Cooking,  Life abroad,  Phil,  Travelling

How to make…Coronation chicken

Our little church group here in England requested that I film this recipe for a special World Missions’ event in June. I was very happy to do it, and really enjoyed researching its history. Coronation chicken isn’t just any dish. It has a pretty well-documented history.

The history of Coronation chicken

On Sunday, 6th February 2022, Her Royal Highness (HRH) Queen Elizabeth II officially reigned over Britain for 70 years and became the first monarch in British history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. Before this, the longest a monarch had been on the throne was Queen Victoria’s 63 years.

We will be joining the rest of the country and Commonwealth in the official celebration of the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II at the start of June 2022.

What is the link between Coronation chicken and the Platinum Jubilee?

Well, it’s simple really. The dish was created for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The world famous “Le Cordon Bleu London” prepared the Coronation luncheon for Queen Elizabeth II in January 1953, for which the Coronation Chicken recipe was first created. Originally known as “Poulet Reine Elizabeth”, translated from French to English as “Queen Elizabeth Chicken” or now known as “Coronation Chicken”, it was described on the menu as “chicken, boned and coated in curry cream sauce, with, a well-seasoned dressed salad of rice, green peas and pimentos.

It was a very special thing back in 1953, with Britain, almost 8 years after World War II, still in post-war rationing, meaning many of the ingredients were only just starting to become available.

Click to open Sainsbury's grocery store to see their Coronation Chicken.

Sadly, nowadays it is just sold by way of small pots at grocery stores, designed to be put between 2 slices of bread. A simple filling for a sandwich. To be honest it is rarely discussed now, and many people haven’t even heard of it, let alone tasted it.

So, the link between our Queen, her coronation and now a jubilee all eventually combine because it is believed that the original dish might have taken inspiration from another dish, Jubilee chicken. This was created for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s grandfather; King George V, in 1935. That dish was based on chicken dressed in mayonnaise and curry powder.

Further versions of Jubilee chicken were created and, for Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, it was quite different from the Coronation chicken we know today. Golden Jubilee chicken consisted of pieces of chicken in a white sauce, dusted with parsley and lime segments. The sauce being a mixture of crème fraiche and mayonnaise, flavoured with lime and ginger and designed more towards being served with a pasta salad.

For Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the dish was created by Heston Blumenthal, proprietor of a 3-star Michelin restaurant. However, he hasn’t shared that recipe with any of us mere home kitchen chefs.

A note about the dish

Coronation chicken is normally a bright yellow colour because of the use of curry powder. Along with raisins, a mayonnaise cream and of course, chicken, the original dish called for dried apricots and an Indian curry paste that was made from scratch. However since fresh Indian curry spices were almost unobtainable in post-war Britain, we turned to pre-made curry powder. Of course, there are more sophisticated versions of the recipe that are made using fresh herbs, additional spices, flaked almonds, and crème fraîche.

But my version of Coronation chicken can easily be recreated in your own kitchen and I do hope that you give it a go, whether for the jubilee, as a reminder of times gone by or just out of interest.

It is a lovely dish, and you can change the curry strength to taste so don’t worry if you think the use of a mild curry powder is a little weak for you.


4Chicken breasts
2-3TspMild curry powder
½CupPlain yoghurtOr sour cream (125g)
1TbspMango chutneyOr ½ cup of fresh mango
1TspWorcestershire sauce
5-6Spring onions
½CupDried apricots(75g)
CupSultanas or raisins(50g)
HandfulFresh coriander (cilantro)To taste
DashSalt and pepperTo taste
1TspLemon juiceTo taste


  1. Put the chicken breasts into a large pan, and boil.
  2. Finely slice the celery and green onions, and chop the dried apricots and mango (if using fresh rather than chutney) into small pieces.
  3. Combine the mild curry powder, mayonnaise, yoghurt, mango chutney / fresh mango, Worcestershire sauce, celery, onions, dried apricots, and raisins into a mixing bowl. Then mix in the coriander.
  4. When the chicken breasts have cooked through, let them cool then chop or shed them into small pieces.
  5. Combine the chicken with the mixed ingredients.
  6. Add a dash of salt and pepper and the juice of ½ to 1 whole lemon to taste.
  7. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce leaves, cucumber slices and tomatoes, or enjoy as a sandwich with lettuce.  It would also work well mixed with pasta as a chicken pasta salad.

Watch us make it

Check out my YouTube video by clicking the image below to see how I made my Coronation chicken. And don’t forget to like, and subscribe to our channel while you’re there.

Click to watch on YouTube (opens in new tab)
Click to watch on YouTube

What about you?

Have you tried Coronation chicken? If you’re planning to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, make sure it’s on your menu plans!

Share your experience with us using #CoronationChicken and tagging @parkerlings on your social media. If you have any questions, just ask, using the form below.