Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken

Yesterday, June 2nd, marked the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Coronation Chicken was one of the dishes served at the luncheon following the service in Westminster Abbey in 1953. Britain was still in the grips of post-war rationing so developing a formal luncheon menu to feed 300-odd people was definitely a challenge.

The menu was written in French. The meal began with Tomato and Tarragon soup and finished with a choice of Strawberry Galette or Lemon Roulade. The main course was ‘Poulet Reine Elizabeth’ (Chicken Queen Elizabeth), referred to in English as Coronation Chicken. Developed by Rosemary Hume, the original recipe was much more complicated than the versions more commonly served today and required the use of whole chickens poached in water and wine specially for the recipe.

Today chicken breasts are more commonly used, and Coronation Chicken is a great way to use up leftovers. Lightly curried and nutty, it is the perfect summer salad or sandwich filling. I like to serve it atop a bed of thinly sliced lettuces.

Coronation Chicken Salad

Coronation Chicken
Serves: Serves 4 to 6
  • 4 cooked chicken breasts (without skin), diced
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 crisp apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • ½ cup seedless grapes (red or green or a mixture of the two), halved, plus extra for garnish
  • ¼ cup raisins or sultanas
  • ¼ cup flaked toasted almonds plus extra for garnish
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • about 2 to 3 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream (you can use half or reduced fat if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sliced lettuces to serve
  1. Put the diced chicken breasts, red onion, apple, ½ cup grapes, raisins and ¼ cup flaked toasted almonds in a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with the curry powder.
  3. Gently stir in the mayonnaise.
  4. Add the crème fraîche or sour cream a bit at a time until a moist but not runny consistency is reached. You may not need it all.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve on a bed of thinly sliced lettuces, garnished with extra halved grapes and flaked toasted almonds.

Shared with See Ya in the Gumbo, Hearth and Soul, Mouthwatering Monday, All My Bloggy Friends, Tasty Tuesday

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1281 great articles for us.

April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.

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  1. I love the sound of this, and I think it might taste even better given the history behind it. Thanks for sharing both (story+recipe)!

  2. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says:

    How interesting to read the history behind a dish 🙂 This sounds perfect for summer, April! Pinning it.

  3. Love that you included the history of this dish along with the recipe, so cool!

    There’s nothing like a great chicken salad on a hot summer day 🙂

  4. History plus food…what a wonderful combination! Thanks for sharing, April. This sounds delicious! ~Lisa 🙂

  5. Sounds fantastic. I love the fruit and nuts great mixture… definitely fit for a queen. Pinning.

  6. Visiting from Tasy Tuesday. I like the history attached to the recipe. I am going to plan something for next week that has leftover chicken so I can try this. Pinned.

  7. Heather @girlichef says:

    I love all of the goodies in here! I need to give this a try soon!

  8. I enjoyed reading about the origins of coronation chicken. It must have been an amazing feat to pull of lunch for that many people at that point in history.
    Thank you for linking!

  9. Goodness this takes me back, April 🙂 I haven’t had Coronation Chicken for such a long time, and you’re right it’s a great way to use up some leftovers.

    Despite the number of times I’ve eaten this dish, I never actually knew why it was called Coronation Chicken, so I loved reading all about it.

  10. That is delicious chicken April , it is new dish to me.

  11. I love a great dish especially if it comes with a super great story/history:)))

    Thanks so much for sharing

  12. I really loved this post. Great dish and good information.

  13. What a wonderful celebration and a wonderful recipe. Very much enjoyed the mini history lesson as well… thank you for this post April!

  14. I love recipes with history! And the chicken sounds wonderful…definitely something I would like to try!

  15. This sounds fantastic April!

  16. Erica (@Erica's Recipes) says:

    Congratulations to the queen – and I love this recipe! Especially love that you added grapes. This looks colorful and perfect for entertaining.

  17. This looks amazing April! I really can’t wait to try it!

  18. Living in Florida, I love finding enticing salad recipes to enjoy during our many hot days! Thank you for sharing the story of Coronation Chicken…it makes me want to try your gorgeous salad even more!

    • I have to confess I am a bit envious of your lovely weather in Florida, Linda! We’ve had some lovely holidays there 🙂 I’m so glad you liked the story and the recipe too!

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