Coronation Chicken Recipe

Janette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger

Coronation chicken is fit for a queen. No really – it was created just for Queen Elizabeth!

Coronation chicken was an original recipe first served at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation lunch in 1953. Alongside the chicken, they served a side of rice mixed with chopped herbs and peas, and French dressing. It was all presented on an oval plate with the chicken at one end and the rice at the other.

The food was served cold at the coronation because it had to be a dish that could be made ahead. It is enjoyed the same way today which makes it perfect for warm weather, outdoor eating and picnics.

It is essentially the British version of the American chicken salad with a royal flair and a few surprises.

Coronation Chicken Photo

This coronation chicken is so good, maybe it was this that enticed the queen out of ceremony. Story has it, the queen was bored at the extra-long ceremony that she, along with her ladies-in-waiting, snuck into the back of the ceremony to enjoy some of the coronation chicken.

I’m not sure how much truth to that there is considering the magnitude of the event. Could the new queen disappear without notice?

Coronation Chicken Picture

A whole chicken is poached with herbs and aromatics. To make the recipe in a hurry, you could make perfect use of leftover roast chicken. The chicken is mixed in a curry-based, mayonnaise sauce that also has tomato paste, red wine, and fresh lemon.

Rosemary Hume is responsible for this recipe and it was also featured in the 1956 Constance Spry cookery book, written by both ladies.

Coronation Chicken Image

Constance Spry, being a florist, was responsible for the coronation flower arrangements. Rosemary Hume was a cook and writer, as well as a teacher at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris. I would say she was the best person to cook for the new queen, wouldn’t you?

Coronation Chicken Pic

With its vibrant and stunning yellow hue from the curry powder, this coronation chicken keeps well refrigerated. Make it ahead for an on-the-go or work lunch, it’s great in sandwiches.

File 1 Coronation Chicken

Once made, the longer the chicken sits, the better it tastes, as the flavors have time to develop. This is one of my favorite chicken recipes and it’s a dish fit for a queen!

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Coronation Chicken Recipe

    4 Servings


  • 3 pounds Whole Chicken
  • 1 bunch Fresh Parsley
  • 1 bunch Fresh Thyme
  • 4 Carrots
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Mild Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • small pinch Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Apricot Jam
  • 3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Slivered Almonds


  1. Add the chicken, parsley, thyme, carrots, bay leaves and peppercorns to a large stock pot.
  2. Cover with water, bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour 20 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, add oil to sauté pan and heat over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion until softened, about 5 minutes, stir in curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in tomato paste, wine, water, salt, pepper, lemon juice and apricot jam, simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Allow the sauce to cool.
  7. When the chicken is done, remove from the pan and allow to cool until it can be handled.
  8. Once cooled, cut up the chicken into bite size pieces.
  9. Mix the mayonnaise into the curry sauce, then stir in the chicken pieces. Refrigerate until cool.
  10. Serve topped with toasted flaked almonds.


Cooking Method:
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Related Recipes:
British Recipes, Chicken Recipes, Salad Recipes, Curry Recipes, Simmered Recipes, Easy Recipes, Make Ahead Recipes, Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Recipes
Recipe Yields:
4 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
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Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 430
Calories 955

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g
  Saturated Fat 12g
Sodium 702mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
  Dietary Fiber 2g
  Sugars 4g
Protein 93g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Janette Fuschi

About Janette

Janette is a British ex-pat living in Southern California. On her blog, Culinary Ginger, you'll learn all about it. On Food Fanatic, you'll see her favorite British classics, and ours too!

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