't held in such high regard, but we think it should be.
It's reputation was damaged, mainly because of substandard buffets the length and breadth of Britain, and the fact that we don’t cater for flavour enough at a buffet now. If it’s not a beige food, that comes pre-cooked it probably won’t make it to the buffet table - (before you start we do realise the irony here as Coronation Chicken is browny beige itself, but you know what we mean).
You really should give it another go if you are having a family gathering to celebrate VE Day. It's much easier to make than you think, and it tastes far superior than a shop bought variety. It's guaranteed to spice up your day, and by starting your own family tradition, you certainly won't go back to shop bought again. You can use whatever heat curry powder you want depending on taste. We've used Madras which gives a lovely spicy kick, but you can tone that down if you prefer.
- 1kg Diced British Chicken Breast (cooked)
- Knob of butter
- 1 shallot, or ½ onion, finely chopped
- ½ lemon, juice and zest
- 2 tbsp curry powder (Madras)
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 100ml wine (red or white)
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- 300ml mayonnaise
- 150ml Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook the chicken in your preferred way. We like to steam it scattered with the lemon zest for 25 minutes, to give it a juicy flavour. When it’s cooked, set it aside to cool.
In a small pan, melt the butter and then add the shallot or onion and cook gently for 4-5 minutes until nice and soft and translucent. Stir in the curry powder, tomato puree, wine and lemon juice. Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced by at least half.
Take the pan off the heat and then stir in the apricot jam, mayonnaise, yogurt, coriander and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and then set the pan aside to cool.
Fold the chicken into the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula. If the chicken is diced larger than you’d prefer on a sandwich, cut it into smaller bite size pieces.
Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve on whatever type of bread you fancy - sourdough, naan, or pitta all work well, but our favourite is on a nice fresh bread roll, cut in half and served as an open sandwich, with some green salad - old skool buffet style!
Happy Eating :-)