Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Chicken

From the entertaining Max Miller, Tasting History!

Coronation Chicken, or “Poulet Reine Elizabeth” (translated literally as “Queen Elizabeth’s Chicken”), is a chicken salad with a curry-cream sauce. It utilizes numerous ingredients, such as curry, wine and apricots, that were considered extravagant at the time, given that the UK still implemented wartime rations. As such, it is inherently a celebratory meal for special occasions, developed specifically for the Queen and her 350 esteemed guests. It was served as the centerpiece of her coronation banquet, held at the Great Hall of Westminster School.


For the Chicken:

  • 4 large chicken breasts, or really any other parts that you’d like to use.
    – 6 cups (1 ½ L) Water and 2 cups (475ml) white wine mixed in a pot.
    – A chopped carrot
    – A bouquet garni – That is a little bundle of different herbs tied together. What the herbs are are really up to you, she’s not specific, but some traditional herbs are parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage or really any other savory herbs. I would stay away from mint, because it does tend to overwhelm.
    – 2 tablespoons Salt
    –  3-4 peppercorns

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Tablespoons Oil
    – 1/2 Cup (50g) Chopped Onion
    – 2 heaping teaspoons curry powder
    – 1 large teaspoon tomato puree
    – 1/2 cup (120 ml) Red Wine
    – 6 Tablespoons (90ml) water
    – A bay leaf
    – 1/2 teaspoon salt
    – 1 teaspoon brown sugar
    – 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    – 2 slices lemon + a squeeze of lemon juice
    – 1/2 tablespoon or more of apricot puree
    – 1 3/4 cup (450 g) Mayonnaise
    – 3 Tablespoons lightly whipped cream
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