Try This Dish Created For Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation

Though you may not know it by name, you’ve probably already sampled Coronation Chicken. The slightly yellow, mayonnaise mix that finds its way into sandwiches, rolls, salads and all manner of dishes, yep, that’s Coronation Chicken.

Although technically it was created in 1953 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, it is primarily an adaptation of Jubilee Chicken which was a mix of chicken, curry powder and mayonnaise created for the jubilee celebrations of King George V in 1935. The updated version was invented by Le Cordon Bleu cookery school founder and writer Constance Spry and features cold-cooked chicken, curried cream, mayonnaise, raisins, flaked almonds, herbs and spices.

Today it’s a brunch staple and a favourite for all types of salads and sandwiches, and what’s even better, is that it is easy to make, store and serve for any meal. Whip up a batch for a barbecue or brunch, and be ready to wow your guests.


  • 2 large chicken breasts, or 4 large boneless thighs, or a combination of the two
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1” stick of cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ cup sultanas or raisins
  • 4  tbsp mayonnaise 
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tbsp cream, single or double
  • 3 level tsp readymade very hot curry powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder, or finely chopped de-seeded fresh red chilli (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • ½ cup sweet red or green grapes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing, finely chopped
  • 12 red cherry tomatoes for decoration
  • A few crisp lettuce leaves for decoration


  • In a saucepan, place the whole chicken pieces in water, add the bay leaf, 2 cloves of garlic cut into 3 pieces, the ginger piece, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, peppercorns, thyme sprig and 1 tsp salt, and bring to the boil, until the chicken is cooked.
  • Remove the chicken pieces, cover and allow to rest on a plate until cool, preserve 2 tbsp of the water, discarding the rest (or keep this stock for other uses).
  • The chicken can be used as it is, or for additional flavour, place it on a hot grill for 2 – 3 minutes on each side to give a semi-charred effect.
  • Soak the sultanas in hot water in a bowl for about ½ hour, until they are soft and plump, then drain and discard the water, placing them on kitchen towel to absorb any excess moisture.
  • In a large bowl, mix the preserved water, mayonnaise, jam, cream, curry powder, lemon/lime juice, salt and pepper and taste, adjusting the seasoning as required.
  • Once the chicken is cool, cut it into small cubes about 1- 2 cm with a sharp knife, and add to the bowl of mixed mayonnaise.
  • Add the drained sultanas and grapes to the bowl, and mix all the ingredients well, checking the seasoning.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and put into the fridge until required.
  • Before serving, toss the ingredients again, place the lettuce leaves around the edge, plate up the cold salad onto the lettuce leaves in a flat serving dish, and decorate with cherry tomatoes,, and sprinkle the top with coriander leaves.
  • Serve cold with toasted, buttered triangles of brown bread or crusty bread, as part of a buffet or as a starter.